Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney

Howard Sounes, Da Capo, $29.95 (640p) ISBN 978-0-306-81783-0
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 633 pages - 978-0-00-723706-7
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-307-36796-9
Hardcover - 634 pages - 978-0-385-66703-6
Paperback - 634 pages - 978-0-00-723705-0
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-0-306-82047-2
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-0-385-66704-3
Open Ebook - 625 pages - 978-0-306-81938-4
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-0-00-729319-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1885-3
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