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John [Hardcover]

Cynthia Lennon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Sep 2005
Cynthia met John Lennon at art college. They fell in love, married and had a son, Julian, at the start of the Beatles phenomenon and their relationship spanned ten of the most important Beatles years. She is one of the few and closest witnesses to events that have become music legend.But as well as new insight into the Beatles years, Cynthia has a compelling personal story of marriage, motherhood and a man - John Lennon - who was to become the most idolised and admired of all the Beatles.As with all iconic figures, the mythology is often better known than the real story. Her affection undimmed, Cynthia is candid about the cruel, as well as the loving, side of John. She tells of the end of their marriage and the beginning of his relationship with Yoko Ono in more detail than ever before, and reveals the many difficulties estrangement from John - and then his death - brought for herself and their son Julian. Cynthia is a remarkable survivor and her extraordinary story and unique insight into a man loved by so many around the world is sure to be a huge bestseller.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd; 1st edition (26 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034089511X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340895115
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 16.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A fascinating first-hand account of one of the most bizarre phenomena of the 20th century.' -- Sunday Telegraph

'brave and revealing' -- The Times

'this one has the ring of truth that most Beatles books do not'. -- Independent on Sunday

'vivid and engaging... refreshingly free of bitterness.' -- Mail on Sunday

Book Description

The full and remarkable story, for the first time, of John Lennon's first wife - their life together, divorce, John's death, and the aftermath for both her and their son Julian. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In John's Life 24 Oct 2005
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I have loved the Beatles since I was 3 and have been a rabid, inveterate fan and Beatle expert since I was 11. It is not surprising that I have an extensive Beatles' library and have read many books about the Beatles, individually and as a group for many years.
John Lennon, aka the Chief Beatle, was a prominent figure in every sense of the word. He left an indelible stamp on history, music and other aspects of culture and remains a fascinating person to this day.
Of the many Lennon biographies I have read, I liked this one best. This is not to discount the stellar works by Alan Clayson and Ray Coleman, whose objective, scholarly treatment of Lennon remain biographical bars that have been raised.
Cynthia's first book, "A Twist of Lennon" was written when John was still living. In that first book, which could be thought of as a volume one to this work, one gets the impression that Cynthia was too close to the memories and that it was hard for her to write objectively. That would certainly be understandable. Since she was writing about her life and experiences as she knew them, objectivity was not required; however, one gets the sense that Cynthia was still as freshly hurt as she was when the incidents took place.
In "John," readers get a more rounded picture of Cynthia, John, the other Beatles and their wives as well as others who were close to the Beatles, such as their manager, the late Brian Epstein. Readers get a "feel for" or a sense of each person mentioned in the book, including family members such as the previously little mentioned people in Cynthia's family. Readers come to see the forces, people and influences that shaped Cynthia, and by extension John Lennon as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demythologizes John Lennon's First Marriage 31 Dec 2005
Before John Lennon cheated on his first wife Cynthia and left her and their son Julian, they had what seems to have been a generally loving marriage. This book demythologizes John, and his first marriage.
"John" by Cynthia Lennon is the story about who they were before they met, about Cynthia's marriage to the famous Beatle, how John ran off with Yoko, and how she managed after his rejection to resolve things amicably. We see John the person, and not as much of John the musician.
History knows most of what happened during John's short life. Few details have been left uncovered. Most of what is known about the former Cynthia Powell is in the shadow of John Lennon. What she does here is shine the light on the John Lennon she knew, revealing John's own shadows and dark side.
The bulk of the book is candid.
She remarks how John, the world peacemaker, said, "Give peace a chance," as he lay in bed with Yoko. Young son Julian watched at home, asking his mother why his father was with another woman. John, she asserts, was very good to his fans, even at the height of the Beatles' popularity.
There are plenty of Beatle stories here, retold from the vantage of an active participant. Some of it is familiar territory to any fan of the Fab Four. Because of the Beatles' well-documented history, the context is easy to follow. From John's first time hitting on Cynthia while she was still engaged to someone else, to her description of how she processed John's death and George's deadly cancer, and what happened to all those who were part of the John Lennon story.
"John" is not in the least sentimental. John's drug use is mentioned matter-of-factly.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She loves you ... 11 Jun 2006
When I first read about this book, I dismissed it assuming Cynthia was "cashing in". However, the book was recommended to me and once I picked it up I could not put it down. Cynthia has produced a fascinating glimpse into the life of an icon. She manages to remain balanced, and yet her descriptions of his behaviour show that he was complex, flawed and often cruel. His treatment of his older son Julian is nothing short of disgraceful. As a long time Lennon fan, I am sorry to say that he was not a nice person and Cynthia would have been better off without him, which is precisely her own conclusion at the end of the book. Read it! It is excellent.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying account 24 Jun 2006
How much do we really know about the real person behind the celebrities we admire and in some cases hero-worship? The truth is, very little. What is more our view of these individuals has often been distorted by the media who have an interest in emphasising the purient without ever considering the character of the people they place on a pedestal or pillory, in the pursuit of creating sales.

