Start reading John Lennon: The Life on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

John Lennon: The Life [Kindle Edition]

Philip Norman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $13.56
You Save: $6.43 (32%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 78%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $13.56  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $14.27  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook $35.95  
Unknown Binding --  
Audible Audio Edition, Abridged $23.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

For more than a quarter century, Philip Norman's internationally bestselling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom belonging to the world's most beloved pop group was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, here is the comprehensive and most revealing portrait of John Lennon that is ever likely to be published.

This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon's much-chronicled life, including the songs that have turned him, posthumously, into a near-secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore—his upbringing by his strict Aunt Mimi; his allegedly wasted school and student days; the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney; his Beatle-busting love affair with a Japanese performance artist; his forays into painting and literature; his experiments with Transcendental Meditation, primal scream therapy, and drugs. The book's numerous key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon—whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never before—and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candor about the inner workings of her marriage to John.

Honest and unflinching, as John himself would wish, Norman gives us the whole man in all his endless contradictions—tough and cynical, hilariously funny but also naive, vulnerable and insecure—and reveals how the mother who gave him away as a toddler haunted his mind and his music for the rest of his days.



Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics generally praised John Lennon: The Life, though they often seemed shocked at how much hate and violence could be found in one of the 20th century's most famous proponents of peace and love. Some were also taken aback by the book's length—over 800 pages for a figure who famously lived only to age 40. But most reviewers concluded that the bulk of this biography was appropriate, not only because Norman is the first author to investigate Lennon in such detail but because his sense for which details are interesting (a well-developed portrayal of the young Lennon's Liverpool) and which are not (Beatles ephemera) keeps the book moving at a steady pace.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

Review

“The bad news is that John Lennon: The Life is so rich and enveloping that it demands to be read…it’s a clear-eyed and compassionate study of a man...Grade: A-.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 868 KB
  • Print Length: 882 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060754028
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0T78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly the definitive biography of Lennon November 8, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Do we need another biography on John Lennon? Yes. Why? Because the two most popular ones are the hatchet job that Albert Goldman did and Ray Coleman's fine biography that didn't quite capture the essence of who Lennon was and was hamstrung by trying to undo the damage of Goldman's book. The other question we need to ask is if there are any new facts about Lennon's life that make this worthwhile (and considering that Norman covered part of Lennon's life in his Beatles book SHOUT!). Yes--Norman digs up new facts both good and bad. He doesn't turn these new bits of info salacious or sensational comments or observations providing them with a context to help us understand Lennon as a human being.

Philip Norman has tackled one of the most difficult subjects for a biography because Lennon's life was well covered by the press and fostered a lot of myths himself. With access to Yoko Ono, Freddie Lennon's biography (and unpublished papers), Sean Lennon, Paul McCartney (via email) and others, Norman has prepared a biography that is fair balanced and presents his contradictory character thorughout his life--his bravado as well as his insecurities (of which there were many).

Fans that have read other Beatles books or Lennon biographies should be aware that the bulk of the book covers Lennon's pre-Beatles life and his time in the band throughout most of the 800 plus pages of the book. Norman does revisit familiar ground simply because they are essential events and there are those that haven't read ANY books on Lennon but he also introduces a lot of new information as well.

There are a few flaws because we are, after all, only human.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of a Beatle November 17, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Most beloved public figures have many facets -- some of them nasty, some of them pleasant and admirable. Most biographies either focus on the good, or the bad.

But fortunately, Philip Norman is making a valiant effort to show, if not all of John Lennon's facets, then as many of them as possible. Having explored the Beatles and their impact on a generation, Norman narrows his focus down to "John Lennon: The Life" -- and he does a superb job unearthing the many details, relationships and differing faces of this much-lamented rock star. We'll never get a John Lennon autobiography, but Norman does a pretty good job of getting inside his shaggy head.

John Lennon was born into an incredibly stormy marriage (which broke up soon after) and raised by his loving, strict Aunt Mimi, though he was something of a hellraising trickster as a child. The one blot: the tragic, shocking death of his mother Julia.

