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Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World Hardcover – April 25, 2017
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“This is the best book about the Beatles ever written…passionate and eloquent…If aliens land tomorrow, and demand to know why we keep on pumping this particular brand of music into space, this is the first book you would hand them.” (Mashable)
“You’ll have a fantastic, joyous time reading Dreaming the Beatles from cover to cover.” (USA Today)
“[B]efore I began writing this I paged through Ian MacDonald’s canonical Revolution in the Head and Devin McKinney’s renowned The Beatles in Dream and History...But neither has a chance of topping Rob Sheffield’s Dreaming the Beatles.” (Robert Christgau, Village Voice)
“Dreaming the Beatles is the individual exploration of a universal pop experience—listening to the Beatles, thinking about the Beatles, reinventing the Beatles in your mind, listening to them again...explaining your own life through the only four people who will always belong to everyone.”
(Chuck Klosterman, author of the New York Times bestseller But What If We’re Wrong)
“Usually hilarious, always surprising.” (Griel Marcus, Village Voice)
“The essential joy of Dreaming the Beatles are these connections made between historical events, mythological band history, and the song itself—it’s sparkling, insightful, occasionally humorous writing unclouded by irony or cynicism about a capital-G Great Band.” (Spin)
“Rob Sheffield’s unconventional rock-band bio is must-read material.” (Forth Worth Star Telegram)
“As he’s proven in, well, all of his books, Sheffield writes about fandom, about the condition of loving a thing, as well or better than anyone, which is no small thing for a critic as savvy as he is.” (Austin American-Statesman)
“For Sheffield, a chronicler of pop culture whose work blends thoughtful criticism and unabashed fandom, the heart of the Beatles story is about relationships.” (Boston Globe)
“Half a century after their apogee...is there anything left to say about the most chronicled rock band in history? It turns out there is. Rob Sheffield’s new book Dreaming the Beatles looks at the Fab Four from a fresh point of view.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)
From the Back Cover
From Dreaming the Beatles
John, Paul, George, and Ringo remain the world’s favorite thing. Yet every theory ever devised to explain why has failed. It wasn’t their timing. It wasn’t drugs. It wasn’t that they were the voice of a generation. The vast majority of Beatles fans today weren’t born when the records came out—yet the allure
of the music keeps on growing, nearly fifty years after the band split. The world keeps dreaming the Beatles, long after the Beatles themselves figured the dream was over. Our Beatles have outlasted theirs.
It is truly impossible to imagine a world without the Beatles. Yes, they are the biggest, most iconic rock band of all time. Their music continues to delight, define, and provide a soundtrack for fans all over the globe. It seems, however, that with each passing decade this band has become more popular, more influential, more ubiquitous, more beloved, just MORE, and in Dreaming the Beatles, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape brings his singular voice to the most universal pop culture phenomenon in history, exploring what the Beatles mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them. This is not another biography of the band, or an exposé of how they broke up. It isn’t a history of their gigs or gear. It’s a fresh, unconventional look at the Beatles’ astounding story, from their early friendship to their Sixties creative explosion to their crazed solo years. And, as in his previous books like Talking to Girls About Duran Duran and On Bowie, Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. Chronicling his lifelong obsession with the Beatles along with the rest of the world’s, Dreaming the Beatles is a passionate celebration of the band and their music, showing how John, Paul, George, and Ringo invented the future we’re living in today. It’s a book that is brilliant, fresh, and universal—kind of like the Beatles themselves.
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But this isn't a biography about the Beatles and really shouldn't be treated as such. This isn't the book to read if you want the story of the band. Rather this is a collection of essays about aspects and times in the Beatles catalog and their career. And as such I really enjoyed it. It was like having a conversation with someone who loves the Beatles and just can't wait to talk to you about them. It's infectious.