Ethical Reflections on John/Paul

By |2024-04-22T15:14:27-07:00January 14, 2020|Beatle myth, Beatles fiction, fans, John and Paul, Linda McCartney, Uncategorized, Yoko Ono|

I’m writing this because the discussion on the “Were John and Paul Lovers?” post has been niggling at me for a while now. Though it was published more than six years ago, it's one of Hey Dullblog’s most viewed and most contentious posts. And because Michael Gerber and I read every comment as it goes through moderation, we're aware of movements on the blog in a way others may not be. Given the persistent interest in this topic, I've decided that it’s worth articulating my thoughts about it in more depth.  Backstage at Hey Dullblog can get complicated   I want to [...]

Beatles mystery: “She’s Leaving Home”

By |2016-09-22T07:33:20-07:00September 20, 2016|1968, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, books, fans, Uncategorized|

William Shaw's She's Leaving Home is a Beatles-linked police procedural mystery. It's also a deep dive into the turmoil of late-60's London. And an examination of two detectives struggling with their identities and social roles. If that makes the book sound overstuffed, it's because it is. But overall it's an enjoyable read for Beatles or mystery fans who are prepared to skim a bit. Beatles novels are as various as the songs on the White Album, ranging from the simply parodic (Alan Goldsher's Paul is Undead) to the thriller (Phil Rickman's December) to the realistic slice-of-life (Philip Gillam's Here Comes the Sun). But alternative history leads the field, with [...]

“These Paper Bullets!”: The Fabs Meet the Bard

By |2016-01-18T21:58:42-08:00January 18, 2016|AHDN, alternate history, Beatle-inspired, Beatlemania, Beatles fiction, comedy|

For everyone who's wondered what might have happened if Shakespeare had met the Beatles, These Paper Bullets! delivers  "a modish rip-off of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with a serious backbeat." I saw one of the last scheduled performances of the play, by New York's Atlantic Theater Company, and it was a delight. Despite a few wobbly bits, it stands on its own as a story—but it's also salted with plenty of in-jokes and references for Beatles fans. And the original songs, by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, are outstanding. The play originated with the Yale Repertory Theatre, and its book was written by Rolin [...]

Beatlebone review by Karen

By |2016-02-28T17:05:18-08:00November 17, 2015|Beatles fiction, Reviews|

One of the few perks of Hey Dullblog (in addition to being able to converse with all of you, which is pleasure enough) is receiving the occasional Beatle-related item in the mail. Earlier in the fall, a nice man at Doubleday reached out and asked if we'd review the Irish novelist Kevin Barry's Beatlebone, a fantasy starring a late-Seventies John Lennon. Of course we said yes, first because we love all things Beatle here, and second because I personally know how difficult it is to nudge any novel's sales into the high two figures. The written word? We're all for it, here [...]

Alan Bryson’s “Anagrams” imagines alternate Beatles history

By |2014-04-07T11:28:52-07:00April 7, 2014|alternate history, Beatles fiction, books|

Time-traveling Nathan's car, the Hawk, parked outside Grams' house Anagrams, an alternate-history novel in which a Baby Boomer returning to 1962 not only meets the Beatles but changes their trajectory, has just been published by first-time book author Alan Bryson. The novel’s hero, Nathan Bellew, must decide when and how to intervene in events he knows are set to unfold, while coping with the issues that come with being, outwardly, an 11-year-old kid again. Bryson is an American-born music journalist based in Europe: you can read his work at AllAboutJazz and listen to his interviews at Talking2Musicians. He graciously sent [...]

The Fab Files, Pt. 2: Beatle Traces in the Mid-Atlantic Conference

By |2014-04-05T06:25:09-07:00April 5, 2014|1969, alternate history, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, comedy, Fab Files, Paul Is Dead (PID), Paul McCartney|

“We’ve never seen the body.But we know he’s there.” DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Having written about the McCartney death rumor in Magic Circles, I knew that campus papers in the Middle West and Near East were the seedbed of the whole thing. For several weeks in the autumn of 1969, student editors, reviewers, lit majors, and budding gag-writers scrambled to co-opt, rip off, outdo, or otherwise find their place on the bandwagon begun by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour’s seminal satire-dissertation, “McCartney Dead? New Evidence Brought to Light,” printed in the Michigan Daily of October 14. Lately I’ve been researching [...]

Phil Rickman’s “December”: Wrestling with Lennon’s ghost

By |2013-12-07T07:50:41-08:00December 7, 2013|1980, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, books, Double Fantasy, John Lennon, Reviews, Uncategorized|

It's hard to write Beatles-related fiction without backing yourself into a corner NANCY CARR * What Beatles fan who was alive in 1980 hasn't wished he or she could have done something to prevent Lennon's murder? And what thoughtful Lennon fan hasn't been troubled by the contradictions manifested in Lennon's personality and life? Those questions drive Phil Rickman's 1996 novel December, a worthy read for this time of year despite its flaws. The book's action starts on December 8, 1980, not at the Dakota in New York City, but at a decrepit abbey in the Welsh countryside where a band fraying [...]

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