Review: In Their Lives by Andrew Blauner

Title: In Their Lives – Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs

Author: Andrew Blauner

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Group

The Blurb

The perfect gift for any Beatles fan, In Their Lives is an anthology of essays from a chorus of twenty-nine luminaries singing the praises of their favorite Beatles songs.

The Beatles’ influence—on their contemporaries, on our cultural consciousness, and on the music industry ever after—is difficult to overstate. We all have a favorite song from the band that made us want to fall in love, tune in, and follow our dreams. Arranged chronologically by the date of the song’s release, these essays highlight both the Beatles’ evolution as well as the span of generations their music affected. Whether they are Beatlemaniacs who grew up listening to the iconic albums on vinyl or new fans who stream their favorite songs on their phones, all of the contributors explore that poignant intersection between Beatles history and personal history.

With contributions from twenty-nine authors and musicians—Roz Chast on “She Loves You,” Jane Smiley on “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Rosanne Cash on “No Reply,” Gerald Early on “I’m a Loser,” Rick Moody on “The End,” Maria Popova on “Yellow Submarine,” David Duchovny on “Dear Prudence,” Chuck Klosterman on “Helter Skelter,” David Hajdu on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” and more—the breadth of the band’s impact is clear. From musings on young love and family strife to explorations of racial boundaries and identity, these essays pay tribute to a band that ran the gamut of human experience in a way no musical group has done before or since.

Timed for the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this anthology captures the full spectrum of reasons fans still love the Fab Four after all these years.  

The Review

Being from Liverpool it is hard not to notice the impact of the Fab Four on my hometown. However, The Beatles were never forced on me. My parents both missed the hey day of The Beatles both being babies in the 60s. My love of The Beatles is all my own doing.

In Their Lives looks at just how much people love The Beatles based on one song of their choice. It was fascinating to see how much a little piece of music can resonate so much with a person. What was really great about In Their Lives was that people came to the music from different perspectives such as an evocation of memories another purely from a music perspective. The contributors invited you in to their minds to experience the music the way they did and that is such an intimate thing.

In Their Lives is a great collection and has inspired me to write about my favourite song from The Beatles. For me, it will always be This Boy.

In Their Lives – Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs by Andrew Blauner is available now.

For more information regarding Andrew Blauner (@AndrewBlauner) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin Group (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit

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