Book Review: Two Beatle Books


I don’t usually make reviews of books. I don’t think that people would want to read something that some unknown blogger would reccomend. But for these two books I decided to make an exception. These two books were written about the Beatles and are part of my research for some future book about the sixties and maybe even about rock ’n roll.

The books in question are “Shout” by Phillip Norman, a journalist and novelist by trade and “The Love You Make” by Peter Brown with Steven Gaines. I had read “The Love You Make” a number of years ago and always liked it. Recently though I found a newly updated “Shout” and began to read it, figuring that there is always something more to learn about the Beatles and the fascinating time of the 1960’s. I was right on both counts.

Both books cover the same period of course. The Beatles became the most popular and influential musical group in the ‘60’s. for good or for bad. In some ways their influence is felt today; though in muted form.

Each book has a different emphasis. Peter Brown was connected with the Beatles and worked for them during their time as the most popular rock group. His portrait is more intimate in many ways compared to Phillip Norman’s book. In ‘Shout” however, Norman researched the development of the Beatles and covered their early days in great detail. Norman also went into greater detail concerning the business end of the Beatle Empire and covered the struggle for control of the Beatle management after the death of Brian Epstein.

Yes, both books are good. Peter Brown’s book is more sympathetic to the Beatles than Phillip Norman’s. Norman tends to criticize some of the Beatle music, while Brown tends to romanticize it. Perhaps, since both books were written around the same time, the two authors could have gotten together and worked with each other, they could have written the most complete book on the Beatles that could ever be written. I guess you will have to buy both books, if you want a complete look at the Beatles

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2 Comments

  1. Steven Gaines
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Peter Brown didn’t write The Love You Make or choose what material would be included. I did. All Brown did was sell the information.

    Steven Gaines

  2. Posted July 24, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    Thanks for the information and correction! I thought both books were good in their own way, I still think that by reading both books, one would get a clearer picture of those wonderful, crazy years when we listened to the Beatles. No slight to you intended.


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