Really, it wasn't that simple, though the book is often that awkward.


A short book that adds little to the exhaustive analyses of the band, this exists for two reasons: first, to share a fan’s passion for the music; second, because publication coincides with “the 50th anniversary of the release of their first album, 'Please Please Me.' "

Charles is most prolific as a mystery writer (The Dust of Death, 2007, etc.), but he has also worked as a music promoter. He offers a third reason for the book: “to try and shed some light on the reasons for their incredible success.” And so he does: “The answer is simple. They wrote and recorded great songs." Single by single, album by album, Charles gushes: “To many people—even today—‘She Loves You’—is The Beatles at their fab mop-top best;" “ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is another excellent catchy Beatle classic"; “ 'I Should Have Known Better'...sounds as brilliant today as the day it was recorded"; “ ‘Rubber Soul’ is still, to me, a flawless gem. . .purely and simply, ‘Rubber Soul’ is a beautiful album; I still enjoy it as much today as I did the day it was released”; “listening to ‘Rubber Soul, as in fact I do while writing this, it sounds like a masterly piece of work, with all the songs working together perfectly, each one in its right place.” The interjection of first-person narrative adds nothing to the appreciation, which is further undermined by the author’s propensity for exclamation points (“The early seeds of Beatlemania were being sown!”). Inevitably, all things must pass, and the author gives two explanations for the band’s breakup: “One, [manager] Brian Epstein died and, two, John Lennon met the person, Yoko Ono, for whom opportunism was an art form....Everywhere John went, Yoko went; it was really as simple and as awkward as that.”

Really, it wasn't that simple, though the book is often that awkward.

Pub Date: May 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0802313560

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Dufour

Review Posted Online: Jan. 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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