Having read tons of books & column inches about the Fab Four, I can honestly say that this book was a real breath of fresh air. It is a thoroughly interesting & entertaining read for anyone with the slightest interest in the Beatles. The introductory essay about the sixties helps to put the Beatles firmly into context, but the real pleasure comes from McDonald's analysis of the Beatles songs. You may or may not agree with some of his comments, but they are thought provoking & usually spot on. I was outraged by his dismissal of 'Across the Universe', but unlike a previous reviewer I though his judgement of 'Helter Skelter' was absolutely accurate! This is an essential book for anyone interested in the Beatles. The only time you will put this book down is to put a Beatles record on to LISTEN with new ears. I can't recommend this book enough.