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John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman Review

Title: John Lennon: The Life

Author: Philip Norman

First published October 28, 2008

851 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780060754013 (ISBN10: 006075401X)

Rating: 4.03


Philip Norman’s latest biography, John Lennon: The Life, is a riveting and comprehensive portrait of the Beatle who always sought more than just fame. Drawing from previously untapped sources and featuring unprecedented access to major characters in Lennon’s life, Norman digs deep to reveal the complex and contradictory man behind the music.

From his strict upbringing with Aunt Mimi to his notorious love affair with a Japanese performance artist, Lennon’s life is laid bare in this masterful work. With candid interviews from Paul McCartney, George Martin, Yoko Ono, and even Lennon’s own son, Sean, Norman pieces together the story of a man haunted by his past and driven by his artistic vision.

Honest and unflinching, John Lennon: The Life is an essential read for any music lover.

Editoral Review

John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman is a remarkable biographical account of one of the most influential figures in the history of music. As an acclaimed journalist and author, Norman has chronicled the lives of some of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, including the Beatles.

With this book, he delves deep into the life of John Lennon, providing a nuanced and detailed portrait of a complex man who left an indelible imprint on the world. Norman takes a stylistic approach in his writing that reflects the era in which Lennon lived.

It’s evident that the author had a deep understanding of the cultural context and themes of Lennon’s time, and he captures them with precision, immersing readers in the tumultuous times against which Lennon’s life unfolded. The book is full of little known facts, unseen photographs and letters that provide a comprehensive insight into the man who defined a generation.

The book doesn’t just cover the meteoric rise of the Beatles, but also delves into Lennon’s personal life, family, relationships, and struggles with addiction. The author’s comprehensive research and attention to detail make it a true masterpiece.

The book is packed with personal anecdotes, first-hand accounts of events, and a wealth of primary source material that provides a complete picture of Lennon’s life. The book doesn’t shy away from the his mistakes or misjudgments either.

It presents a well-rounded look at a figure who is widely revered, but who was also flawed, often making decisions that had negative consequences. Norman’s writing is rich with personal stories and a deep understanding of Lennon’s complicated relationships, which is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the book.

At over 800 pages, The Life is a weighty tome, and some readers may find it overwhelming. While this is a valid concern, it’s important to note that the book’s length is necessary to provide a truly comprehensive understanding of Lennon’s life.

Additionally, Norman’s writing style is such that even the most detailed parts are fascinating, and readers will not find themselves struggling to maintain interest. Ultimately, John Lennon: The Life is a powerful and moving tribute not just to Lennon’s life, but to the era in which he lived.

For fans of the Beatles, music lovers, biographical enthusiasts, and those who want to gain a better understanding of one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, this book is an absolute must-read. It’s a work that captivates the reader from start to finish and provides a comprehensive insight into the life of a pop culture icon.

Rating: 4.5/5. The book is an absolute masterpiece, given the depth of research, the writing style and the nuanced portrayal of Lennon’s life.

The book loses half a point for being lengthy at times. However, this criticism is minor, given the importance of the topic and the overall quality of the book.