Wednesday 22 December 2021

Yellow Submarine Fans - this book is for you!


Inside The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine – vol.2

By Robert R. Hieronimus, PHD., and Laura E. Cortner
Published 2021- Hieronimus & Co., Inc. Publications
Price: UK £38.89
ISBN: 978-0-9675363-0-9

This book is one of the more unusual books I’ve reviewed and is a very interesting read.  First, although it is volume two, you don’t have to have read volume one.  At the beginning of the book, the author explains that several events happened that ended up providing enough material to write volume 2.  First, the publisher of volume one, insisted on removing some of the more interpretive sections preferring that the book stick to facts rather than opinions.  Secondly, although the authors interviewed everyone they could find who was connected with the film for the first volume, after publication, other artists reached out wanting to share their thoughts and stories.

So if you are looking for a complete history of the film, read volume one.  If you are looking for the layered stories beneath that history, the theories of the authors about underlying themes that are there even though probably not intentionally, and more personal anecdotes from artists who worked on the actual film about the process, this is the book to read.

Because of how the chapters are designed, you don’t have to read the book in order or even every chapter.  It is a bit like a meal on menu.  Choose what you are in the mood for on a given day.  There are 15 chapters but here are few to show you how varied they are:

·         Chapter two: A Most Unusual Plot Summary which is Robert Hieronimus’ thoughts on the unintentional meanings in the plot.

·         Chapter 5: Hijinx on the High Seas which was mostly written by Cam Ford, one of the film’s artists, detailing the pranks and other shenanigans that occurred throughout the film’s development.

·         Chapter 13: George Martin: the quiet trailblazer in which the authors explain how George Martin was so influential and helpful in their quest to document the film.

The book is peppered with photos and behind the scenes imagery.  I honestly think this book has to be read slowly as courses to be savored as it is so calorific with facts and content that it is not something I could sit down and digest in one long read.

I would recommend this for the fan who has everything already and loves Yellow Submarine.

The book is available for distribution through Ingram so if you ask your local bookstore or library to order it for you, they can do that.  Or direct sale from their website which comes with bonuses. Or from in both a color and a cheaper black and white edition.  ALL TOGETHER NOW!

~ Michele Copp

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