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All My Loving: Coming of Age with Paul McCartney in Paris

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"A memoir of the vibrant mid-Sixties that illuminates both the real life and powerful imagination of an articulate Beatlemaniac spending a lonely year in Paris. In a series of poignant and humorous fantasies about her romance with Paul McCartney, a young Beth Kaplan writes her way into adolescence, the dawning of sexual awareness and the world of real boys." " The child wi "A memoir of the vibrant mid-Sixties that illuminates both the real life and powerful imagination of an articulate Beatlemaniac spending a lonely year in Paris. In a series of poignant and humorous fantasies about her romance with Paul McCartney, a young Beth Kaplan writes her way into adolescence, the dawning of sexual awareness and the world of real boys." " The child with the Beatles fixation finds her way deep into the reader's heart. " --WAYSON CHOY, author of " The Jade Peony " and other books " Lovely writing -- very revealing and very moving. " --SUZETTE COUTURE, award-winning screenwriter/producer " " All My Loving " is honest, evocative, beautifully written and very funny. " --ROSEMARY SHIPTON, co-founder of Ryerson University's Publishing Program " The gorgeous, heartfelt memoir of a lonely, imaginative girl growing up in 1964 with the Beatles as the soundtrack of her life. " -- LAUREL CROZA, award-winning writer " Kaplan's very rich portrait of a family and a time draws us inside her years as a misunderstood outsider. " --JIM PURDY, screenwriter/director/producer ABOUT THE AUTHOR Beth Kaplan's book about her great-grandfather, "Finding the Jewish Shakespeare: The Life and Legacy of Jacob Gordon ," was hailed by famed playwright Tony Kushner as "witty, shrewd and elegant." For years a professional actress, she now teaches memoir and essay writing at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University; in 2012 she was given University of Toronto ' s Excellence in Teaching Award.


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"A memoir of the vibrant mid-Sixties that illuminates both the real life and powerful imagination of an articulate Beatlemaniac spending a lonely year in Paris. In a series of poignant and humorous fantasies about her romance with Paul McCartney, a young Beth Kaplan writes her way into adolescence, the dawning of sexual awareness and the world of real boys." " The child wi "A memoir of the vibrant mid-Sixties that illuminates both the real life and powerful imagination of an articulate Beatlemaniac spending a lonely year in Paris. In a series of poignant and humorous fantasies about her romance with Paul McCartney, a young Beth Kaplan writes her way into adolescence, the dawning of sexual awareness and the world of real boys." " The child with the Beatles fixation finds her way deep into the reader's heart. " --WAYSON CHOY, author of " The Jade Peony " and other books " Lovely writing -- very revealing and very moving. " --SUZETTE COUTURE, award-winning screenwriter/producer " " All My Loving " is honest, evocative, beautifully written and very funny. " --ROSEMARY SHIPTON, co-founder of Ryerson University's Publishing Program " The gorgeous, heartfelt memoir of a lonely, imaginative girl growing up in 1964 with the Beatles as the soundtrack of her life. " -- LAUREL CROZA, award-winning writer " Kaplan's very rich portrait of a family and a time draws us inside her years as a misunderstood outsider. " --JIM PURDY, screenwriter/director/producer ABOUT THE AUTHOR Beth Kaplan's book about her great-grandfather, "Finding the Jewish Shakespeare: The Life and Legacy of Jacob Gordon ," was hailed by famed playwright Tony Kushner as "witty, shrewd and elegant." For years a professional actress, she now teaches memoir and essay writing at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University; in 2012 she was given University of Toronto ' s Excellence in Teaching Award.

