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Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation [Kindle Edition]

Philip Norman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


"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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2517 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Rev Upd Su edition (May 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PYDAU4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, dated and too slanted. July 19, 2007
I'm a little surprised by the ratio of good reviews for this book. I have to chime in with a strong negative for Norman's book. I appreciate the research and craftsmanship that went into the book and the portrait of the Beatle's years in Hambug is vivid and well done, yet frankly Norman's bias undermines the credibility of the writing in certain chapters, it's uneven in places. Honestly, I even suspect John Lennon would have been dismayed by the mythologizing that goes on in Norman's book.

I feel that Norman's book added the mythologizing of the relationships between Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr. Lionizing Lennon while treating Paul as the shallow, soppy, conservative one, or treating Harrison as a lucky third party with passable talent. That's not to say that any member of the band is above criticism, John was very much about being honest and being honest about oneself. Have people forgotten that Lennon's solo out-put could be surprisingly uneven and inconsistent? Mind you, this is coming from a huge Lennon fan, who wasn't a part of that era, I'm 39. So, I look at this with a different take.

Frankly I'm tired of third party books about the Beatles from writers whom, because they had limited access to the band in the Apple years, convince themselves they know what went on privately between them. The best example of the problem with Norman's book can be found with the new chapters concerning the post years, the portraits of McCartney is often overkill. Yes, Paul can be a little much, you could say he's guilty of attempts to re-write history. Yet, Paul does deserve some credit for what's he's accomplished outside the band. Paul's biggest crime after the Beatles was wanting to remain a pop star?
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Biased, flawed, & outdated May 27, 2008
At the time it was originally released, this was hailed, with some justification, for being the most accurate biography to date of the Beatles. However, today, no Beatles fan neeed bother with it. There are far better, more balanced books available. The primary problem with "Shout" is its lack of balance. Phillip Norman dispises Paul McCartney and never hesitates to take a cheap shot at him. In fact, when it was orginally released, Mr. Norman made the astonishingly idiotic statement that John Lennon was "80% of the Beatles." In my view, a person with that kind of mindset is incapable of writing a balanced book about the band. In a preface to the most recent edition, Norman attempts to address this criticism by admitting that he was a big John Lennon fan (while never adequately explaining why that requires him to hate McCartney)and stating that it was not his intention to belittle McCartney. But, Phil being Phil, just can't seem to help himself and then proceeds to again trash McCartney, presenting tabloid material about his marriage to Heather Mills, wondering why he has so much aminosity to Yoko (I don't know Phil, do you think that her involvment in his Japanese pot bust may have something to do with it?), and criticizing Paul for being overly defensive about his Beatles contributions (which according to Phil's math is "only" somewhere between 0 to 20 percent). At the same time, John Lennon gets a free pass, his flaws (bad father to Julian, disinterested band leader, bad friend to Paul) are rarely discussed. The bottom line is tht you should forget this book - its flaws are too numerous and its vitures no longer worthwhile. If you want to read some really good, balanced books on the Beatles, I suggest "The Beatles: 10 Years That Shook the World" or "The Rough Guide to the Beatles." They present a far more balanced, honest portrait of the band. Phil Norman's book belongs on the ash heap of history.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
<Update, February 2014: Mark Lewisohn's history of the Beatles is leaving "Shout!" even further in the dust. So far Lewisohn's only published volume one (to 1963), but his research has revealed even more errors in Norman's account. Lewisohn is also far more even-handed in his dealing with the Beatles as individuals, and gets across the power of the music as "Shout!" doesn't begin to. I strongly recommend skipping Norman and heading straight to Lewisohn.>Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

Philip Norman writes well; he crafts a narrative about the Beatles that reads more like a novel than a standard work of history. The early part of the book, in which he describes the Beatles' origins and early career, is quite good. But it's straight downhill, and rapidly, from those first chapters.

In an interview Norman credited John Lennon with being "80 percent of the Beatles," and this perspective prevents him from being able to understand the band's dynamics or appreciate what Paul, George, and Ringo brought to the group. All the Beatles were gifted, all were imperfect, all behaved surprisingly well at times and horribly at others. Anyone who wants to write a history of the Beatles that helps readers understand why the band was able to create such timeless music and why the group came apart needs to be able to take a balanced view of all its members. Bob Spitz's "The Beatles" is a vastly better account of the band, in terms of accuracy and objectivity (sadly, it's not as well-written), and the Beatles' own "Anthology" is a much better place to start for anyone newly interested in the band. "The Beatles: Ten Years That Shook The World" is an excellent, fair-minded, and far-ranging resource.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Overly Wordy
This book was overly wordy with respect to the Beatles history. Norman takes nearly 150 pages just to get the reader to Hamburg. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jerry Wilt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. If you also love The Beatles this ...
Great book. If you also love The Beatles this book is a must to own.
Published 27 days ago by Ozzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Beatles Account Written
Updated from the first time I read it, shortly after John's death, it is still the best book I have read about the Beatles.
Published 1 month ago by William B.
2.0 out of 5 stars I find Norman's biases tiresome as the book progresses
I bought the book when it was originally released and found it engaging, but even then I wondered why Norman seems to treat McCartney with contempt and Lennon with hero/savior... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Bykowski
4.0 out of 5 stars Shout at the Devil
Like most "unofficial" Biographies, you have to take what you read as "facts" with a pitch of salt, but on the other hand if they are official they can be a little bit too... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jimi Jac
1.0 out of 5 stars Ladies and Gentlemen...The Philip Normans!!
At first, I thought I was reading a book about the Isley Brothers, as I recall "Shout!" being their hit song. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paddy O'Hooligan
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive
More than you want to know - but, whatever. It's all here.
Published 6 months ago by LittleGreyDog
2.0 out of 5 stars "Revised" edition is a distortion
I liked Norman's original edition back in the late seventies. This revised edition purports to assess the members of the world's greatest music group twenty years later. Read more
Published 8 months ago by D. B. Rosett
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive
Most Beatles bios are slanted to whoever the subjest is ( John, Paul, George or Ringo ). SHOUT! includes all sides of The Beatles story in one book.
Published 11 months ago by ben g phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to digest, informative and overall a great read.
I consider myself more of a casual Beatles fan than some, and that's not to say my house isn't equipped with the normal amount of merchandise even still, and my music collection... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marcia Marine
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