Book Review: A graphic take in novel form that celebrates the Fab Four

Book Review: A graphic take in novel form that celebrates the Fab Four

By ANIRUDH VOHRA | | 24 September, 2016
A new graphic novel on the Beatles brings back the focus on the Fab Four from Liverpool who, with the power of their music, went on to conquer the whole world, writes Anirudh Vohra.

The Beatles: All our yesterdays

By Jason Quinn

Illustrator: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Publisher: Campfire 

Pages: 147

Price: Rs 399

 

Graphic novels in India, at least, are an undermined genre of literature. But I think novels in this form are the best way of carrying messages across. The visual treats make it appealing for one and all who might otherwise put down a thick tome filled with black-and-white letters. So when Campfire’s The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays came for a review, it was a treat for yours truly. 

The book outlines the original story of the Beatles, a musical phenomenon, that took over the world in the 1960s. Even today, it’s hard to think of a musical act comparable to the Beatles in terms of global celebrity and critical acclaim. 

The graphic novel follows the band’s journey — from their struggling years to becoming a global success. The book takes the reader through that age of rock ’n’ roll, with lives of the band members in Liverpool forming the backdrop. It goes on to describe their shift to Hamburg and how through grit and determination, besides talent, became the gang that made the Sixties swing! 

The book also mentions songs like “Maggie May”, “I Lost My Little Girl”, “Oh, Ain’t She Sweet”, “September in the Rain”  among several others which happen to be some of the most-celebrated Beatles’ tracks.

The book has been authored by Jason Quinn, who was awarded for his Steve Jobs: Genius by Design and Gandhi: My life is My Message as the best writer at Comic Con India Awards in 2012. Lalit Kumar Sharma, who is the illustrator of the book, and does most illustrations for Campfire, brings his strokes of genius to this collaborative enterprise — the illustrations make the Beatles’ journey really come alive.  The visuals are so good, that they can make great wall posters too.

Where the graphic novel massively loses out is in the department of cover design. It is quite badly done and can be a major turn-off for buyers who at first glance might not get the hint of what’s really between the covers. But overall, the book makes for a great read. 

Unlike other graphic novels, the one here is narrated without an all-pervasive first-person voice. Most of the information available here has been derived from various sources like The Beatles: Volume One: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles: The Authorised Biography by Hunter Davies, Magical Mystery Tours: My life with the Beatles by Tony Bramwell and so forth, which the publishers have given due credits to right at the beginning of the book. The publishers have also recreated several archival images for a better narration of the story.

Where the graphic novel massively loses out is in the department of cover design. It is quite badly done and can be a major turn-off for buyers who at first glance might not get the hint of what’s really between the covers. But overall, the book makes for a great read and is the perfect companion for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Especially if you’re a Beatles fanatic.  

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