John Lennon: The Life

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 864 pages
26 Reviews

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.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
12
4 stars
7
3 stars
4
2 stars
2
1 star
1

Review: John Lennon: The Life

User Review  - Carol Storm - Goodreads

Definitive Lennon biography -- but would have liked more about the Hamburg scene, more about the early Beatles and the complexity of John's creative relationship with Paul McCartney. Read full review

Review: John Lennon: The Life

User Review  - Diane W. - Goodreads

I had grown up with Paul being my favorite Beatle. We sang Imagine for the SDWC concert #songsofpeace. (And the lyrics to this song hangs nicely framed inside Anthology, a music restaurant venue in ... Read full review

Contents

ParT
3
The Northern Confederacy
22
The Outlaws
40
Shortsighted John Wimple Lennon
58
The Gallotone Champion
79
Buddies
102
ParT ii
110
To The ToPPermosT of The PoPPermosT
125
ParT iV
442
Zen VaudeViLLe
467
Breathe
469
Magic Meditation and Misery
501
Theres a Good Little Guru
527
Back to Virginity
547
Bedlam
580
Withdrawal Symptoms
615

My Mummys Dead
127
Jealous Guy
151
Under the Jacaranda
169
MachSchau
193
The Singing Rage
219
Shadowlands
248
Lucky Stars
279
a Genius of The Lower CrusT
313
Leather Tonsils in a Throat of Steel
315
The Big Bang
342
The Top of the Mountain
377
Real Life in CinemaScope
408
A Most Religious Fellow
439
Beatledämmerung
647
ParT V
649
PiZZa and fairy TaLes
679
The Yippie Yippie Shake
681
Trouble with Harry
713
Beautiful Boy
742
Homebody
763
Starting Over
784
Sean Remembers
809
Acknowledgments
819
Index
823
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Philip Norman is a novelist, biographer, journalist, and playwright. He is the author of the bestselling biography John Lennon: The Life and the history of The Beatles Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation. Norman has also published biographies of Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John, as well as six works of fiction and two plays, The Man That Got Away and Words of Love. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information