The first biography written with Paul McCartney's approval and with access to family members and friends closest to him.
Superbly evoking half a century of popular music and culture, Paul McCartney is the definitive life of a long-misunderstood genius.
In this masterly biography, history's most successful songwriter, a man of seemingly effortless talent, beauty and charm, is revealed as a complex, insecure workaholic who still feels as great a need to prove himself in his seventies as when he was a teenager.
We learn how his boyhood was blighted by the death of his mother, Mary - later the inspiration for 'Let It Be' - but redeemed by his remarkable father, Jim, a Liverpool cotton-salesman who was his only music-teacher and whose influence has permeated his career.
We understand as never before the creative symbiosis between John Lennon and himself that unlocked the extraordinary treasury of their songs for the Beatles when they were barely into their twenties, and the fierce rivalry which lasted beyond the band's break-up to the end of John's life - and still haunts and inspires Paul to this day.
Here for the first time is the full story of Paul post-Beatles: his trauma after being brutally sidelined by John, George and Ringo over the appointment of their last manager, Allen Klein; his near-breakdown on his remote Scottish farm and dogged determination to build a new band, Wings, into as big a name in the 1970s as the Beatles had been in the 1960s.
Here too is the first inside story of his marriage to Linda Eastman, much criticised at the outset but destined to become the longest and strongest in rock until her death from cancer. Here are the traumatic post-Linda years when his charmed life seemed temporarily to crack up: his whirlwind romance with Heather Mills ending after four years' marriage in one of the most expensive and rancorous divorces in British legal history.
As richly fascinating and dramatic as its subject, Paul McCartney: The Biography is the last word on a man whose music has lit up the world.
Philip Norman is the bestselling biographer of John Lennon, Elton John, and Mick Jagger, and the author of the classic Beatles biography Shout!.
Norman is an enviably skilled pen-portraitist, with a consummate ability to conjure the presence of [McCartney] ... A powerful sense of McCartney the man comes across in this book's evocative high points ... A capably executed biography, brimming with detail — John Harris, THE GUARDIAN
A thorough, objective telling of McCartney's story - in and out of the most famous band ever. But it's also a breezy read, considering the tremendous ground it covers — Jeff Slate, ESQUIRE.COM
Meticulous character study that adeptly shuns hero worship — Bill Prince, GQ magazine
Where [the] book succeeds the most is bringing the reader into McCartney's private life... The most up-to-date account of Paul's life to yet appear — THE ECONOMIST
A compelling narrative about a working-class Liverpudlian whose extraordinary musical gifts made him the most successful songwriter in history... McCartney emerges from [the book] as a textured but decent man — Graham Boynton, NEWSWEEK
Norman makes meaningful use of his access to members of Macca's Liverpool clan, a colourful crew to whom he's always remained close, as well as many business and musical associates, friends, lovers, collaborators and flunkies ... The Beatles story is so amazing in every respect that when it's told as well as this, it's worth reading again — Allan Jones, UNCUT
An enormous and sympathetic book ... The story of its subject's life from his childhood in Liverpool through the breakup of the Beatles in 1970 has lost none of its ability to charm ... One of the best stories the past century has to tell — Dwight Garner, NEW YORK TIMES
Philip Norman's considered biography portrays the 'cute' Beatle in all his creative complexity and breadth — Neil Spencer, THE GUARDIAN
This biography is a compelling chronicle of the life of an immortal icon — Ed Murphy, HOT PRESS
This 800-page opus is crammed with detail ... Read it for the detail and humour of the early years, and marvel at the revelations — i PAPER
Meticulous detail ... you can even smell the sweat, rat shit and basement mold in the Cavern Club ... Even Macca, who, to Norman's surprise, agreed to give him "tacit approval" without directly particpating, apparently had to concede that the guy is a Beatles scholar to reckon with. The Beatles' startlingly brief career is recounted expertly; Norman knows his facts ... vivid storytelling ... Norman gets as close as anyone has yet. — Will Hermes, ROLLING STONE
Norman is perhaps the only biographer to provide an exegesis of the one Beatle most everyone gets wrong. This is thrillingly thorough stuff ... richness of detail ... McCartney is a rounded figure here — Brian Boyd, THE IRISH TIMES
[Norman] is a good interviewer and the book is charming when he lets his Liverpool sources speak about the days before the Beatles were inevitable ... Paul McCartney is full of things that happened to Paul McCartney and through absurd fame and a few tragedies he appears to be an unusually decent man with few regrets — THE SCOTSMAN
Written with the tacit approval of its subject, Philip Norman's Paul McCartney: The Biography is the most thorough examination to date of the ex-Beatle's life and music, also serving to set the record straight on McCartney's central importance in the group once described as "the 20th century's greatest romance" — CHOICE magazine
A colourful and detailed account of Macca's life and music — SAGA magazine
A very fair and multi-layered biography — MAIL ON SUNDAY - Summer Reads
What's left to reveal about one of the most chronicled musicians of the 20th century? As it turns out, a great deal. With the notoriously guarded McCartney's "tacit approval," Norman sheds new light on well-known Beatles stories and then goes further, forging a thoroughly absorbing account of McCartney's life after the group's breakup: business ventures, parenthood, personal tragedy, the struggle to live and create beyond the legacy of his fabled band. The result is a tantalizing trip down the legend's own long and winding road. — HUFFINGTON POST