An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney
Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Da Capo. Nov. 2010. c.640p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780306817830. $29.95. MUSIC
Biographer Sounes (Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan) conducted hundreds of new interviews and utilized various published sources to tackle perhaps the most commercially successful musician of the rock era. Because the focus is on McCartney's life, there is relatively little analysis of his songs and albums. As a biography, however, it is a probing work that examines McCartney's foibles to a much greater extent than, for example, Barry Miles's authorized Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. That is not to say that Sounes focuses solely on the negative. He provides examples of little-known acts of generosity by the musician. Sounes is a strongly opinionated writer, and some aspects of McCartney's life receive less attention than perhaps they should as a result. For example, despite McCartney's practice of transcendental meditation, Sounes somewhat flippantly dismisses it as a spiritual practice. Likewise, in his discussion of sources, the author disregards every other biography of McCartney, save the Miles book.
VERDICT There is a ton of engrossing, well-documented material here, but sometimes the casual style makes the book seem less authoritative than it may be. A worthwhile read for McCartney fans; recommended for all public libraries.
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