Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World by Rob Sheffield was published on April 25, 2017. I had seen this book mentioned in the Beatles Book Collectors group on Facebook, but really didn’t pay it any mind until I stumbled upon it in a small book store while walking around a quaint little village with friends last week.
Rob Sheffield was born in 1966. He is a columnist for Rolling Stone magazine and a former writer for Spin magazine, so he’s got the qualifications and background in music for writing a book. But even after telling friends he was going to write a book about the Beatles and them replying, “Another book about the Beatles?!”, he didn’t take the hint.
From the jacket of the book:
Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to the music. Chronicling his lifelong obsession with the Beatles along with the rest of the world’s, Dreaming the Beatles is a passionate celebration of the band and their music…
To me, it seems, when he isn’t bashing Paul (He actually wrote a chapter about called “Paul is a Concept by which We Measure Our Pain”), he’s writing about things that are so incredibly repetitive to a true Beatles freak. There are chapters dedicated to songs, albums and each Beatle. There are also chapters with titles such as: Beatles or Stones; Something (1969) vs. My Love (1971; The Cover of Abbey Road; When George sang In My Life. At times, it was as if he was pulling ideas out of left field to write about or telling us his own personal stories.
Chances are you’re not going to find anything new in these pages excepts for one man’s opinion of the Beatles, along with the story of Rob Sheffield’s experimentation with drugs and the fact that The Beverly Hillbillies were the top rated show in the U.S. from January to March 1964.
I took one for the team reading this one, folks…and for that reason…
I rate this book, 1 out of 4 Beetles!
8 responses to “Book Review: “Dreaming The Beatles” by Rob Sheffield”
Wow, this is almost painful, hope you don’t have an agenda in writing a review that destroys the book, but to be honest, I am afraid I am going with you on this. How do you like Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History by Devin McKinney. https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Circles-Beatles-Dream-History/dp/067401636X
I go into every book hoping it’s a great book. Nothing worse than realizing on a Monday that I’m going to spend an entire week of my life on a book I don’t like. And you know it’s bad when I started reading it aloud to my husband. One thing I forgot to mention about this book is the authors ridiculous need to endlessly mix in song lyrics throughout his writing.
I haven’t read Magic Circles, but I’ll look into it…and I’ll remember you suggested it! 😉
Thanks for reading,
Oh dear, yes I understand the pain and shame of reading a bad text to your love at home… I do that too, but only when I hope to show something positive…
The need to use lyrics is a bit of fashionable thing, and actually quite personal… it requires really good writing… well anyway, you helped to not yet buy the book. thx.
If you want to take a chance on Dreaming the Beatles, borrow it from a library. I wouldn’t suggest investing in a copy…
Libraries are a good start. Your critique however says enough, and I will not read the book anytime soon.
This may not be the right book, but there’s gotta be the right book somewhere to explain to kids how and why we fell in love with the Beatles, and stayed in love all our lives.
Try ‘Beatleness’ from Candy Leonard.
My exact thought too! Beatleness…