Paul McCartney har som låtskrivare och artist, i och utanför Beatles, kanske mer än någon annan format den moderna populärmusiken och inspirerat miljontals artister och musiker runt om i världen. Philip Norman har med sir Pauls godkännande fått intervjua en lång rad viktiga personer i hans liv som aldrig tidigare ställt upp i sådana här sammanhang, och levererar nu den ultimata McCartney-biografin.
Norman, following up on his bestselling biography of John Lennon (John Lennon: A Life), interviews hundreds of Paul McCartney's family, friends, and associates to draw the most complete picture of the former Beatle; however, the book's thoroughness renders it a tiresome march through scores of facts and familiar details that will appeal primarily to ardent McCartney fans. Proceeding in a year-by-year fashion, Norman ranges over McCartney's childhood; the death of his mother, which he later used as the basis of "Let It Be"; his early days with his mates John and George as the Quarrymen; and the Beatles' squalid living conditions in Hamburg. No stone is left unturned as Norman proceeds to the infamous last days of the Beatles, the early days of Wings, McCartney's marriage to musician and photographer Linda Eastman and the effect her death had on him, his short-lived and controversial marriage to model Heather Mills, and his relationship with his father. As Norman happily points out, while many stories of musical superstars end tragically, McCartney has enjoyed a prolonged era of happiness, especially since his 2011 marriage to trucking executive Nancy Shevell. Norman succeeds in drawing a familiar picture of a restless musician who's always seeking to make himself over again, and who still gets a thrill when he hears someone whistling one of his songs. Thanks to Norman's access to McCartney and his associates, this will become the musician's definitive and authoritative biography.