Advance Review: The Fifth Beatle

Posted 16 September, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Advance Review: The Fifth BeatleThe Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary
Published by Dark Horse Comics on October 29th 2013
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, General
Pages: 144

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided The Beatles-from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of "The Man Who Made The Beatles," The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped The Beatles prove through "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that pop music could be an inspirational art form. He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town.

First, I don’t normally read graphic novels, but I adore The Beatles. While I knew some of Brian Epstein’s history, I had hoped that this would be more comprehensive. Had I not known most of the Epstein story already I might have been lost. For that reason I would only recommend this to Beatlemaniacs who have at least a basic understanding of who Brian Epstein was and his role with The Beatles.


That being said, Epstein’s story is powerful. Young and wealthy, but still driven by his passions, he experiences victory and overcomes enormous odds. His story also highlights the pain and isolation that many LGTB youths in England experienced at the time, and to some extent, even today, worldwide.


Also, I had always thought that the fifth Beatle was considered to be Stuart Sutcliffe. But a cursory search of the highly credible source Wikipedia leads me to a Paul McCartney quote that states:


“If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was [Beatles’ manager] Brian Epstein.”


The illustrations are lovely and keep with the standard Japanese Manga style with a hint of 60’s realness.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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One Response to “Advance Review: The Fifth Beatle”

  1. I’m just now starting to explore graphic novels…

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the updates you’ve been making to the blog! 🙂