Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review (book): Paul McCartney

McCartney. By Christopher Sandford. New York: Carol & Graf, 2006. 430 pp. $27.00
Book Review Written by Tom Wilmeth

McCartney is the latest Beatle biography. Christopher Sandford stresses from the outset that his goal is to praise and quantify his subject’s great talent, but takes an odd route to reach his destination. The book opens with an account of McCartney’s half-forgotten drug bust in Japan of 1980 and his week of prison time. The author seems somewhat fixated on this episode, returning to it at regular intervals.

The praise also has an uncomfortable ring to it. Championing McCartney as the truly creative Beatle, Sandford sometimes hurts his own case by crediting the Cute One with everything short of discovering Elvis and curing cancer. It is true that since Lennon’s murder, revisionist history has dealt Paul an unfair blow concerning his importance to The Beatles. But Sandford’s defensive tone wears thin, with McCartney miscast in the role of underappreciated victim.


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