Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review

'Liddypool' by Dave Bedford (pub. Dalton Watson Fine Books)

There are as many guide books of Liverpool's Beatle heritage as there are Beatle songs. More. The challenge facing anyone wanting to enter this competitive market is how to make theirs stand out from the crowd. On page 25 Bedford asks 'Do you need another Beatles book?' and advises that 'if you can answer the following 10 questions, 'you probably don't need this book'. I could, but I am still pleased I have it.

Really you can only really justify owning yet another Beatle history if it a) adds new information, b) presents new photographs, c) offers a new context for understanding the rise and rise of the Fab Four, or d) presents the material in a better fashion than existing books. I'm not sure that this book expands hugely on what already exists on the information and photographic front (even with over 800 shots) but it is certainly comprehensive and extremely well-presented. Bedford is a Liverpool boy and he justifies his claim that you need to know Liverpool the city if you want to know the band. On this level the book really works.

A particular strength lies in the layout. The history of the band, and the important individuals surrounding it, are rehearsed by topic or personality, making it an easy book to dip into. This comprehensive section covers some 225 well-illustrated pages. The second half of the book suggests 20 separate walking or driving tours a fan can follow, with maps, photos and information 'nuggets'.

The product lives up to the publisher's claim to produce 'fine books'. Glossy, 11" x11" in size and heavy enough to crack a coffee table top! And therein lies a criticism; this is not a book you could actually take with you on a walk. What it is though is the best one to date for the 'virtual tourist' who's unlikely to get to Liverpool. For the Beatle fan who has 'been there, done that' you could do as I've done; cleared the shelves of existing guides and replaced with this. I don't need any others.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, love your blog. It's super informative and interesting.
    I was wondering if I could message you with a specific question or perhaps you wouldn't mind emailing me: vandend@hotmail.com
    Thank-you so much for your help!
    Sincerely,
    Jacqueline

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  2. Hi Jacqeline,

    Thanks for the positive comments. I'm happy to try to answer any questions that I can though I may not always be quick with the response!

    Rock on!
    Bruce

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