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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 April 2013
I don't normally write reviews, especially gushing ones, but this book is one of the most fascinating non-fiction books I have ever read. I'm a bit of a Beatles nut so I thought I knew the whole story, but I knew next to nothing about what happened AFTER the band broke up. What comes across to me is the unshaking feeling that even in the worst times, these four men loved each other despite their squabbling and public slaggings-off. Well, maybe not Harrison and McCartney.

Only in the last section does the book get a little bogged-down in too much financial detail, and you may be left feeling that the whole "reunion/Anthology" project was little more than a cynical money-spinner/publicity stunt. But then, we probably already knew that, didn't we?
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on 11 March 2012
One of the strange things about this Beatles-book is the fact that it's barely about music. There are songs and albums mentioned, but that is it.
Two other subject take centre-stage: business and (group-)psychology. In that it's a welcome addition to all these Beatle-books analysing the songs (and you need only one for that: Ian Macdonald's Revolution in the Head).
In many part it almost reads like a novel; the entrance in the already tumultuous life of the fab four by people like Yoko Ono, Linda Eastman, Magic Alex and Allen Klein. And the fact that John, Paul, George and Richard (this book constantly uses Starr's real name...) thought they were also brilliant at doing business.

It's an uneasy read; John, George and Paul in many ways lived their life in the '70s as an estranged couple; there was some reconcilliation, but at many times one or the other didn't turn up at a meeting or didn't attend at a marriage or concert. It's frustrating to learn how many times The Beatles were quite close to reforming....and that eventually their great legacy became something of a burden for George Harrison.
A fine book!
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on 2 December 2012
What can I say?

Peter Doggett is an excellent rock journalist and writer. The opening chapter 'Prologue: 8th December 1980' sets the scene for a completely engrossing book and is worth the price of admission alone. In this chapter he conjures up brilliant ways of explaining how Lennon's death affected the remaining Beatles - and the entire world. Almost a slightly melodramatic writing style at times, but he never overdoes it, and the subject matter benefits.

Doggett is balanced and fair and we see good - and a lot of bad! - in each one of the Fab Four. He is not partisan, unlike Philip Norman in 'Shout' where he obviously couldn't stand Paul McCartney.

It's not a story of the Beatles' career, but it does document just about every non music-related event from 1968 to the present day.
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on 23 March 2013
Truly gripping. Usually when I read the standard blurb trope "impossible to put down" I yawn and move on. In this case, whichever reviewer it was got it dead right. The legal and financial machinations of a disintegrating pop group seems unlikely material for a thriller, especially when it has to be true; but I was reminded of a couple of Richard North Patterson's politico-legal novels that hardly move outside of a few Washington offices and are almost solid dialogue but are more thrilling than most harum scarum adventure stories. With similar intelligence and economy Peter Dogget's book shows how exciting it can be to tell it like it is. Terrific read and packed with indispensable information. Don't miss it.
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on 10 May 2011
I have this book in hard back and on my Kindle and I am about one third thru it. Its so well written that I find difficult to put down.

Provided some new facts and insights that I hadn't got from the rest of my Beatles library so it is worth adding on a number of counts. So if you are interested in the Beatles and have the Hunter Davies book this is definately worth getting.
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on 9 January 2012
A great read. One can only imagine how painful it was for Paul, George and Ringo to have Yoko ever present at the Beatles musical sessions despite their love for John. There would always be rivalry between Lennon and Macca which never seemed to wane right up until John's death. However post 1970, aside from Ringo, John (Yoko), Paul and George each had a role to play and each prevented a proper reunion ever taking place. If you watch the Anthology series, in 1995 George clearly still had issue with Paul. Catch the new Scorcese documentary on George's life. It is excellent and includes rarely seen archive material. I wonder if anyone has ever taken an estimate on the total wealth of the Beatles enmpire has been since 1963? It is hard to imagine there ever again being such an influencial musical and cultural force as the Fabs.
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on 8 December 2009
Suprisingly this book is far from being a stuffy accountants summary of the Beatles financial positions and is instead full of interesting anecdotes and insights that swept me along as I read it. Think of it instead as a biography wearing commercial tinted glasses but that is no less fascinating because of it.
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on 14 January 2012
A book like this has been wanted for a long time, when you listen to the music from Revolver onwards you can see how the group would eventually split, each member bar Ringo would eventually want to go solo and as Harrison said of himself and the others the group was stifling their development. Most good bands run out of inspiration in 6-8 years, I for one am glad they ended with the end of the 60's, the music is it for me.
You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle For The Soul Of The Beatles
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on 1 April 2014
...and I don't feel I am learning anything new. I've read quite a few books about the Beatles so the period before the split, the animosity over Yoko's presence in the studio, McCartney's insecurities etc are quite familiar to me. I don't think it's a poor book - it is readable and would probably appeal to readers less familiar with the Beatles' break-up, post-Beatles activities, court cases and financial issues.
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on 14 September 2011
A well written and researched account of the Beatles breakup and the long shadow it cast over the main cast in particular and popular culture in general.

I'm ambivalent about The Beatles. I've adored their music ever since I can remember but as individual artists since the split they've provided an occasionally entertaining few minutes and a lot of hogwash. And they rarely managed to open their mouths without putting both feet in be it Lennon's political posturing as conceptual art, Harrison's deeply spiritual quest to scowl at everything and everyone or McCartney's ordinary bloke who thinks vegetarianism will cure the World's ills; maybe it will but I'm not minded to be lectured by someone who dyes his hair with Bisto. All of this is here but oddly enough the rounded portrait he gives of four human beings trying to make sense of a World that worshipped and hated them in equal measure makes me feel more warmly towards them and, despite their riches, a bit sorry for them. The sniping, the litigation, the excess - it's all here in phorensic detail and the fact that he can make a story that's already been told over and over readable is very much to Peter Doggett's credit.

One small point: Doggett takes a well aimed swipe at all the people who cashed in on The Beatles legacy and mentioned the republication of The Beatles Book in the early 80s as an example. Back then I went for a job interview with a small publishing company whose young editor proudly told me that they were republishing The Beatles Book. His name? Peter Doggett. I wonder if they are related?
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