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Extended Audio Sample Paul McCartney: A Life Audiobook, by Peter Ames Carlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (649 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ames Carlin Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781400183852
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The bestselling author of Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson now presents an in-depth biography of the legendary musician and icon Paul McCartney, exploring his impact on music and culture, his personal triumphs and defeats, and his post-Beatles relationships with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The book explores McCartney through the perspective of his lyrics, spanning his career from his years with the Beatles to his solo albums today. The composer of "Yesterday," "Hey Jude," "Eleanor Rigby," and "Let It Be," Paul McCartney is one of the most famous men in the world, yet one of the most elusive. An international superstar for more than forty years, he has not only sold hundreds of millions of records but has also altered the course of popular culture. He has been worshiped and ridiculed, his work revered and reviled. Governments have celebrated him, persecuted him, thrown him in prison, and knighted him. More than a rock star, more than a celebrity, McCartney is a cultural touchstone. Yet no book has revealed the headwaters of his genius or, for that matter, explained why the Beatles' talented and adventurous musician seemed to abandon his position as an innovator, trading the daring of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" for an endless procession of what even he has called silly love songs. But McCartney never lost the spark of genius. His songs are rarely less than hummable and often unforgettable. And at any given moment, McCartney can reach into himself and pull out something phenomenal. Drawing on years of research, Paul McCartney: A Life spans McCartney's roots in England's working class to his life in the present day, performing around the world and working for causes he believes in. Informed by new, exclusive interviews with friends, bandmates, and collaborators, the book describes McCartney's many triumphs as well as his failures, from the Beatles era through his decade with Wings and his subsequent solo career. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “McCartney emerges from Carlin’s admiring biography as a brilliant musician who provided the creative direction for the Beatles, who taught John Lennon how to play the guitar and who continues to create new musical challenges for himself even now.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • The best thing about Peter Ames Carlin's book is the way he entangles the music and the life, so that we begin to understand them as what they are---inextricable. Dave Marsh, author of Bruce Springsteen on Tour: 1968–2005

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 PJ | 1/31/2014

    " We listened to this in the car- found it fascinating- revealed things I never knew about the Beatles. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 1/29/2014

    " Good book for a one stop shop but if you have seen all the other documentaries or even read about Paul on the internet you won't be missing anything reading this book. But it still kept my attention. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Ueki | 1/18/2014

    " NICEEEEEEEE "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Misha | 12/6/2013

    " After having read the Spitz Beatles bio, this is little more than rehash. Will try the autobio/authorized bio sometime for a better picture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 11/17/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, it seemed to paint a neutral portrait of McCartney and his journey through life. I rated it 4 stars for Paul fans. For others, I'd rate it 3 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 10/26/2013

    " Well, I found out a few new things (not much) about the Paul and the Fab 4. Sad to read about Linda, who I admired. (I have a few of her cookbooks) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 10/10/2013

    " I love the Beatles and Paul was in 1963, my favorite! It was fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thom | 9/25/2013

    " Very enjoyable book. I heard it on CD read by a bloke who did accents and impressions of the characters he was quoting. I've been through the entire Beatles story many times by other authors, and more often John-centric stories - by his sister, ex-wife, school chum. The story never gets old. This author had a knack for mixing the biography with details of the McCartney (and Lennon/McCartney) song catalog. But this book also went into more story of Wings and even Heather. It'll send you back to listen to the music. What a ride - from Love Me Do to Electric Arguments! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wolfmanbob Bernstein | 9/15/2013

    " Well written account. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felyn | 7/4/2013

    " Really well written biographical book of the "cute" Beatle. The author doesn't swoon over the subject like some other books written about any of The Beatles. Book goes through his birth, to his meeting with John Lennon, the death of his first wife, Linda, and his marriage to Heather Mills. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Csferguson222 | 6/15/2013

    " Peter Ames Carlin tells the story of Paul McCartney with all of his accomplishments and low-points, talents and flaws, successes and failures, acclaim and struggles. Carlin brings out the human side of the famous Beatle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Larry | 10/14/2012

    " I have always loved the Beatles and so I was looking forward to reading this book. I realize now that most of their songs were inspired by sex, drugs and alcohol. This book is not recommended for young people. The language gets rough in many places. Overall, the book is good but not great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tammy | 2/9/2012

    " I enjoyed this reading and finding out more about this musical icon. I suspect this isn't the most comprehensive telling of McCarney's life story but I'm sure it hit most of what someone would want to know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kiof | 4/27/2011

    " Better than FAB, but not great. 3.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deirdre | 2/14/2011

    " A fan's perspective; sometimes he dwells overmuch on his own disappoinment in Wings. I was left with the feeling that perhaps we are all too harsh in our assessement of Sir Paul in measuring him constantly against the Beatles legend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/10/2011

    " I love the Beatles and Paul was in 1963, my favorite! It was fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/16/2010

    " If you were a part of Beatle Mania, the you know this guy! Paul McCartney is one of teh most famous musicians of all time and this is his full biography. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darlene | 10/13/2010

    " Nothing new here. Too much rehashing of Beatles songs, your time would be better spent just listening to the songs instead of reading this book. When a book is subtitled "A Life" I expect more biographical information than this book has. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 8/20/2010

    " Interesting historical perspective. These guys are still driving Rock. Classic band flame-out. Recommend for anyone interested in the group's dynamics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 7/12/2010

    " What was there was good, but I would have liked more. Like how he & Linda became vegetarians, her cookbooks & frozen food line, their gig on The Simpsons... The narrator was a bit too stuffy, but ok. Now someone needs to write a good bio on George & Ringo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 7/8/2010

    " An icon of my age. John and Paul are more alike than different. I finished the book last night and I went from Linda's death to George's. When I got to George I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. The Beatles were such a part of my youth. "

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About the Author

Peter Ames Carlin is a writer and the author of several books, including Bruce, a biography of Bruce Springsteen; Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson; and Paul McCartney: A Life. He has also been a free-lance journalist, a senior writer at People in New York City, and a television columnist and feature writer at The Oregonian in Portland. He is a regular speaker on music, art and popular culture.

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.