One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time (Paperback)Craig Brown (author)
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Having produced one of the sharpest biographies of the last decade in Ma’am Darling, Craig Brown returns with a dynamic, revisionist look at The Beatles and their legacy, fifty years after the band split up.
Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for April 2021
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2020
Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize 2020
A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
From the award-winning author of Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret comes a fascinating, hilarious, kaleidoscopic biography of the Fab Four.
John Updike compared them to 'the sun coming out on an Easter morning'. Bob Dylan introduced them to drugs. The Duchess of Windsor adored them. Noel Coward despised them. JRR Tolkien snubbed them. The Rolling Stones copied them. Loenard Bernstein admired them. Muhammad Ali called them 'little sissies'. Successive Prime Ministers sucked up to them. No one has remained unaffected by the music of The Beatles. As Queen Elizabeth II observed on her golden wedding anniversary, 'Think what we would have missed if we had never heard The Beatles.'
One Two Three Four traces the chance fusion of the four key elements that made up The Beatles: fire (John), water (Paul), air (George) and earth (Ringo). It also tells the bizarre and often unfortunate tales of the disparate and colourful people within their orbit, among them Fred Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Maharishi, Aunt Mimi, Helen Shapiro, the con artist Magic Alex, Phil Spector, their psychedelic dentist John Riley and their failed nemesis, Det Sgt Norman Pilcher.
From the bestselling author of Ma'am Darling comes a kaleidoscopic mixture of history, etymology, diaries, autobiography, fan letters, essays, parallel lives, party lists, charts, interviews, announcements and stories. One Two Three Four joyfully echoes the frenetic hurly-burly of an era.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 656
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 42 mm
‘You can almost feel the 1960s bloom from monochrome into colour as the band plays irresistibly on... Reading about them… is quite a melancholy experience, because the end seems always in sight.’ – The Observer
‘A ridiculously enjoyable treat… Too many writers take the Beatles, and themselves, far too seriously. At a time when, like everybody else, I was feeling not entirely thrilled about the news, I loved every word of it.’ – The Sunday Times
Praise for Ma'am Darling:
'Ma'am Darling is fascinating. Brown has done something amazing with Ma'am Darling: in my wilder moments, I wonder if he hasn't reinvented the biographical form' Observer
'A biography teeming with the joyous, the ghastly and the clinically fascinating' Hannah Bett, The Times
'Consistently hilarious and eye-opening' Tim Adams, Observer
'Heaven' India Knight, Sunday Times
'The only royal biography of the year worth handing the Queen's head over for, Ma'am Darling is a modern and unconventional portrait of an old-fashioned princess as distilled and pickled through the genius of Craig Brown' Helen Davies, Sunday Times
'Craig Brown has brilliantly drawn together the component parts of a complex woman' The Oldie
'A playful, impish approach...Brown gives us lots of wonderful incidental detail...The deftly amused writing constantly tugs the corners of your mouth upwards' Evening Standard
'A cross between biography and satire that perfectly displays Brown's rare skills as journalist and parodist', Mark Lawson, Guardian, Books of the Year
'Hugely entertaining ... brilliantly written, with a wonderful sardonic edge but also a thoughtful, at times even moving tone' Spectator
'If you want a book that will have you punching your pillow in helpless laughter, this is it. Moreover, he has invented an entirely new genre, of which it is a masterpiece ... The list of the Princess's 'rumoured' lovers - up to and wickedly including Dusty Springfield - sparked my decision to buy this book as a Christmas present for everybody I know, and for those I don't' Country Life
'Hilarious' Sunday Telegraph
'Brilliant' Evening Standard
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“A Fan’s View”
I read One, Two, Three, Four.
The structure of the book is inventive and it is well-written, but the overarching conceit and patronising attitude (see below) of the author's intent is appalling
I had read of his... More
“Beatles in time”
A fresh look at the beatles, if you think don't need to know any more about them, I'd recommend this book. Craig Brown gives us a fresh insight into the impact the Beatles had on society, his wit shines... More
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