Paul Is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney

Image. May 2020. 128p. ISBN 9781534316294. pap. $16.99. Rated: Teen+. historical fiction
It’s London, 1966, when Beatles manager Brian Epstein summons John Lennon to a meeting. Lennon assumes the purpose is to discuss recent tensions between he and fellow bandmate Paul McCartney. Instead, Epstein announces that Paul is presumed dead following a car accident the night before. Lennon isn’t convinced—there’s no body, and the details of the accident are mysteriously vague—and enlists Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr to launch an investigation of their own. Writer Baron (Lazzaro) offers tender characterizations of each musician, and a compelling examination of the tricky dynamics among the four at the height of their success. Carbonetti’s (Lazzaro) illustrations provide depictions of John, Paul, George, and Ringo that shift seamlessly between spot-on portraits and exaggerated caricature depending on the emotional content expressed in a given scene, creating a loose, slightly queasy, playfully psychedelic tone evocative of the art of Bill Sienkiewicz.
VERDICT Overall, an interesting examination of the events surrounding one of the strangest conspiracy theories in the history of popular culture. Yet ultimately, the work is slight and anticlimactic owing to an unsuccessful twist ending. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing