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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars There have been many books written about the Beatles and their break-up. This is the definitive one, 20 May 2013
This review is from: You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the "Beatles" (Paperback)
This is a remarkable book and I thoroughly recommend it. It tells the history (not the story - there is no fiction in this whatsoever) of how the Beatles grew apart and then were ripped apart by the financial chaos that surrounded their existences after Apple was formed.

I lived through the break-up and either believed or at least noted some of the easy explanations that were offered for the Beatles' demise. `It was Yoko'. `It was Alan Klein'. `It was Paul's ego.' What becomes clear from reading this book is that all these reasons were both true and insufficient of themselves to explain away what happened - they all contributed in their way to the acrimonious divorce that eventually became inevitable.

This book deals, in much greater depth than I have ever seen before, with the individual crises that each of the four members faced in their personal lives: John Lennon's drug addiction and his obsession with Yoko Ono (a relationship that was too intense to survive in its early form), George Harrison's struggle to be spiritual and hedonistic at the same time, Ringo's attempt to play straight with everyone and Paul's desire to be part of a performing band again. The motivations of all the characters are well explained.

All these subjects have aroused huge passions among Beatles' fans. This book, remarkably, deals with them in a wholly dispassionate way, not making simple assertions but presenting dates, facts and evidence. It is supremely well researched and tells the history in such detail as to make every twist and each nuance utterly understandable.

As someone who lived through that time as a fan of the Beatles, I found it an eye-opener. I knew some of the facts but had no idea just how complex and convoluted the real history was at that time.

There have been many books written about the Beatles and their break-up. This is the definitive one. Even if you regard yourself as an expert, I am sure you will find facts in here that help to put everything into context.

This is not a book to be read in a single sitting: it is one to be tackled slowly and with attention. It is divided sensibly into sections and will repay a detailed and attentive reading. So much work has gone into the research and the careful wording that anything less would be to undervalue what I regard as a first-class piece of work.
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