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Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartneyby Howard Sounes
"Like other works of art, biographies have provenance. Each comes with a history that has to be understood in order to judge the authenticity of its account. How did this book originate? What is its chain of evidence? In the case of unauthorized biographies — which appear without the blessing and, perhaps, with the curse of their subjects — the author must be upfront about his sources and the potential limitations of his working methods." Carl Rollyson, The Wall Street Journal (Read the entire Wall Street Journal review)
Synopses & Reviews
Howard Sounes, the bestselling author of Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan and Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, turns his considerable reporting and storytelling skills to one of the most famous, talented—and wealthiest—men alive: Paul McCartney.
Fab is the first exhaustive biography of the legendary musician; it tells Sir Pauls whole life story, from childhood to present day, from working-class Liverpool beginnings to the cultural phenomenon that was The Beatles to his many solo incarnations.
Fab is the definitive portrait of McCartney, a man of contradictions and a consummate musician far more ruthless, ambitious, and moody than his relaxed public image implies. Based on original research and more than two hundred new interviews, Fab also reveals for the first time the full story of his two marriages, romances, family feuds, phenomenal wealth, and complex relationships with his fellow ex-Beatles.
"The accomplished biographer of Dylan and Bukowski delivers an engaging, set-the-record-straight biography of the benighted Beatles songster without showing much sympathy for his subject. Indeed, Sounes doesn't whitewash McCartney's Liverpudlian working-class upbringing, early promiscuity, or ongoing drug use. He effectively emphasizes how the death of McCartney's mother, when he was just 14, reverberated through his future relationships, as well as the ways in which his father's dance-hall music informed the tunes he favored, sometimes to John Lennon's chagrin. Sounes writes knowledgeably of the Beatles' close relationship with their tortured manager, Brian Epstein, the genius produced by George Martin, and the dismal details of the group's final falling out. Measured admiration is shown for Yoko Ono, a 'catalyst for change' who shook up (and probably broke up) the band. Lennon's assassination is covered in a surprisingly cursory manner and Sounes's contempt for Linda McCartney's pursuits arrives undiluted. McCartney's musical accomplishments over the last 20 years are given solid weight and consideration, but McCartney himself comes across by turns arrogant, stingy, and manipulative; though Sounes packs in a lot, there's ultimately nothing so 'intimate' that readers can't find elsewhere. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Book News Annotation:
Author of an exceptionally good biography of Bob Dylan, Sounes doesn't fare quite as well with this substantial volume on the life of Paul McCartney. While the author has obviously done his research, there's relatively little new of significance here, other than some details on McCartney's relationships. Unfortunately for the author, those who could have shed more light on McCartney as a musician and songwriter are either not talking (Ringo Starr) or unavailable for comment (John Lennon, George Harrison). While there is little (other than page count) to make Sounes' book stand apart from other recent McCartney bios, the author's lively style makes his book an interesting read. Published in the U.K. and Australia by HarperCollins 2010. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An in-depth, investigative, balanced, and definitive biography of Paul McCartney by the acclaimed author of Down the Highway
About the Author
Howard Sounes is the bestselling author of meticulously researched and revelatory books including Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan and Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life. He lives in London.
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