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John Lennon: The Life
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The final word on music's greatest legend, in which Philip Norman reveals a John Lennon the world has never seen. With ground-breaking insight into the pain, beauty and frustration that shaped the genius of modern music, John Lennon: The Life redefines a legend. John Lennon - the iconic songwriter, composer and one quarter of The Beatles - was a giant of the twentieth century. As the founding member of the world's most successful group ever, he changed lives. Now, the bestselling author of Shout!, recognised for over 25 years as the ultimate Beatles biography, 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, Philip Norman presents the most complete and revealing portrait of John Lennon ever written. The book's hundreds of key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Neil Aspinall, Sean Lennon, whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never before, and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candour about the inner workings of her marriage to John. This masterpiece of biography takes a fresh look at every aspect of Lennon's much-chronicled life as Norman shows us the whole man from Lennon's schooldays to his death outside his New York apartment building on December 8, 1980. Honest and unflinching and featuring previously unseen photographs this truly is the definitive John Lennon. Key title / This book will be a superb commemorative biography containing rare and unseen photos. / An intimate and incisive portrait of a music legend, backed up with interviews with famous names who knew Lennon. / Philip Norman is the author of Shout, the definitive biography of The Beatles, which created a whole genre of intellligent books on popular artists. / To be supported by a high profile publicity campaign including extracts, reviews and features across national and music press. / Competition: John by Cynthia Lennon (51k TCM)

About the Author

Philip Norman was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. He joined the Sunday Times at the age of twenty-two, soon gaining a reputation as Atticus columnist and for his profiles of various public figures. In 1981 he published Shout!, a ground-breaking biography of the Beatles that was a bestseller in both Britain and the US. He has also written the definitive lives of Sir Elton John and Buddy Holly.
His journalism has been published in three collections, The Road Goes On Forever, Tilt the Hourglass and Begin Again, and The Age of Parody. His book Babycham Night, is a memoir of his childhood on the Isle of Wight. He is married with a daughter and lives in London.

Reviews

This extensive, thoroughly researched biography traces the life of John Lennon, who, nearly 30 years after his murder, remains one of the most intriguing and respected figures in popular music. Novelist and biographer Norman, who recounted the story of the Beatles in Shout!, focuses here on Lennon's life outside his legendary band, with particular emphasis on his subject's tumultuous, unconventional childhood, his strange and sometimes shocking relationships with and attitudes toward his parents, and his two very different marriages. Lennon's treatment of his discarded first wife and long-suffering, seafaring father are examined in rich detail, shedding new light on his complex personality. Norman investigates both Lennon the public figure and, more interestingly, Lennon the private man, revealing a uniquely talented and influential artist and activist who suffered from sometimes debilitating insecurity and abandonment issues that haunted him throughout his life. Exclusive new commentary from Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, and sundry confidants and family members provides fresh insight to this accessible albeit lengthy work of popular biography. A highly recommended addition to any public library's music or biography collection. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.]--Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

`Reading this book brings the John Lennon I knew vividly back to life.'
Bill Harry, founder of Mersey Beat

Praise for Philip Norman:
Shout!:
`This stands as the first (and still the best) collision of Beatles history and literary depth... just about everything is rendered with beautiful prose and laser-like insight'
Q

`As beautiful and unsettling as any late Beatles record'
Daily Express

`Conscientiously researched... his command of his material is faultless'
George Melly, Observer

'Although more than 800 pages long, this book is nicely paced, well researched and will not disappoint.'
Glasgow Evening Times

`Meticulously researched, compulsively readable book.'
Sunday Times Culture magazine

`The Rock biography of the Year.'
Metro

`The best all-round Lennon biography.'
Sunday Herald Magazine

Norman (Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation) offers a grand, comprehensive, yet sprightly biography of the late Beatle. His sympathetic but sharp treatment captures Lennon's charm and charisma, but also his cruelty to loved ones, his rebel posturings, his resentment of Paul McCartney's matchless songwriting powers and growing dominance of the band, his debaucheries, his drunk and disorderlies, his shoplifting and his Oedipal yearnings. Norman is a smart analyst of pop music and its cultural setting and a scintillating miniaturist of Beatlemania. (He likens the band's trademark shriek-inducing hair-shakings to "manic feather-dusters.") He manages the difficult trick of loving Lennon's music without swooning over it, pronouncing "Strawberry Fields" both a great song and "crafted druggy gibberish." Lennon emerges as a bright, troubled, insecure man who grasped at profundity and occasionally touched it; from Norman's portrait, we see why so many consider him a soul mate. Photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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