The Beatles Paperback – 16 Nov 2010
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A document of our century.--Marshall McLuhan
A document of our century. --Marshall McLuhan
A document of our century. --Marshall McLuhan"
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a huge fan of the Beatles, this book was a good read. The story of them becoming the Beatles and the present day updates Is interesting and very informative. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jonathan Swift
Bought as a present for my husband for his birthday. He was delighted.Published 5 months ago by Janice Muir
Hunter Davies wrote this book in 1968, after convincing Brian Epstein, the Beatles and their relatives to his honesty and good intention. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Botnik Roller
Poorly written. The sole interest of this book is contemporary accounts/ interviews with each of the four members circa 1967. But two dozen pages altogether is a tad thin.Published 10 months ago by durand
Is and always will be the definitive biography of the fab four, the four lads from Liverpool who changed the world. Simple as that, no more to be said really :)Published 10 months ago by Eastend Boy
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