Although not a great fan of `coming of age' dramas, Beatles was quite an enjoyable read.
Lars Saabye Christensen is one of Norway's most well read authors and `Beatles' which was first published in 1984 is one of his most popular novels, recently being translated by Don Bartlett for the English speaking market.
The story is recounted by Kim Karlsen and follows himself and his three friends Gunner, Ola and Seb all the way from 1965 through to the Winter of 1972. The four friends appear to liken themselves to the group `The Beatles' and they even plan to form their own band `The Snafus'.
They also collect car badges, this `hobby' leads to some very interesting scrapes.
Each chapter takes a different Beatles song as its title (this is an original idea and works well). The book is seldom thrilling but the author positively extracts an fascinating read from the very ordinary drama of adolescence, self-centeredness and growing up.
For anyone whose youth was set in the late `60s and early `70s, a more nostalgic read would be hard to find. There is plenty of footie tales, drinking, girls and music to send you back to the past for a few nights at least.
Other characters worth mentioning are Kim's father who is strict but loving, his uncle Hubert an artist and the black sheep of the family and a constantly drunken upstairs neighbour. However these individuals as with all the adults in this book only play a very small part.
As a personal read there was a little too much in the way of football, booze and drugs, but in saying that I still enjoyed the tale.