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The Beatles Paperback – 16 Nov 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd Revised edition edition (16 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393338744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393338744
  • ASIN: 0393338746
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,298,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A document of our century.--Marshall McLuhan

A document of our century. --Marshall McLuhan

A document of our century. --Marshall McLuhan"

Book Description

Hunter Davies' "The Beatles" was first published in 1968 as the only authorized biography of the band, but in 2001 he returned to the subject to write "The Quarrymen". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a 2009 update on Hunter Davies' original tome from 1968. By update, I mean that he has included the 1985 postscript and has now added some text from this year. These extra entries are a perfect complement to the 1968 book, which is reproduced as the main part of the book.

The story itself is utterly compelling even to long-standing Beatles fans like myself. I cannot read too much about this wonderful band even if I already know some of the facts. I say "some" because there is always something new to learn about them as you will find in this book. The author tells the story beautifully and breaks the chapters down into different segments (e.g. a chapter on each of the fab four and chapters on Hamburg, Beatlemania, The End Of Touring etc.). There is a certain chronology to the book without becoming the usual month-by-month tale.

I found it difficult to put this book down. Hunter Davies' style is crisp, witty but factual and lets family and friends do the 'talking' when necessary. I had an eerie feeling whilst reading this, especially the 1967/68 years when the breakup of marriages and indeed the band itself had yet to come. A great book for anyone who wishes to read the story about The Beatles, a marvellous one for fans like myself.
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By John W. Edelman VINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the first book about the Beatles that I read and I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out in the world of the Beatles. In fact I think that if you read this, then Revolution In The Head and finally You Never Give Me Your Money, in that order, you will have a good all round Beatle education; something that every music fan should aspire to!
By all means buy other books about the Beatles (I have bought tons over the years) but you don't NEED anymore than these three (IMHO).
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Format: Hardcover
Hunter Davies is a great writer who has been lucky enough to write about some fascinating subjects. But none better than the Beatles.
His research centres in 1967-8, with the Beatles at work on the White album and it's a sort of glossed picture. For example, he doesn't go into John's infidelities - he is still the family man here - nor does he divulge all he knew about Brian Epstein, though he deals with this in the add ons to a later edition.
Yet even with this, he spent such a long time with them - and they obviously like him - that you get really intimate details. He is best on John and George -I think- and finds Paul the hardest to get to grips with.
This isn't the perfect biography, as he concedes: it's a bit like he never quite got on top of the mountain of material he accumulated, but it's totally readable and rich in detail. If you are interested in the Beatles, this is a gold mine, and it catches something of the Sixties London atmosphere too.
Even more to the point, loads of great books have been written about the Beatles since, "Revolution in the Head", "Shout" etc.etc. but no one except Davies had the opportunity to get this close.
You can read Lennon interviews or the Miles book on McCartney, but they are biassed. Davies captures them as they really were in the latter stages: his portrait is both perceptive and affectionate. A terrific book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the authorised biography of The Beatles you'd expect Hunter Davies' account of the lives of Fab Four, from their very birth to the final breakup of the band, to be factually accurate and without the flaws that are sometimes seen in other biographies and hustled together books on the phenomenon that ended up being called Beatlemania.

Unfortunately, as Hunter Davies himself points out in the notes and additions that accompany the original biography, the story had to be approved by each individual member of The Beatles and, in one case (Brian Epstein), relatives too. So what we end up with is a heavily edited and censored account that glosses over details that others have pursued with greater in-depth investigation, notably 'You Never Give Me Your Money' by Doggett.

Also the tone of this book is lightweight, written as though it was meant for The Beatles fan club, using short sentences which sometimes makes it seem almost fictional in nature which it certainly is not. None of that detracts from the story of how each Beatle grew up, what made them the characters they were, and how they found each other by fortuitous chance.

Indeed it is the early parts of the individual stories which are the most interesting, especially as the accounts are based on extensive interviews and character drawings which you won't find in other books. Note that this latest edition keeps the original early edition text as the core of the book but surrounds it with additional notes, comments and added historical perspectives that are well worth having.

No-one interested in how The Beatles grew up and what made them what they were should be without this book.
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Format: Paperback
I am only reviewing this book to address the 1 star given by the only other reviewer as of July 2009. The previous reviewer seemed to be complaining about Amazon's lack of information about whether the book is a reprint rather than the book itself.

Hunter Davies' was the authorised biography and this is an updated edition of that biography. It is a hugely enjoyable read and much of the content of other books on the fabs is taken from here.

It thoroughly deserves the 5 stars and is highly recommended.
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