Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney Paperback – 23 Jun 2011
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‘The best Beatles book since Revolution in the Head. Thumbs up’ Classic Rock
‘As an exhaustive account of McCartney’s life, FAB is unparalleled.’ Q Magazine
‘The definitive take on an extraordinary career’ Record Collector
‘Intrigues all the way through’ The Times
‘Difficult to put down’ Mojo
About the Author
Howard Sounes is the author of several acclaimed non-fiction books including the bestselling Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan (2001), an equally well-regarded life of the cult writer Charles Bukowski, as well as the true crime classic Fred & Rose (1995). He lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the writing also seems to strain too hard at times like a Dad trying to dance in a trendy fashion: for example, 'Lin dug rock 'n' roll...' "DUG"?? Also: sometimes the author works hard to empathise with the various figures, while at other times he sounds so dismissive one wonders if he's really that interested (e.g. Yoko Ono's writing appealed to John Lennon, according to the author, because of his 'weakness for twaddle'). As far as judgments go, the author tends just to make them rather than explain them: The Beatles' single 'Rain' is dismissed as 'weird'; George Harrison apparently only really started writing good songs on Abbey Road (what about 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'?); etc etc. This stretches on as McCartney goes it alone: the author says some songs are great, some are so-so and some are awful, but he rarely even attempts to explain his reasoning. He just states his opinions as facts.
One more - I admit - very pedantic point: surely a biographer of any member of The Beatles should know that the band is called 'The Beatles,' not 'the Beatles'?Read more ›
NEGATIVES: If you've followed Macca throughout his career (as I have), and especially if you've kept all the press and magazine clippings, then you're not likely to find much here you don't know already. The reviews are disappointing in as much as the writer seems simply to agree with whatever the media said "at the time" about each album release. Consequently, old critical opinions which were often flavoured by "thumbs aloft" cliches from the "hip" music press, go unchallenged. (If anyone's superb body of work is in need of public re-assessment it's Paul McCartney's. For example, the masterpiece "Ram"). These reviews more than anything give the book a "cut and paste" feel rather than be a work of fresh insight.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Try and get a copy of "The Unknown Paul McCartney" by Ian Peel. It takes an independant look at Macca's more obscure, avant-garde works. Well worth a read.
The one irritation, mentioned in the title of this review, relates to how Ringo is referred to in the book. When Ringo enters the picture the author states that as he was, and still is, referred to by his friends and family as Ritchie, this is the name he will use throughout the book. I can't understand why he decided to do this. I mean, everyone reading this book will be familiar with the nickname Ringo. I don't see the point in using "Ritchie". If that weren't bad enough he didn't stick to that anyway, alternating between Ringo and Ritchie for the remainder of the book. Although a minor quibble in itself it did tend to irritate and distract.
But, all in all, a recommended read.
The book is written in a style that is very easy to read and a credit to the writer that the prose flows well and you don't feel like you are trudging through certain parts of the story to get to the more interesting bits.Each part of Paul's life are given due time and attention.
Various interviews from other sources that are familar to fans(ie The Anthology) are included here and while you know they are not direct quotes they fit in well with the book.
The reason that i am not going to offer the book 5 stars is there is a few parts when the author contradicts himself,the worst being on the same page when he describes Linda as having money and comfortable in company with those who are in the same position but then a paragraph or so later telling us how she set her sights on Paul as was fed up earning a pittance as a photographer.
Calling Ringo "Ritchie" as well grates after a while and i found myself refusing to read it as Ritchie..While he may be Ritchie to Paul he isn't to us and i imagine that there is a reason why only close friends call him that ie cause they are close friends.
Those gripes aside it is a well written book and one i very much enjoyed and doesn't shy away from showing both sides of McCartney's personality and not judging him with it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written book , So much has been written about Paul McCartney you may think this just another book on on half of one that great duo. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Mr. D. Spooner
This is a most impressive first novel powerfully relating the story of Andromache. I found myself immersed in the exciting yet cruel world of the Trojan Wars. Read morePublished 14 months ago by M J
If you love Sir Paul don't read this as the author is biased against Paul and seems to have gotten his information from other authors books!Published 15 months ago by Mrs M Anderson
Great piece of work from Howard Souness .If you think you know everything about MACCA think again !!! and buy this bookPublished 16 months ago by B. M. Walker
Bought for my husband who is a big Paul McCartney fan and he is now engrossed in reading it and says it is excellent.Published 19 months ago by Mrs. C. Peters
fab book. must be read. once picked up hard to put Down. brought back lots of memories. good luck paulPublished 21 months ago by Stephen Fleming