The Beatles, By Hunter Davies

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The Independent Culture

Any Fabs fan thinking of investing in this "40th Anniversary Edition" of Davies's biography of the band should hang on to their tenner. Though the cover trumpets "updated and revised", Davies states on the first page that "I have resisted the temptation to rewrite."

In consequence, we're informed that "All the Beatles receive a weekly sum of £50 to cover expenses" and informed on page 438 that George Harrison "has a very long, low, single-storied, brightly painted bungalow at Esher". The laziness of this tautology typifies Davies's slackly-written "authorised biography".

Generously packed with Beatles ephemera, it is bizarrely uninformative about their music. The sole mention of Revolver, the group's finest LP, is in a discography. A new chapter of obituaries records the passing of figures elsewhere referred to in the present tense.