50 review for All My Loving: Coming of Age with Paul McCartney in Paris

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Clare

    Nine years ago today, I got married, and about ten years ago, when this date was selected, what first occurred to me was, “How cool! Paul McCartney’s birthday.” Because to me, June 18th has always been Paul McCartney’s birthday first, at least since I was a Beatles-obsessed 13 year old and organized a Paul McCartney Birthday Bash in my dorm room during our Grade 8 year-end trip to Ottawa. (It was not a wild bash. I recall jumping on a bed, and turning the volume all the way up on my Sony Sports Nine years ago today, I got married, and about ten years ago, when this date was selected, what first occurred to me was, “How cool! Paul McCartney’s birthday.” Because to me, June 18th has always been Paul McCartney’s birthday first, at least since I was a Beatles-obsessed 13 year old and organized a Paul McCartney Birthday Bash in my dorm room during our Grade 8 year-end trip to Ottawa. (It was not a wild bash. I recall jumping on a bed, and turning the volume all the way up on my Sony Sports Walkman so we could listen to The Beatles’ 1967-70 through the headphones.) As I did to a lot of things, I came to The Beatles late, about 20-some years late. Being a Beatles-obsessed 13 year-old in 1992 was a curious thing. It involved feeling inordinate, impossible pain at John Lennon’s murder; trying to be a vegetarian because of Linda; scouring the TV guide every week in order to schedule tapings of Paul McCartney on Saturday Night Live or showings of John Lennon Imagine on Much Music. I even kept a scrapbook, comprising clippings of Paul McCartney’s son’s surfing mishap, various Beatles’ legal troubles, and a cut-out of the “Be My Yoko Ono” lyrics from my Barenaked Ladies’ “Gordon” cassette tape liner notes. I made Beatles posters in my Grade 8 art class–they weren’t very good. I bought Beatles’ biographies written by Geoffrey Giuliano and Hunter Davies. I built a Beatles shrine in my Design and Technology class, specially designed to store my cassette tapes and biographies. I was forbidden to talk about them at the dinner table. I listened to their music over and over (and learned to play their songs on the guitar). I remember listening to Hey Jude for the first time when I was about 11 years old, sitting in my backyard with a red battery-powered cassette player, and it was as though I’d discovered for the meaning of life. The meaning of my life. For a few years, it really was. So I was eager to read Beth Kaplan’s memoir, All My Loving: Coming of Age With Paul McCartney in Paris. Kaplan was fortunate enough to fall in love with the Beatles at just the right time, on the cusp of her own adolescence and the Beatles’ fame. The memoir is based on her own diaries, scrapbooks and short stories (in which she fantasized about being Paul McCartney’s wife and/or [gasp!] his lover). In a fun and breezy fashion, she puts her reader in the mindset of a 13 year old girl who is as confused by the world as she is by her terrifying range of emotions, and who is also in thrall with The Beatles. Like many of her peers, her identity as a “Beatlemaniac” was one of her first acts of self-definition, a small rebellion against her conservative parents. Though they’re not so conservative–the book begins with young Beth ecstatic at the news that her parents are attending a Ban the Bomb demonstration, and therefore she is free to turn the radio dial and hear “She Loves You” for the very first time, and I love the way she describes her visceral reaction to the music, the way she’s transformed by it and so is the world around her. WordCloud-originalKaplan outlines a complicated relationship with her parents, even more complicated than the average teenage love/hate, and while she alludes to her own parents’ experience (her father experiencing anti-semitism as a professor at Dalhousie University; or the time her mother reported of The Feminine Mystique, “I took one look at Betty Friedan and put the book down”) and she is indeed chronicling a cultural phenomenon, there is a lot in the book that is particular also. But the particularity is not always explained, instead the reader receiving the unfiltered thoughts of a solipsistic teen girl and all the contradictions that entails. (One of the many times I laughed out loud was when her list of “hates” included The Dave Clark Five and “intolerance.”) This approach makes sense in the grand scheme of the project, but it also leaves the reader with a lot of questions. But then, the Beatles are the focus, as they were for 13 year old Beth, her parents’ own dramas firmly in the background. Or perhaps the Beatles were her escape? And Paul McCartney in particular, her chosen Beatle, the proxy by which she explores notions of love and lust and sex and longing. During the time she recounts in the memoir, she moves with her family to Paris for her father’s sabbatical year, and the Beatles are a consolation of her loneliness during this time, and also a bridge between her and her French classmates. I was especially amused by her friend in France who had learned to speak English through Beatles lyrics, and so only spoke as such, expressing her gratitude with, “Thank you girl” and other such phrases. And it made me think about how those of us who learned about life through the Beatles are similarly equipped, not so literally, but still, to us, the world is all Strawberry Fields, A Day in the Life, Help and Penny Lane, etc. I knew these songs before I knew the world, is what I mean, and in a way, these songs are still my foundation, fundamental to my vocabulary. (Longing for love meant longing for someone to get high when they see me go by. My oh my). It is probable that Beatles songs have affected the shape of my brain. 1969-12marypaulI went to see Paul McCartney at Exhibition Stadium on June 6 1992 on his Live in the New World Tour. It still stands out as one of the most extraordinary days of my life, and I will never forget the excitement, but also the sadness at my realization that I was just one tiny person is a sea of people that night, that he couldn’t see me at all. That indeed, he’d been the subject of “All My Loving” (for I too was a Paul girl, even though he was not far away from being 64 at the time) but to him, I didn’t even exist. That all my loving was only a drop in the ocean… and it was heartbreaking. Such is the pain of being a 13 year old girl. And even though she did it at the right time, a few decades before me, Beth Kaplan’s memoir brought the whole thing back. The roller coaster ride, the battles, and the unbelievable excitement of being on the edge of something huge–such confidence too that in just another year or two, surely we’re going to have the whole world figured out.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    ALL MY LOVING a memoir of a teen girl who was a Beatle Paul McCartney fan girl. I chose this book because the author is exactly my age. I loved Paul when I was her age in the 60s. It was a fun read for a while but then became repetitive and whiny. Authentic writing as it is very much how a teenage girl thinks, feels and behaves. Living in France during her father’s sabbatical year and dealing with familial dysfunction, she cleverly immersed herself in stories she made up about herself and Paul. A ALL MY LOVING a memoir of a teen girl who was a Beatle Paul McCartney fan girl. I chose this book because the author is exactly my age. I loved Paul when I was her age in the 60s. It was a fun read for a while but then became repetitive and whiny. Authentic writing as it is very much how a teenage girl thinks, feels and behaves. Living in France during her father’s sabbatical year and dealing with familial dysfunction, she cleverly immersed herself in stories she made up about herself and Paul. A little bit of this went a long way. So I quit at about 60%. I enjoyed my own walk down memory lane however, thanks to this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book was almost like living in a parallel universe with the author. As a teenage Beatles fan, author Beth Kaplan and I, hold some remarkable similarities. We both loved Paul McCartney, were both daughters of Brit war brides who came to North America -- my mum married a Canadian soldier and ended up in New Brunswick, Beth's mother married a U.S. soldier and ended up living in Halifax, N.S. where her dad taught at Dalhousie U. The father figure made the mother figure cry a lot and was judgmen This book was almost like living in a parallel universe with the author. As a teenage Beatles fan, author Beth Kaplan and I, hold some remarkable similarities. We both loved Paul McCartney, were both daughters of Brit war brides who came to North America -- my mum married a Canadian soldier and ended up in New Brunswick, Beth's mother married a U.S. soldier and ended up living in Halifax, N.S. where her dad taught at Dalhousie U. The father figure made the mother figure cry a lot and was judgmental of the daughter. The family even had a Morris Minor car...which was our first car in Canada. (Piece of merde that it was). The pages are filled with all the teenage angst of unrequited love, actually seeing The Beatles for the first time in person (I flew from Saint John to Toronto for the concert in 1966), the thrill of being at a live concert, sharing magazines and records with girlfriends and so on. A time of first kisses, mixed feelings, thinking you are not popular or might be ugly, and all the other stuff that goes with being a teenage girl who has her swoon-on for a dishy guy....in this case Paul McCartney. At one point, Beth's family moved to France for a year and she had to adapt to life in the world of French academia. I moved schools too - between the UK and Canada, not quite as exotic. Memories of buying the first Beatles album, clipping every item out of the newspaper that mentioned their names, writing fantasy letters to the favorite Beatle (so many girls really did that). I actually wasn't one of those...instead I tried to write like John Lennon from his book In His Own Write. Kaplan's description of her teen life with Paul McCartney as the soundtrack was a book I could not put down, because I almost felt as if I had written it! Or should have....if I wasn't so lazy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    As a 14 year-old girl living in Vancouver in the early sixties dreaming one day of becoming Mrs. Paul McCartney, I had no idea that another 14 year-old living in Paris was imagining a parallel life with him. Fifty years later, I forgot what it was like to be that girl. Luckily, Beth did not. As I read “All My Loving", I was re-introduced to the teenager who devoured Seventeen magazine each month, earnestly debated with friends which Beatle was the cutest/smartest/nicest and carried an intense di As a 14 year-old girl living in Vancouver in the early sixties dreaming one day of becoming Mrs. Paul McCartney, I had no idea that another 14 year-old living in Paris was imagining a parallel life with him. Fifty years later, I forgot what it was like to be that girl. Luckily, Beth did not. As I read “All My Loving", I was re-introduced to the teenager who devoured Seventeen magazine each month, earnestly debated with friends which Beatle was the cutest/smartest/nicest and carried an intense dislike for an older girl named Jane Asher. This is a funny story and, with the added backdrop of a challenging family life, a touching one as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elka

