Saturday 9 March 2013

Competition and Reviews! Angie McCartney's "My Long and Winding Road"

Any book from Angie McCartney was likely to produce debate among Beatles fans.  This is your chance to judge this book for yourself!

We have FIVE copies of Angie's book to give away in our latest competition!

To win one of these books simply answer the following question:

What is the name of Angie's daughter, who was adopted by Jim after their marriage?

Send your answer, along with your full mailing address (so that we can send the book to you if you are one of the lucky winners), to by 
12 noon on Wednesday March 20!

The decision of the BBFC committee is final.  For full terms and conditions, click here

Review by Ernie Sutton
Here we have Paul’s step-mum’s auto-biography.

Angie McCartney married Paul’s father Jim when The Beatles were breaking down barriers all across the world and until now has remained in relative obscurity about her Beatles connection.

However, this book doesn’t tell us anything new in respect of The Beatles, apart from some personal photographs of the McCartney family, including Jim with his beloved horse Drakes Drum and some pictures of Paul from Angie’s archive that we haven’t seen before, including a nice shot of Paul with his step-sister Ruth in Cavendish Avenue.

The book doesn’t flow and is a series of memories, and personally, I can remember Paul talking of his mother and father in many interviews, but never about his step-mum or step-sister Ruth at all.
It may be that Paul has wanted to keep his step-family out of the limelight, as John did with his half-sisters, including Julia Baird, but when reading old archive media interviews, I get the impression that Paul was not happy with Angie joining the McCartney family.

If this isn’t the case I would have expected more narrative on her current relationship with Paul, but as this is non-existent in the book, it can only be led to believe that there is no love lost between the two.

Having said that, it is Angie’s biography and the book promotes her current activities towards the end, which we would expect.

It is an opportunity for Angie to be invited to Beatles conventions, but we have to realise that for the time she was married to Jim, Paul had moved away from Liverpool and contact with him would have been extremely limited, with The Beatles heavy touring schedule, and subsequent Wings tours until Jim’s passing in 1976.
To be honest, the book could have been written around those few years with Jim, but it isn’t and is the first biography from a Beatle parent/step parent so is worth a read from that perspective.

However, if you are looking for anything new here, you won’t find it other than in the photographs.

Review by Bethany Carstairs

When I first picked up this book I thought it would be an easy read as it is merely a collection of fairly short anecdotes, but the style of writing took a bit of getting used to. It is clearly aimed at the US market with its liberal smattering of Brit-isms among largely Americanised language.

I started this book with a limited knowledge of Angie and her role in the Beatle story, and I finished it with no more real knowledge. If you are looking for an in-depth insider view of the McCartney family, this is not the book to provide it. In fact if you are looking for any depth at all, this isn't the book you are looking for.
I'm all for positive, non-dirt-digging books but this one is so heavy handed with the gloss paint (and the odd touch of white-wash) that you begin to wonder what the point of the book is beyond a vanity project. The book doesn't flow at all; it's mostly a series of memories in a rather vague chronological order until it turns into PR material for current projects for the last few pages.

The lack of emotional depth left me cold at times and the book just appears to be a gateway into getting invited to US conventions to recite these light fluffy tales over and over.

The most interesting thing about the book for Beatles fans is the small handful of family photographs featuring Paul. There's nothing in the book that fans won't already know so it does little to add to the knowledge base making it hard to know who the target audience really is for this publication. I wouldn't be surprised if its already headed to the remaindered book shops in the UK. 

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