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Paul McCartney: A Life by Peter A Carlin

Paul McCartney: A Life (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Peter A Carlin

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1204100,400 (3.6)9
Title:Paul McCartney: A Life
Authors:Peter A Carlin
Info:Touchstone (2009), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Paul McCartney: A Life by Peter A Carlin (2009)



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Interesting and informative, this book does not particularly favour McCartney, but provides what appears to be an honest account of his life. There are some parts that make familiar stories more understandable by filling in background details that were not generally known. Naturally, Lennon is more often mentioned than any of the other band members. The account of George Harrison's death was heartrending as was Linda's. Being of the same generation, I grew up with the Beatles and was surprised at how much of Carlin's information was new to me. On the other hand, the opinions I already held of the individuals: Paul, John, George, Ringo, and Yoko, changed not one iota. The book has a nice wrap-up that makes me want to consider a higher rating. Well done, very enjoyable. ( )
2 vote VivienneR | Mar 4, 2015 |
On the one hand this book tells you everything you need to know about Paul, but on the other it manages to say so very little, and it's not because the subject is boring. It's just the way this book is written. It's hard to explain. The part where people he cares about start dying around him was really gut-wrenching. ( )
  MartinEdasi | Nov 4, 2014 |
Went to see RAIN last weekend, and it spurred my interest in the Beatles. Plus, the author is a local columnist. When I read about a famous person's early life, I like to see pictures and there aren't many. For instance.........his house in Liverpool, pictures of his brother and mom (there is one of him and his dad). I guess I'm a historian at heart. Am only on Chapter 3. ( )
  Meladylo | Jan 15, 2012 |
Reason for Reading: I like the Beatles but I love Paul.

Comments: Normally, I steer away from biographies, trying to read memoirs instead unless the person in question is dead and never wrote their own auto-biography. Well, Paul is neither, but given his extremely private nature I find it doubtful he'll ever write a memoir and if he did it would not be in-depth but more like musings of good memories. So I jumped on this book when it came out.

Again, I find when reading these types of biographies one has to be wary as the authors are often out to dig up every piece of dirt they can on the celebrity or they don't particularly like said person and simply enjoy writing a book that trashes them. This is not what I want. I want to read a respectful, true account of the celebrity's life and author Peter Ames Carlin delivers on all accounts.

Right from the start one can tell that the author respects his subject and throughout the book when the controversies arise he shows the reader a 'pro-Paul' position. But this does not mean that he paints a fake rosy picture. Paul McCartney is exposed here warts and all. He was egocentric during the Beatles days, always being the leader, creating rifts among the other members and yet not realizing it until years much later. The intensely close relationship between him and John Lennon is examined from all sides even during the years they publicly shunned each other and Yoko Ono's influence over John. George and Ringo are given very little space in the book. The book is about Paul and his relationships with these two do not stand out much more than 'mates'. Though we do get at inside look at Paul's brotherly affection to George, which was not always appreciated.

Past the Beatles, the rocky years with Wings are covered in detail, Paul's true love, once in a lifetime relationship with his beloved Linda, his semi-success in the 80s as a solo singer, his disaster of a marriage with the vengeful Heather Mills and his eventual settlement into simply being Paul McCartney, the last of the Fab Four (as nobody really counts Ringo). We also see Paul's reactions to nthe deaths of both John and George. A very interesting, funny, informative look inside the life of a brilliant, sensitive, egocentric, perfectionist, caring, simple-life loving man who is one of the 20th century's most recognizable and influential musicians. ( )
1 vote ElizaJane | Jan 1, 2010 |
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From Amazon.com
From BooklistMore than half of Carlin’s McCartney biography overlaps the Beatles’ story. Carlin recounts the highs and lows most Beatle fans know, including McCartney’s Liverpool childhood, his mother’s tragic death, meeting John Lennon, the Beatles’ rowdy Hamburg days, the first U.S. tour, the chaotic glory years in the 1960s, and abandoning touring for the security of the recording studio. He chronicles the lawsuits, the personal rivalries, and the various couplings, successful and failed. On beyond the Fab Four days, he discusses McCartney’s solo career up to the 2007 release of his latest album, Memory Almost Full, and examines McCartney’s complicated personal life, including his marriage to Linda Eastman, her subsequent death, and the short, ill-fated marriage to Heather Mills. Written in a conversational style that becomes almost novelistic in tone, Carlin’s book breaks no new ground. Yet Beatles aficionados, especially the completists among them, will want to read it anyhow. --June Sawyers
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Explores the life of the Beatles star, casting new light on his years with the band Wings and wife, Linda McCartney, and revealing a man as haunted by his legacy--and particularly his relationship with John Lennon--as he was inspired by it.

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