Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Lives of John Lennon Paperback – September 1, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I recommend you read it. The experience made me realize that my love for John is impenetrable, and if yours is too, then I recommend you check this book out. Ask yourself, who is the person who has done the most campaigning to destroy this book? The answer is the woman about whom Goldman does a good deal to expose.
(As a final asterisk, I meant to only give this a four star review, but I edited the review so many times that I ultimately hit the wrong button)
Is the book bias? Of course! Does that necessarily mean the book is bad? No! From a sheer reading perspective, the book reads very well. I think it is about time some author had the guts to take on Yoko Ono, and show her in the full light and all of her shallowness.
I am only puzzled as to why the author Goldman did not spend more time addressing John Lennon's songs when he was a member of the Beatles. For example, to really show how lazy Lennon had gotten during the making of 'Sgt. Peppers,' Lennon sat around at home and rarely came to the recording studio. Yet even then, as a mark of the man's ability to produce good songs, Lennon was 'inspired' to write the album's "Good Morning" from a television cereal commercial, and "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" from (word-for-word) an advertisement. Yet Goldman fails to even mention this, giving virtually all of the album's credit, except for "A Day In The Life" to Paul.
It would have been a better book had Goldman spent more time on Lennon's song writing, and less time on Lennon's personal failings.
I think Lennon was the greatest rock vocalist, and one of the greatest songwriters, of his generation. But John Lennon the human being has often been obscured by the mythology that's built up around him since his murder in 1980. I see some of Goldman's book as worth reading because it includes interviews and information unavailable elsewhere, and because its devil's advocate role counters the Lennon-as-saint meme that, in my opinion, does the man and musician a great disservice. Lennon was a musical genius with a troubled past whose life was marked by great internal struggle. There's plenty to admire about him without pretending he was perfect.>
The shortcomings of Goldman's book have been covered in other reviews, so I'll just mention a few. Goldman sometimes states rumor as fact, even when that rumor is discredited (as when he reports that Lennon had a romantic and sexual relationship with Brian Epstein). He frequently seems to dislike Lennon and to take delight in detailing his failings. And he plain gets facts wrong, as when he describes John and Yoko being on a plane showing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and describes it as a "Beatles movie." ("Beatles-related," yes; "Beatles movie," no.Read more ›
Now, however, the dust has settled, and _The Lives of John Lennon_ holds up beautifully. Each contention of Goldman's which was alleged to be outrageous in 1988 stands. Remember the ridiculous panic over Goldman's portrait of Lennon as a heavy drug user? That drug use has now been acknowledged by just about everyone who knew Lennon, including Ono and Lennon's first wife, Cynthia Powell. The same is true about Goldman's claims about Lennon's tendency towards violence (a tendency Lennon himself owned up to in his Playboy interview). And, while Ono and others acted agitated over Goldman's depiction of Lennon as bisexual, Ono herself is found to have said she considered John Lennon a "closet fag" in a 1981 interview. (Why, then, was Ono so upset by the appearance of Goldman's book? Because of what it reveals about her.)
It will be clear to anyone who approaches Goldman's book with a fair mind that the outrage its publication originally sparked was unjustified. _The Lives of John Lennon_ is not dishonest or flawed in any way. A perusal at his "Sources" section reveals his awesome thoroghness. Goldman bravely explored areas of Lennon's and Ono's lives that others shied away from out of deference to Ono, a worshipful attitude towards Lennon, and a reluctance to figure things out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Want to read a book by someone who clearly hates the subject matter, clearly hates the Beatles, clearly rock/pop music? This is the one. Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. J. Ryan
It's been a long time, and to heck with A. Goldman. This book is well researched or has inside information, and you can visit Frank Zappa, with John and Yoko in his One Fifth Ave. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wade Dizdar
This was a difficult book to read all the way through, because 1. I had put John on a bit of a pedestal, and 2. It's incredibly detailed, and almost gets lost in detail. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Beatles Fan
Excellent Book, You can not put it Down, I would have liked more liner notes which offered the sources of the information in a more exact way, the chapter making magic is creepy,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Oscar Logrono Brache
It seems to me that the author hated Yoko vehemently, and just used the premise of a bio of John to publicly slam her. Read morePublished 14 months ago by ColleenJulie
I am revisiting this book 25 years after reading it originally, along with reading many other John Lennon biographies that have been written during the 35 years since his death. Read morePublished 15 months ago by sheetshopper
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS & YOU FIND OUT THAT GOLDMAN SCORED A 'BULLSEYE'.Published 17 months ago by JZC
Many people dislike this book because of the image he portrays John as, I was very skeptical to read it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Courtney McCormick
This is a no holds barred biography on John Lennon that tells a story a lot of John Lennon fans may not want to hear. It is interesting to read his side of the story.Published on May 8, 2014 by Debbie