- Hardcover: 864 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday Canada; 1st edition (October 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385661002
- ISBN-13: 978-0385661003
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 413 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,192,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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John Lennon: The Life 1st Edition
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Then why giving only three stars?
Well, Philip Norman, the author, is famous for diminishing the role of Paul McCartney in the Beatles. He said that John was three quarters of the Beatles - which is very unfair to Paul, George and Ringo. Throughout the book he puts plenty of quite derrogatory remartks to Paul that are totally uncalled for. He has also included quite a few gossip remarks. One example is suggesting that Stu Sutcliff's death could have been caused by a fight with John.That is based on a remark from a Stu's relative, years after his death, which is not confirmed by Paul, Astrid, or any of the other guys. It is there just to include a polemic topic.
Throughout the book he keeps suggesting a homo affective relation between John and Stu, that do not resonate with any of John's, Paul's, Astrid or anybody else's accounts.
He does not provide much detail or comments on the music either. One particularly silly comment, describing Abbey Road, is saying that Oh! Darling is a particularly unmemorable song (once again to downplay Paul). Well the proof that he is wrong is someone who was born after The Beatles disbanded (me) still be hearing and enjoying that very song, right? It is memorable that long afterwards.
At this point you're probably asking why I am still giving it three stars, right? There is some good reasons for that. The author does a good job in portraying a scenario of all John's life phases and what was happening in England and in the world. He provides lots of details and facts.
My criticism is that you need to take everything with a grain of salt. Don't have this book as your only source of information. Read other stuff from John and about him, to have a more balanced view.
And don't listen to the author when he writes about Paul. Too much unjustified bickering. John was certainly my favourite Beatle, but I believe that the true power of The Beatles was that those FOUR guys challenged themselves to put out the world's best music ever. So many years passed and I still listen to them constantly.
Read the book, but beware of the author bias.
And I suppose the big question is still; Who broke up the Beatles? Clearly the death of Brian Epstein was a factor but it also seems clear John was determined to leave and used Yoko as a wedge to make that happen. it was just never going to work having her in the studio and the idea of her providing input on the music made it worse. a damn shame but they left behind a treasure trove. John's death is still one of the seminal moments in my life. We know from Double Fantasy that there was much more to come.
Most recent customer reviews
to glimpse his genius. He is now, by far my favorite Beatle...Read more