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The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Hardcover – November 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: M Press (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616552565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616552565
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 42 customer reviews
A must read for any Beatles fans.
Charles
Gorgeous illustrations and original take on a well documented story.
Jason Grossman
This book is beautiful, the story is gripping.
Carli Davidson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pendarvis on November 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd been looking forward to reading this book for many moons now, following various sneak preview posts and tidbits on facebook and elsewhere. I've been a fan of artist Andrew Robinson's work for literally decades, having had the great pleasure of being one of his "teachers" at the Savanah College of Design. Now that I think of it, we even had the occasional opportunity to collaborate (Andy provided exquisitely rendered illustrations for a number of movie reviews I wrote for the school newspaper).

I mention all this just to clear the air in the spirit of "full disclosure." After all, one's suspicions are always raised when you read an unapologetically RAVE review like the one I'm posting here.

First of all, even though the story of Brian Epstein was thoroughly researched by author Vivek Tiwary, this is far, far from a straightforward narrative. Choosing instead to go with a more expressionistic, surreal approach, The Fifth Beatle takes quite a few liberties with both the story and the storytelling, and the reader is all the better for it. I can still remember the disappointing feeling I had while reading 1977's Marvel Super Special Number 7: The Beatles Story, written by David Anthony Kraft and drawn by George Perez and Klaus Janson. Despite being a fan of all three creators, it was sadly obvious that their by-the-numbers hack job didn't come close to capturing the essence and excitement of all-things Beatles. It read like it was produced by a committee, without a shred of creativity or inspiration. It was nothing more than "product," not remotely to be confused with art.

But The Fifth Beatle is something different, something new.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bookhounds VINE VOICE on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
MY THOUGHTS: LOVE IT

I think I have read almost every book written about the Beatles but I seem to have missed out reading in detail about Brian Epstein's life. This wonderfully illustrated story about his life achieves what words alone cannot. It shows in graphic detail exactly how hard it was for him to be two of the worse things at this point in history: a Jewish homosexual. He was bullied and tortured but seems to overcome these issues by doggedly pursuing success by all means to create the biggest band in the world. He is cunning and determined in his plan to make them famous.

The illustrations are perfectly suited and the colors, primarily red, black and white fit the time period with the pop images that I have come to associate with that time period. It also shows exactly how damaged Epstein was since being gay during this time was illegal and he in turn resorted to drug to mask his pain. I don't know if Moxie really existed as just one person, but her sparkling personality did much to help the narration. I really enjoyed this one and I think that it would make an excellent gift for any Beatle's fan
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Victor Bianchin de Oliveira on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was immediately attracted to this book when I saw some pages on the internet and realized how beautiful it was. I bought it and waited patiently figuring this would finally tell the story of Brian Epstein in a proper way.

Turns out the art really is amazing. Andrew C. Robinson's drawings are not only beautiful and full of detail, but they're also painted with splendid colors that make the pages jump out at you. He is a master of light and shadow and each page has such beautiful contrast that you just have to stop and admire it. Also, his art retains a certain "60s feel" to it that is just perfect for the theme.

The bad thing is, Vivek Tiwari's writing is not up to it. His script feels rushed and disconnected, and some points of Brian's story go by mostly ingored (his childhood and his discovery as a homossexual, for instance). There are holes in the plot (The Beatles are introduced as a trio and the whole Pete Best's demise thing is completely ignored; then Ringo appears out of nowhere). A lot of characters are portrayed in a charicatural, almost cartoonish way, like Brian's parents, who appear as a smiling, mechanical, conflict-free pair of robots. And what to say of the Beatles, who only speak in punchlines? A lot of times, I felt I was reading a parody rather than a serious biography.

Only worth buying for the art.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Rose on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful and amazing artwork by Andrew Robinson! A great read and another side to the Beatles legacy. Don't listen to reviews by people who are too stupid to click the "Look inside" button and don't know it's a graphic novel. Iphigenia, I'm talking about you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tyler P. Duggan on December 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I urge any and all Beatles fans to please read this MASTERPIECE! There aren't enough stars to give this exquisite book, a tour-De-force for sure, everything about this graphic novel is engaging, imaginative, and artistic. A complex, romantic look back at the man who made the Beatles complete with fantastical art style, romance, passion, grief, and glory. The story of the Beatles rising as you have never heard or seen before. The perfect venue for this type of story, the textual flavors and splashes of color with the stylized lines of the art produce an ideal and UN-bested story. Compelling and informative, there is no reason to skip this.
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