Of course, everyone knows what happened later -- after a brief stint at art school, Lennon became part of a band with an ever-shifting name, and started working on pop songs alongside Paul McCartney. Though briefly devastated by the death of a bandmate, Lennon quickly rose to fame and fortune when the renamed Beatles became not just a hit band, but a new way of life for the youth of Britain, and then the entire world. Hit album after hit album poured from the Beatles, along with the usual rock-star intake of drugs, sex and occasional PR disasters.

But Lennon's interests began to stray in more spiritual directions, and as his marriage to the sweet-natured Cynthia fell apart, he met and fell in love with eccentric Japanese artist Yoko Ono.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less about the myth, more about the man October 29, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Forever romanticized by his tragic and puzzling murder, John Lennon has ascended to almost god-like status in pop culture. Remembered as the visionary and dreamer who soundtracked a generation, Lennon's legacy has largely been sculpted by those who loved and admired him, as his strengths, accomplishments and inspirations shine for all to see, while his flaws and failures have been forgotten. Philip Norman believes twenty-eight years of mourning-inspired deification seems about right, and with this book, he attempts to paint a more accurate picture of the man.

The artist Norman depicts has a lot in common with the popular description of a rockstar. The poet who sang about love never missed a chance to cheat on his women, and the man who championed brotherhood and neighborly living often strong-armed and bullied his friends. Norman shows us that he never let people forget that he was John Lennon and they weren't.

His book, however, is not a hatchet-job. Intertwined with his attempts to revise the pedestalized legacy of Lennon is a thorough, faithful account of the intimate and defining moments of a life that led to a canon of music unequaled in artistic merit and inspiration. Norman's intent was to show his readers both the sour and the sweet.

He achieves his goal in part with impressive, exclusive interaction with Yoko One, Paul McCartney, Producer George Martin and others. To those interviews, Norman adds research and his own conjecture and formulates theories about Lennon's mother's death and (what is sure to be the focus of much of this book's publicity) questions about whether Lennon harbored any homosexual tendencies/curiosities.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
I have a full life, yet I still love reading this stuff. Well done, so reading is a pleasure.
Published 10 hours ago by 44 Annex
5.0 out of 5 stars the life of john lennon
I loved this book. Covered not only his life but Beatles relationships as well. A must if you were a teen in the 60s, early 70s. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by vwbug
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty comprehensive and detailed biography about John Lennon. Would recommend it if you are a fan.
Published 3 days ago by Ann`
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite informative. If you are a Lennon lover, ...
Quite informative. If you are a Lennon lover, this will be for you.
Published 4 days ago by barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The Lennon I never knew about! What a wealth of detail.
Published 5 days ago by Sonny Young
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful look into the life of my favorite Beatle
I loved reading this book and really getting to know John as more than just a Beatle. I knew a lot about him beforehand, but there were some things I didn’t know about him in this... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Edith Medina
5.0 out of 5 stars Good informative read.
A very long book but I enjoyed the whole thing. So much I did not know, and I lived those years! Very different view of Yoko after reading this. So much love.
Published 7 days ago by Candie's Sanity
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok. What's to say when someone else ...
It was ok. What's to say when someone else writes your story.
Published 11 days ago by poundcakes007
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good read. Really got into Johns character. Cleared up some misconceptions about Yoko. The book was well written, but it got too wordy in some areas. Read more
Published 15 days ago by cagy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 18 days ago by gabriel guzman
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
CRAP!
Still can't wait to read this book. I don't think anyone who loves John is going to change his or her opinion based on anything anyone claims at this point, Philip Norman or not. I read Albert Goldman's book and I'm still standing. Also, Yoko Ono is not a woman whose validation I would ever... Read More
Oct 27, 2008 by Christian Overfield |  See all 17 posts
What A REal Shame That Ray Coleman's Excellent Accurate John Lennon...
The Ray Coleman biography is worlds better than this one. You'll be much happier with it and be pleased with its objective tone instead of a tone of fawning servile deference or a trashiod (trash + tabloid) of the Goldman & Guiliano ilk.
Dec 4, 2010 by BeatleBangs1964 |  See all 3 posts
Disappointed Be the first to reply
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category