Continuing on my theme – The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, this week I decided to actually get around to reading the book! Written by Vivek J. Tiwary with artwork by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker, The Fifth Beatle is a graphic novel about the rise and fall of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.
For those that haven’t read this book yet, here is the book’s trailer so you can get an idea of what this “adult comic book” looks like on the inside:
I purchased my copy at Vivek’s lecture last week at Monmouth University. He only had collector’s editions (which includes “a unique, textured cover and a section of bonus materials including unique Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers”), so this review is based on this edition.
This book is beautiful. From the cover to the artwork, it’s a wonderful addition to my collection…even though I’m not a Beatles collector. But, putting appearances aside…the writing seems to be lacking. The dialog and story seem to be very. halting. and. static. It lacks a certain flow. I want to say it would have been better written with more detail and spread out as a series of books then to cram the entire story into one 139 page book, making it all a bit confusing to those that really don’t know Brian Epstein’s tragic story.
Still, it is a stunning book that I think any true Beatles collector would be proud to add to their collection and display on their shelf. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!
If you’d like to meet Vivek and get a signed copy of his book, he will be at the Fest for Beatles Fans in Rye, NY in April 2016.
The lecture was given by Vivek J. Tiwary – a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, and the founder of Tiwary Entertainment Group. He also just happens to be the author of the graphic novel and #1 New York Times bestseller – The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story. I’ve attended events in the past where Vivek was appearing with his book, but I’ve never had the opportunity to actually meet or hear him speak.
Well, it turns out Mr. Tiwary can speak very well…and A LOT! (I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced hearing someone who can digress so far from his original thought and still remember to bring it back around.) His lecture on Brian Epstein was remarkably informative from the angle of Brian being not only gay, but Jewish in 1960’s Liverpool, England. He explained such issues as how Brian worked around his ethnicity by joining forces with other Jews in the music industry at the time, such as Sid Bernstein, when the two connected to bring the Beatles to America.
After a 45 minute presentation, came the audience Q&A. Vivek stepped up again and spent another 45 minutes in an intimate discussion with the audience about Brian, the Beatles and race. I’m glad I finally made the time and effort to see Vivek J. Tiwary speak and I wouldn’t hesitate to go see him again. I’d also recommend any Beatles Freak who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing him speak should find the time if they are presented with the opportunity! And for that reason…
I give this lecture/Vivek, 4 out of 4 Beatles!
Note: Vivek’s book, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story is being made into a film or possibly a mini series for TV. Which format would you rather see this film made?