Cynthia Lennon has provided us with an honest, sympathetic and respectful appraisal of her role as wife to John and mother of his first son, Julian. She does this with fairness to all concerned and without blame or bitterness.

There are perhaps only a few individuals who can fairly claim to know the real John Lennon and you feel as you read this book that Cynthia Lennon is one of them. Of course, it would be great to read a book by Paul McCartney about the life and times of the Beatles. Howver, I doubt such a book would reach the same depth in describing John Lennon as a person, as Cynthia Lennon has achieved here.

Cynthia Lennon's style is very easy to read and you find yourself drawn into the extended and complicated family life of Lennon and the Beatles. Her explanation of the role of Yoko Ono in the break up of her mariage and the Beatles does little to dispel the image of a stalker intent on capturing her prize. Is this unfair? Read the book and decide for yourself. However, it is much to the credit and credibility of the account that again, Ms Lennon, explains the events without censure or condemnation.

I'm no expert on Lennon biographies. In fact, I have avoided ever reading them because I have a cynical view that most are exercises in wealth creation for the writer with very little consideration for preserving truth and historical accuracy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm imaganing
An un known insight that know one was awear about in to his life, marrage, and road to fame that was often kept away from the public eye
Published 1 month ago by jenny/petite
5.0 out of 5 stars great
great for a present especially for hubby cant wait to do house work listening to this saves sitting still two things at once
Published 1 month ago by sarah morris
5.0 out of 5 stars John by Cynthia Lennon
Very moving story, told by the one person who knew it.It portrays Lennon as he was a flawed genius.Also how Cynthia and Julian have managed to make a life for themselves despite... Read more
Published 2 months ago by amber
4.0 out of 5 stars JOHN
Balanced and articulate. A reminder of a man who was a part of our lives for 20 years. Would. Recommend for anyone who remembers the Beatles with affection, but also as flawed... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Linda Woodall
4.0 out of 5 stars A subjective but believable account of a very difficult life
This book could just as accurately be titled 'Cynthia' as it is the autobiography of John Lennon's first wife. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stephen Reid
3.0 out of 5 stars Between the lines
It's all very polite and ladylike but it does not come across as a complete story. Highlights with a few bits of tame drama in between and a very disingenuous demolition of John... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. R. G. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars fab
fab book, great man great woman, what could be more interesting, I live on the same road as his house, so feel he is here still,,,xxx x x x x x x
Published 9 months ago by a byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars Reasons you should read this
I've been a fan of the Beatles' music since Love Me Do. I'm way past the stage of thinking them wonderful human beings, but they are/were tremendously charismatic. Read more
Published 10 months ago by imogen
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Read
Cynthia is a fantastic writer and her story is fascinating. Clearly she loved John dearly and she tells it warts and all. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for Beatles fans - thanks, Cyn
What a lovely woman Cynthia Lennon is. This book about John gives her viewpoint of John's life and times as she experienced it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by SL on Amazon
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