One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time, by Craig Brown has won the Baillie Gifford Prize, the annual £50,000 award is given to the UK’s best non-fiction work.
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One Two Three Four “traces the chance fusion of the four key elements that made up The Beatles: fire (John), water (Paul), air (George) and earth (Ringo). It also tells the bizarre and often unfortunate tales of the disparate and colourful people within their orbit, among them Fred Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Maharishi, Aunt Mimi, Helen Shapiro, the con artist Magic Alex, Phil Spector, their psychedelic dentist John Riley and their failed nemesis, Det Sgt Norman Pilcher.”
This book is told through a mixture of diaries, letters, interviews and charts, which Martha Kearney, the chair of the judges, described as “a highly original take on familiar territory.”
Brown’s other works include 150 Glimpses of the Beatles and Ma’am Darling: Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret.