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Shout!: The True Story of the Beatles by [Norman, Philip]
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Shout!: The True Story of the Beatles Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product description

Review

'Nothing less than thrilling... the definitive biography' New York Times 'This stands as the first (and still the best) collision of Beatles history and literary depth... just about everything is rendered with beautiful prose and laser-like insight' Q

Book Description

Philip Norman's SHOUT! is the original definitive work on the Fab Four - brilliantly written, encapsulating an era, and reflecting close personal working relationships with each of the protagonists.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2927 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (13 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050NJNFA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #267,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There must be a better book than this waiting to be written - although I guess it would have to be twice as long. I felt quite sick at times whilst I was reading it, so glad it only cost a penny. A bit more fact-checking and less arty-farty cleverness wouldn't have gone amiss, Mr. Norman! A real moment of abject horror: the abuse of Apple staff by Hells Angels invited over by George Harrison. And I thought Jerry Garcia was a knob!
Very good, though, on just how shambolic and absurd the counter-culture was: a social experiment of a kind, thus doomed to end in failure.
Only Ringo Starr seems to emerge from this with much credit (only just)...
On the whole, for me, a timely reminder of why I stopped listening to pop and rock music in favour of Beethoven and J.S.Bach.
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By KelvinJD VINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I didn't expect SHOUT! to be the best book I've ever read about the THE BEATLES - but in many ways it is (and I've read quite a few over the years). The breathtaking detail, capturing the era in which Beatlemania dominated the world, places the reader right there in the centre of it all - a close observer of the best, and also the worst, of those tumultuous times. But it isn't perfect. For me, JOHN LENNON and PAUL McCARTNEY were absolute straight-down-the-line equals in their respective abilities as songwriters. And, crucially, each of the four lived the equivalent of several lifetimes between 1962-70, so who can blame any of them for having said or done stupid things in the midst of it all and beyond? I think if author PHILIP NORMAN revists SHOUT! for a second revised update, he'll tone down - without removing, I'm not suggesting that - some of the more 'emotional' criticisms levelled at Paul McCartney in particular. Preferences aside, the negative-aspect 'Macca' of the last twenty-five years is like he is for a million different, yet largely understandable, reasons, the most obvious ones being the simplest to diagnose: insecurity and mortality, the clock can never be turned back. But the music said it all then, anyway.

Throughout that time, the Beatles' journey was indeed a long and winding road, their itinerary becoming wilder and more unpredictable as it unfolded...STAR CLUB, CAVERN, BRIAN EPSTEIN, GEORGE MARTIN, M.B.E., ED SULLIVAN, BIGGER THAN JESUS, IMELDA MARCOS, SERGEANT PEPPER, SUMMER OF LOVE, MAHARISHI, APPLE, YOKO ONO, LET IT BE...and yet, with hindsight, it's still possible to trace unmistakable fracture-lines in the order and chaos of events held together, paradoxically, by the inextricable hand of fate. The highs and the lows, in every conceivable sense. And those unforgettable others, yet to come.

If you can get over the odd jarring, marginally detrimental, bias then this is a major achievement.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: Paperback
...don't bother reading Philip Norman, a worthy Sunday Times journalist self-appointed as a rock scribe. I opened his much-vaunted Lennon tome at a page where Phil Spector is described as a Motown producer! I read Shout when it was first published and at the time of relatively few Beatle books it more or less sufficed. Perhaps the best thing about is its title - smart marketing. The updated edition contains a particularly snide summing-down of George Harrison as artist and person, and in today's Sunday Times he goes further, describing him as a mantra-chanting, misanthropic sex-addict. Even if this were true, there's no way Norman could begin to comprehend George's contribution as a musician, because he hasn't a clue about music, nor, it would seem by the Spector/Motown nonsense, much real interest in it - like too many journalists what he's really into is the gossip. I love John Lennon, in spite of the numerous tales of appalling behaviour, but The Beatles were above all a great band - all four were outstanding in their different ways. For my money the best book by far is Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head, which provides almost as much insight into the Fabs as people as it illuminates the music - and much more.
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Format: Paperback
Knowing about the Beatles is knowing about life. I bought this biography to learn more about everybody's favourite band. It didn't disappoint.

For any half-serious Beatles fan, this book is a goldmine. Everything you could reasonably want to know is here. I already had a pretty comprehensive knowledge by average standards, but I learnt vast amounts I'd never known, especially about the pivotal importance of Brian Epstein. It's entertaining too. Norman has a chatty prose style and conjures up Apple Corps, Hamburg, and touring wonderfully well. Best of all is the amount of facts available. It is hard to see how it will be beaten in this by a book of its size.

Especially good are the descriptions of the cultural importance of the Beatles. The introduction is focussed on this- it's simply superb. Norman has a great eye for hyperbole, which he deploys in exactly the right quantities to contrast the inconceivable wealth and fame of the Beatles with their humble beginnings and simplistic attitudes. The book is worth getting for these bits alone.

But there are a couple of problems. First is the obsessively generous depiction of Lennon. I'm a hands-down Johnite, but I found this ridiculous. McCartney is not only sidelined but ridiculed. Norman simply doesn't like him. It ruins parts of the book. I find myself just not knowing whether an account of something is accurate. For a 'definitive' history, that's bad. Secondly, and more importantly, the music is practically not mentioned at all. Now, despite what Norman implies, the success of the Beatles lies in their musical genius. To ignore the music so devotedly- despite claiming, in the introduction, to have added more about the music for the second edition- is a bizarre way of looking at the titans of our age.

Read this book, but unless you want to think the Beatles were just John Lennon's PR stunts, read 'Revolution in the Head' as well.
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