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The Lives of John Lennon Paperback – September 1, 2001
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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 ›
The only thing missing from the new edition is the article Goldman wrote about the persecution he endured for writing about Lennon in the first place (only Penthouse would publish it at the time!). By taking on the cult of rock stars, he ended up enduring the wrath of America's mass media and the rock establishment itself (Rolling Stone dedicated an entire issue to defaming him and U2, those peace-loving ambassadors of goodwill, wrote a song that included lyrics calling for his death!).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I appreciated the author's critical view of Yoko but some of his speculations seemed odd. John trying to rape Brian Epstein? John having sex with assorted teen aged males? Read morePublished 4 days ago by Golindrina
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 3 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 6 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 7 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 13 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 15 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 16 months ago by sheetshopper
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS & YOU FIND OUT THAT GOLDMAN SCORED A 'BULLSEYE'.Published 18 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 19 months ago by Courtney McCormick