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In His Own Write Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, October 10, 2000
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"Bewitching." --"USA Today"
About the Author
Best known as singer-songwriter for the legendary Beatles, John Lennon was born in Liverpool, England. In 1969, Lennon married Yoko Ono and the two formed the Plastic Ono Band. Lennon was killed by a deranged fan outside his apartment building in New York on December 8, 1980.
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Top Customer Reviews
I first read these when they came out and, being young and impressionable, I found I began to incorporate a lot of the fake words into my vocabulary. For example, if a product didn't work properly, I would say it must have "a faulty bagnose." And if a person was hustling around, always busy, I would say "There are no flies on Frank"(or whomever). Now, several decades later, I still find those phrases to be useful. But most were simply forgettable: As a man is preparing for his wedding, he rehearses, "To have and to harm....till death duty part...he knew it off by hertz."
As for the stories themselves, some were funny, some seemed pointless, but a few demonstrated a real truth to be reckoned with. One that stuck with me all these years, and seems even more significant now, is the story of Randolph. He was all alone on Christmas Eve, and was mourning the fact that none of his friends had come to join him on this special holiday. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door, and there was the entire gang. Just as he was rejoicing over this exciting turn of events, they jumped on him, and "did smite him with mighty blows about his head, crying, `We never liked you...you were never really one of us, you know.'" This is a real statement on bullying, which seemed shocking at the time, but now has become somewhat commonplace. The story concludes with the sad result, stated in typical, matter-of-fact British understatement: "They killed him, you know, at least he didn't die alone, did he?"
Another that I never forgot, and seems to be even more meaningful in today's' world is "Our Dad." A crippled, aging father is living with his kids and they make it clear they want him out. The dad sadly packs his bags, as the kids "started coughing by the door, to hurry him outside." He accuses their mother as being behind this, and they defend her, saying at least she works; she's a prostitute. Upon his departure, they find he left his money and pension book behind. The kids celebrate, calling in their only friend, a woman who's "a laugh, she lets us all attend." The story closes with "We never heard from Dad again, I `spect we never shall, but he'll remain in all our hearts--a buddy, friend and pal."
Yes, these are strange books, trite and childish in a lot of ways, but there are a few gems in there that make a strong social statement. I recoiled as I read them all those many years ago and now, as I re-read them, I still got chills. Man's inhumanity to man-- alas, some things never change.
Lennon was an interesting character. In press meetings and in the Beatle films one will see how he likes to joke about making people laugh. We also know the deeper side of Lennon...the one the shows in his songs "Help!", "Isolation", "Mother", and others. The man has been through a lot and copes with it through humor.
During the time he wrote "In His Own Write" in 1964 he was thrust into the heat of Beatlemania and world fame. Along with that came a huge weight on his shoulders. His books and his music were ways to release some of that weight and provide a little enjoyment for the people around him.
This book is made to be funny and hard to get. It is Lennon's own mind game. Meant to make you think, come to your own conclusions and to have some fun. If you take it any other way then you miss the point of what he was doing. It is a great book of laughs and interesting drawings from John Lennon. Buy it, borrow it, give it a looksi do.
The layout and artwork are rather reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's books (e.g. "Where the Sidewalk Ends"), while the nonsense, puns, and wordplay remind me a lot of Alice in Wonderland. Throw in the twisted sense of humor of Edward Gorey, and you have a fairly good idea of what John Lennon's writing style is like.
A good portion of each book consists of John playing around with word replacement - case in point, "Snore Wife and some Several Dwarts", or the detective story about "Shamrock Womlbs" (who makes quips such as "Ellifitzgerald my dear Whopper"). Strangely, it's not as hard to follow as it might sound!
This is definitely a odd book, but very fun to read. If you're a fan of literary nonsense, I'm sure you'll love this. I laughed out loud quite a bit while reading this book, and it's tremendous fun to try and read it aloud. I highly recommend it to lovers of quirky, fun poetry and prose, especially if you're a Lennon fan already.
The 70th anniversary edition is very nicely presented, as well. Definitely one of the highlights of my book collection!
I loved it then, it introduced me to fun for the fun of it with a mad literary bent.
Later, in college, I read Ulysses and that filled in the circle.
From pure imagination to pure recognition flowing together in a single purpose; To say what the hell is going on here????
I got this book to introduce my sons to the joy of confusion, and while the books do not seem quite as crazy as they seemed back then, it's still a brilliant cracking of normalcy and a sad reminder of the great loss of imagination silenced.
Be Here Now