This book is incredibly well written. Even with over 400 pages, a reader can easily read through it without feeling like it’s never going to end. The book contains, what I believe, to be three stories revolving around the early days of the Beatles career in the Liverpool and Hamburg days.
The first story is that of Raymond “Spike” Jones, the young man who apparently was the first Beatles fan to walk into NEMS record store and request a copy of “My Bonnie” with the Beatles singing back-up. This particular storyline is fictitious, even though Raymond is said to have been a real person. The second story is that of the mysterious private life of Brian Epstein and his (illegal) gay lifestyle. The third story is that of the Beatles in their early days of getting to the toppermost of the poppermost. Included in the all of the stories are Sam Leach, Mal Evans, Bob Wooler and many other well known Liverpool personalities.
All these tales and characters’ lives intertwine and overlap throughout the book, but at the same time, each holds it own. The problem comes, though, when the reader isn’t sure which story is the main focus of the book. And in the end, the storyline I had thought would figure prominently and close out the book wasn’t the one. It was as if there was one train of thought that never came to the dramatic conclusion that I was looking for in the end.
Still, this book was a nice light read and the author says that except for the Raymond Jones story, the book is factual and he even provides sources at the end. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!