From Beatles Wiki - Interviews, Music, Beatles Quotes
First published in 1981, Philip Norman's 'Shout!' is without question one of the best-known, best-regarded, best-selling Beatles biographies ever written. Although the Beatles had already been the subject of dozens of books by the time Norman began his research in 1978, he soon realised that much of the received wisdom surroundng the band consisted of muddled myths and overblown misconceptions. "Over time, the story had become like some ancient Norse myth, reduced to a string of worn-smooth legends and half-truths by endless fireside telling and retelling. Yet the whole truth had been out there for anyone who wanted to find it: more unbelievable than the myth; more exciting, more charming, more hilarious, more tragic."
In his introduction to the 2003 edition, Norman recalls having set out, in 1978, to write a book which would not only explode the many Beatles myths, but would also go some way towards bridging the gap between 'frivolous' pop and 'serious' literary sensibilities. "Pop fans were supposed incapable of reading 'real' books", says Norman, "I wanted to have a shot at changing that." There's no doubting the fact that Norman achieved his aim. Utilising his skills as both a novelist and a journalist, he produced a thoroughly engaging, consistently well-written, serious-minded study of a seemingly frivolous and worn-out subject. Having been in print now for well over a quarter of a Century, Norman's book has been around long enough, and garnered sufficient plaudits, to become enshrined as one of - if not the - definitive sources for anyone interested in the story of popular music's brightest burning stars.In fact, it would not be pushing the point too far to say that 'Shout!' has itself become the subject of a certain degree of media mythologising.