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Linda McCartney: A Portrait Paperback – April, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Who was Linda McCartney? Was she the woman who broke up the Beatles? The woman who forced herself into Paul McCartney's new band Wings? Was she a staunch animal rights activist? A mother and wife? A noted photographer? Fields, a close friend for more than 30 years, tries to tell Linda's story using interviews with those who interacted with her during her life as well as providing tales about his experiences with her. Starting with her early days as a rock star photographer, he talks about her time in New York, raising a child alone with no support from her parents. Through Fields's words, listeners will be able to learn more about Linda as a person and why people stopped hating her and began to respect her. One problem with this book is that the author tends to meander a bit, and this can be confusing; it also feels as if he spends too much time looking at the start of the McCartneys' relationship and less on how Linda grew as a musician, as a businesswoman, an activist, and as Paul's partner. Allan Smithee does a creditable job as narrator, but one almost wishes that Fields had done his own reading. For most public library collections. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Booklist

"I wish I didn't have to write this book" is the first sentence of Fields' "portrait" of the late photographer-singer wife of Paul McCartney. Fields means that he wishes she were still alive and no fit subject for such a book. It doesn't take much reading of it to join him in his wish. Oh, he cautions that he knows the book isn't "an ultimate `biography'." But he doesn't warn us that it reflects him and his inadequacies as a writer far more than it does Linda McCartney. Not having gathered evidence like a real biographer, or reporter, for that matter, Fields relies on taped and previously published testimony to back up his own memories as an authentic enough friend of Linda's--he met her in 1966 in New York when both were assigned to dog the Rolling Stones on their first performance tour. Whenever his memories let him down, he pads his prose with sentimental gushing about the '60s and the glamorous world of rock 'n' roll. Ever name-dropping and fatuous, he yet exhibits endearing loyalty to Linda, defending her against all attackers and slighters and puffing up her photographic and musical accomplishments. But, finally, this is an ignorant, gauche, and embarrassing book, a sort of grossly overwritten fan-magazine sob story. Don't underestimate, however, the readership for such stuff. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Renaissance Books (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580631797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580631792
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
To anyone with enough genuine interest in the story of Linda McCartney--if you've read this far down the webpage, you deserve to hear the truth. And not the truth as seen by a stuffy, clueless professional reviewer who can sense an easy-target book to slam a mile away. I have read over 30 books about the rock scene in the 60's and this one told me details I'd never ever heard. I rank it as extremely well-written and the author names names because there are so many great ones to choose from! This book is as much about the beatles and the stones and Warhol's bunch as it is about Linda. You feel like you are PART of the story because Danny Fields certainly was her very good friend. And he can write and involve you in a book you just can't put down...
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By A Customer on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although I found that Mr. Field's writing style was hard to follow at times, I found this book to be exactly what it purposed to be: A beautiful and loving tribute to a woman whom it would have been a pleasure to know....not because she was the wife of "the cute one", but rather because she was real, believed that being a great wife and mother were more important than what people thought of her, knew where her priorities were, and rose above the criticism and the back-biting of jealous groupies and music "reviewers". I would have liked to have read more about her relationship with her children with Paul (many mentions of Heather), but just the fact that Mr. Fields wrote how wonderful they were, polite, and not at all what you would expect from "rock children", told me a lot. Linda did it all and did it with grace, intelligence, love, and charity.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been wanting to read an intimate biography of Linda McCartney for some time now, so I was anxious to read this book. Written by her long-time close friend, Danny Fields, I would have expected a bit more. Even though the book delves deeper into Linda than any book on the Beatles has been able to, it still wasn't quite enough. A lot of what Fields says about her childhood and teen years, before he met her, is conjecture. There is very little detail about that period of her life. Fields knew her best in the mid-sixties when, as a single mother in New York City, Linda entered the then embryonic world of rock photography. There really was no rock press at the time, and Linda got in on the ground floor, and was able to be a part of a scene that very few people could imagine today.
While Fields vacillates from defending Linda to criticizing her, he is more than fair in his assesment, and, at times, a bit overboard in his praise of her. Although I didn't feel I knew Linda much better after reading the book, one point in Linda's favor became very clear. She was a very strong woman, with self-confidence and a deep, abiding love for her husband and children. She weathered storms I cannot imagine most women being able to handle. And, when the slings and arrows were aimed solely at her, instead of wallowing in self-pity, she felt instead a sense of pain for what the embarrassment caused Paul and her children to suffer.
This book doesn't shed a tremendous amount of light on Linda Eastman McCartney, but it is still valuable for the brief glimpse into the woman before Paul.
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By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a warm, generous and enjoyable book! I found it affectionate, but balanced and credible (the anecdote about how Paul and Linda "paid" New York cabbies was rather revealing). The quotes from Pete Townsend added a lot, too. I had no idea he was so close to the Macs, and his insights were always a delight. Linda comes off as a flesh and blood woman who made a conscious decision to make a difficult relationship work -- and viewed in those terms, her life was a success. I wish more attention had been paid to Linda's relationships with Mary, Stella and James (only Heather is mentioned often). But this is a small quibble with an otherwise moving love story.
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Format: Hardcover
Band on the Run was made famous by Paul McCartney and Wings, one of the members of the band was Paul's wife Linda. This book is a deep look into her life and what she gave not only to Paul, but the Beatles, Wings and Paul himself.
Fields writes a book that almost brings Linda alive and gave this reader a real sense of the person that the media had only a glimpse of. Fields delves into Linda's relationship with the Beatles and you get to decide of she had anything to do with the break up.
The book has some pictures, I think there should have been a few more, spanning Linda's career and they are all black and white. Again the pictures could have been in color, but this small drawback will not in anyway detract from the excellent read of the book.
The book follows Linda from singer in Wings to animal rights activist and everything in between. Throughout the entire book you are treated to many first time stories from friends and family. One other thing I really liked was the way the author shows Paul's emotions without going to far overboard. Overall and excellent read.
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Format: Hardcover
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain of Booklist, who takes the author to task for allegedly "not having gathered evidence" about Ms. McCartney. Leaving aside the fact that readers will discover that Danny Fields gathered plenty of "evidence," what more credible and meaningful information could Fields present about the subject of this perceptive biography than what he learned about her during a close personal relationship that spanned more than three tumultuous decades? If you're interested in Linda, read this book.
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