©1996 by Hunter Davies; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"...His hard work and the obvious trust the Beatles have in him allow us to see the young musicians for the first time as interesting, fallible, corporeal creatures, each quite different from the others, each with his own history and hang-ups and hopes." (Newsweek)
I really enjoyed learning more about the Beatles, and this is written very well. Two problems, though. One, the narrator's voice is annoying. Two, the book is not really what it seems. After the two very long introductions to further editions, in which you learn that the original only covers the early years and is full of mistakes because of legal issues, it is really disappointing to learn that it hasn't been revised at all! It seems foolish to republish this without improving it.
Badly written. Very badly read. Hunter Davies should have stuck with "Class of '66"
He has an irritating voice, mis-pronounces many words and is very condescending, both to the listener and to the Beatles. If this was written for Beatles fans, then any who have read it must be sorely disappointed. The production quality was also low. New sessions were obvious, due to a different quality of recording each time. As a narrator he makes a very average journalist. This is the first Audio Book I have regretted buying.
The Narration was obviously done by a computer.
Edward Lewis may have lended his voice for the computer simulator or Edward Lewis is the name of the computer that rendered this. Either way this narration is unbecoming of Audible .com. So Please Audible .com if there are any more of these so-called read books in your library. Please purge them so I will not accidentally purchase them.
Davies' book does a very effective job of conveying the unique aspects of each Beatle's character and the circumstances that influenced the evolution of each personality. It's a shame that legal b.s. prevented him from being totally honest. An unwhitewashed version would have been even more interesting.
The unrivalled talent and creatvity of these 4 individuals is made even more evident in Davies' retrospective view. Ultimately, the Beatles story is one of friendship. It still saddens me that those bonds were broken--whatever the real reasons were.
I would, however, recommend reading this instead of listening to it. The audio quality is poor, and the narrator is flat, bland, and irritating.
I was in Vietnam when this book was published and was well into the book when I realized that I was listening to a bit of history that had been written when it was all happening. Interesting to relive the excitement that the Beatles brought from over the pond and learned a few things I did not know about the group. Well worth the read for the pure enjoyment of the memories of the time.
I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.
The Beatles story is great. Davis provides incites since he was there a lot of the time. But I really wanted to hear a British voice doing the audio.
A very thorough and competently written account of the Fab Four, totally spoilt by the appalling choice of narrator. At first, I genuinely thought that the publishers had used some kind of text-to-speech system to create this audiobook, such is the total lack of emotion, expression or human qualities in the narrator's voice.
Make sure you listen to a sample of the book before purchasing. I wish I had!
"The legend continues but is lost in naration!"
An intreging and interesting insite in to the beginings, domination and final split of a world legend. Hunter Davies certainly knows and understands the complexities of the characters and the events that forged the Fab Four but unfortunatley, the narator sadley spoils it for me. Obviousley aimed at the American market, Edward Lewis would be perfect for American crime and fiction but regretibly ? not this!
"A Wasted Opportunity"
As with other reviews, this is a great book on The beatles but the narrator is awful, totally unemotive and lacking charisma. He sounds like a synthetic-computerised voice and his being American just doesnt work. This isnt always the case but you really miss the nuances and quirks of the English culture and humour in the 60's. Still an interesting listen though. If a narrator like Ricky Tomlinson had been used it would be a much more entertaining biography.
"Great book but!"
An incredible insight into the most interesting pop band in history. It will either enforce or completely change your opinion on the fab four. I would of given it five stars if not for the narrator who`s American accent in a very British story was annoying to begin with. The constant mispronunciations eventually drove me to distraction, by the time I got to Eric Morecambe being pronounced Morcomby I had my head in my hands.
"A great story from the inside"
The story of The Beatles, from their Liverpool beginnings through the late 60's. Younger listeners will probably be suprised about how many years the Beatles struggled in relative obscurity before hitting 'the big time'. The book also provides good insight to how the four different personalities each brought something important to the party to make a whole bigger and better than the sum of the parts. The only criticism I have is of the choice of narrator. Edward Lewis is perfectly competent, but his middle western american accent and mispronunciation of British place names detracts from what is a very English story.
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