This 800-page opus is crammed with detail ... Read it for the detail and humour of the early years, and marvel at the revelations
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.
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"
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
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.
A colourful and detailed account of Macca's life and music
Meticulous character study that adeptly shuns hero worship
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
A very fair and multi-layered biography
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
Philip Norman's considered biography portrays the 'cute' Beatle in all his creative complexity and breadth
[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
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
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
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
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
This biography is a compelling chronicle of the life of an immortal icon