    Despite the decades that seperate Beth from the sixties and I, we have a lot in common. Both of us share a love for Beatles music and have "suffered" through the french school system (that hasn't changed in the slightest). This is a good book for readers of all ages (my mom enjoyed it as well). It made me laugh out loud. Despite the decades that seperate Beth from the sixties and I, we have a lot in common. Both of us share a love for Beatles music and have "suffered" through the french school system (that hasn't changed in the slightest). This is a good book for readers of all ages (my mom enjoyed it as well). It made me laugh out loud.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Anyone who has had a Beatles fixation and/or has been a thirteen year old girl will find this a funny and insightful read. I had forgotten what all those hormones felt like. Beth Kaplan brought the wonder, self consciousness, drama and vulnerability of those early teen years right back.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

  9. 4 out of 5

    elaine

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin C. Osmond

  11. 4 out of 5

    TheKing161

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Roseman

  13. 5 out of 5

    Terri Lynn Simpson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stella Temenu

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gladys Wong

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Melski

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Harwell

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie Callaghan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lani Ashenhurst

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Penelope

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melonie Kydd

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bainbridge

  31. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  32. 4 out of 5

    Judi Phillips

  33. 4 out of 5

    Laureen (Ms. Bibliophile)

  34. 5 out of 5

    Piper Templeton

  35. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Green

  36. 5 out of 5

    CarolAnn WESTBROOK

  37. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sylvie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Suz Meyer

  40. 4 out of 5

    Aarone

  41. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Humphrey

  42. 5 out of 5

    Erik Twisk

  43. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Stadden

  44. 5 out of 5

    Freda Mans-Labianca

  45. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  46. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

  47. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Wood

  48. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Clysdale

  49. 5 out of 5

    Stella

  50. 4 out of 5

    Laureen

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