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Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation [Paperback]

Philip Norman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 2005
Philip Norman's biography of the Beatles is the definitive work on the world's most influential band -- a beautifully written account of their lives, their music, and their times. Now brought completely up to date, this epic tale charts the rise of four scruffy Liverpool lads from their wild, often comical early days to the astonishing heights of Beatlemania, from the chaos of Apple and the collapse of hippy idealism to the band's acrimonious split. It also describes their struggle to escape the smothering Beatles' legacy and the tragic deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison. Witty, insightful, and moving, Shout! is essential reading not just for Beatles fans but for anyone with an interest in pop music.

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Product Description


"The best, most detailed, and most serious biography of the Beatles and their time."
-- Chicago Sun-Times

"Nothing less than thrilling...the definitive biography."
-- The New York Times

About the Author

Philip Norman is a journalist and a novelist who in 1968 was assigned to cover the Beatles' own business utopia, Apple Corps, from the inside. He is the author of Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly and many other books.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
JOHN LENNON was born on October 9, 1940, during one of the fiercest night raids by Hitler's Luftwaffe on Liverpool. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is NOT for amateurs May 14 2004
Two things make this book a very special one.
First : you wouldn't believe how good and precise is the account of the Beatles beginnings. A good part of the book takes place before the big hit Love me do, so if you really are interested in how did it all started, this book is a must-read.
Second : this book gives A LOT of details about the managing of the Beatles, from the very beginning to the Apple corporation and to the breakup. Lot's of contracts are clearly described, numbers are showed, every businessman who came close to the Beatles has his biography in the book. Actually, the way Norman puts his energy in describing the whole management thing seems to make him forget about saying anything about the music...
If you are a longtime fan of the Beatles and know their history, you can read this book for extra details you won't find in other books. P.Norman's research is quite thorough, and will please someone who wants to know more about Brian Epstein, for example, or about Apple.
If you're looking for a really good book about the music of the Beatles, you're wasting your time with "Shout!". Your best bet would then be "The Art of the Beatles". THIS book is terrific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Just when I thought I couldn't cram any more Beatle lore
into my cranium, I read Philip Norman's biography of the
four lads.

The story of the Beatles is known worldwide and I'll not
repeat any of it here, except to say that Norman gives
each phase of the group's life and career equal time and
equal detail. Showbiz bios too often linger on an act's
childhood and background (to prove that they've researched
extensively?) or are simply a cash-in on current success
and add nothing to the story that one couldn't get from
People Magazine (see bios of Selena, etc.).

If the book has a fault, it is that Norman has obviously joined the "John was the real leader and only decent songwriter" camp and takes swipes at McCartney's personality and music early and often. This is another subject that has been covered ad infinitum, and I will add only that this bias detracts my overall rating of this otherwise excellent and detailed work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Fab'ulous Read... June 9 2009
This titillating read has a 'gossip' kind of quality to it and held my interest from beginning to end. It touches upon the good, bad and ugly details surrounding the lives of the four lads from Liverpool and some of their closest associates. If your trust even a portion of what Mr. Norman writes you cannot help but come away feeling that fame and fortune is not all it's cracked up to be. I never thought the perverse Mr. Epstein could be so inept and mismanage the Beatles business finances to such an extent that he did nor did I have any idea of just how ruthless and greedy the 'suits' could be? And who would have thought, the brightest Beatle was the most angry and agressive, the least talented had the biggest heart, the quietest was the most synical and crusty and the most controlling had the most sensitivity to the fans? The drawback with this book is that Mr. Norman was unable to interview any of the principal subject's thus it is difficult to know how much of his book is juiced up for our reading pleasure and how much of it is a factual account of what really happened. For example, the author notes that John Lennon first spotted the 'Double Fantasy' freesia in Hong Kong. I have read other written accounts noting it was Bermuda. Which source is more credible? Also, this book fails to answer some key questions for me ie. what happened to the remains of George and John? And what was it that Paul wanted when he failed to reach the author by phone? However, the pace of this book and diverse range of topics covered make it a must read for any Beatles fan. I found that it was much like going to a car race and waiting for the next wreck to happen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like you were there Nov. 11 1999
By A Customer
"Shout!" has such an eye for detail that the reader feels they were with the Beatles throughout their history, from the distant childhood days in Liverpool to the not-do-distant days of "Abbey Road" and their break-up. While everyone knows the group split apart, it's Norman's keen observances and poignant style that draw you in, and make you care how it all happened. Yes, the end was unhappy - as most break-ups are. But the feeling at the end is never bitter and never cynical.
I enjoyed how Norman breathed life into the years when the Beatles were touring and recording. You can almost hear the banter down in Studio One at Abbey Road, or the arguments at Apple, or the wind-bitten playing at the rooftop gig. The subtitle, "The Beatles in Their Generation", is an apt description of the world described in this book. Whether it's a particular street in London, a cheap dive in Hamburg, or the sumptuous apartment of some pop star, you understand the Fab Four's presence and influence throughout. Norman describes the events of the Sixties through the lens of the Beatles' collectively brilliant existence - so brilliantly described that, even today, I cannot think about the Sixties without some reference to the Beatles. Every turn in those eight years leads, inexorably, to the townhouse studio at Abbey Road.
Written soon after Lennon's murder in 1980, the book is something of a tribute to him. Norman doesn't spare criticism of any of the Fab Four as frail human beings, but as failings go, it seems like Lennon's more bone-headed moves (his "Jesus" remarks in 1966, the weirdness in which he and Yoko Ono indulged for years - not to mention the drunken episodes in Hamburg) deserve more understanding than McCartney's taste for musical sentimentality and social acquisitiveness.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - REALLY Sad Ending
Even though I knew how the story ended, it really shook me when it reached its ineveitable conclusion. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2001 by Magic Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything!
This book is a wonderful veiw into the Beatles lives. It starts right at the begining with Johns birth and goes all the way to their final break up. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2001 by Natasha
3.0 out of 5 stars good but...
this is a good book, but norman really drags it out! no offence to any one (belive me i am CRAZY about the beatles! ) but this book is just plain boring! Read more
Published on March 30 2000 by laurel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fasinating insight into the Beatles
This is an excellent book for both die hard Beatles fans and those who are simply interested in the phenomenon that swept the world in the 60s and still continues to exert... Read more
Published on March 22 2000 by Lesley West
5.0 out of 5 stars review for "shout"
something which you will want to read alway
Published on Jan. 7 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than average
Norman did a good job with this concise, basic biography. He tends to dwell a bit much on bit players and business deals, but he's certainly done his homework. Read more
Published on July 15 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars fab and gear
There are probably factual errors in here, there are books which examine the Beatles in more detail, there are other points of view. Read more
Published on June 17 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional lives in interesting times
Not only is this thoroughly researched biography a thorough portrayal of the personalities of perhaps the most musically and culturally pop phenomena of the latter 20th century, it... Read more
Published on April 13 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars This book gives a unbiased view of the beatles history.
It presents the full Beatle history with out empasizing any one member too much. And gives a critical look into how they were a product of the time that they came to be in.
Published on Feb. 24 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough discussion of the Beatles & their times
Philip Norman's SHOUT was one of the first books that explained how the Beatles affected their time and how the events of those times affected them. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 1999
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