The Life Of A Man
Philip Norman “John Lennon: The Life”
With over 500.000 words to read, there may be countless John Lennon’s biographies Philip Norman’s “John Lennon: The Life” is the definitive one. The writing of this book started with the collaboration of Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney, however, the end result was not satisfactory to them (in the book, Norman refers that Yoko did told him that it “was mean” to Lennon). This book is very informative, goes through a very complete Lennon childhood, detailing everything has much as possible and even gathering information from the restrict Aunt Mimi personal documents. Maybe the reason Yoko and Paul weren’t too fond of the final result was because this is an unfiltered and taboo free biography; it doesn’t romanticizes Lennon as the “Prince of Peace” that most people keeps memory of, it shows a normal man who happens to be talented and goes through a lifetime of changes in only 40 years. The loss of his mother, his harsh relation with his father, the wild period in Hamburg where he gained the habit of drinking too much and taking pills to stay up through the marathon of concerts they were obliged to do in the Hamburg bars, and also the story of how he (and other members of The Beatles) finding themselves penniless robbed a man.Then there are the stories of the homosexual experiments, detailing his relationship with Beatles manager Brian Epstein and how he took advantage of the fact Epstein was in love with him to have the deciding voice in the band (and how he was furious when he didn’t got his way because of Paul McCartney), the infidelities to Cynthia his first wife, the neglect of his son Julian and the transformation or mutation into a different man when he meets Yoko Ono. It goes through a very detailed accounting of The Beatles career and split, the drug use including Yoko’s own heroin habit, and the transition to the U.S.A where he separated from Britain. The book also talks about Lennon’s sexual fetishism’s, his Los Angeles “Lost Weekend” period. It culminates with Lennon being reborn as a different and more mature man towards the late 70’s, but then, in 1980 everything went wrong. This book does not takes any merit away from Lennon, instead, it introduces him as just another human as everyone else, who had good things and bad things, and this is why it makes this biography the best one, that’s how all should be, unfiltered.
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