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Lennon Legend: An Illustrated Life of John Lennon [Hardcover]

James Henke
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Oct 2003
Following the best selling THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY comes the ultimate John Lennon book. A rich tapestry of his life and the music that made him famous, this innovative, interactive book features removable facsimilies of hand-written lyrics, drawings and unseen photographs, documents and letters as well as a CD containing more than ninety minutes of interviews recorded with Lennon before his death. Written by James Henke of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, it is the first complete picture of John Lennon, from his early days at art school to the height of Beatlemania to IMAGINE, to be authorised by his widow, Yoko Ono Lennon. John Lennon's importance as a musucian and an icon have grown since his death. No fan will be able to do without this extraordinary book.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (9 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297843362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297843368
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 27.8 x 135 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Lennon Legend: An Illustrated Life of John Lennon is probably the most attractive tribute to the singer yet produced. He may never have been the working-class hero that he liked to present himself as but his raw talent, anti-authoritarian tone and charismatic personality has made him (since his death) a nigh-legendary figure.

Is it a book? Is it a collection of memorabilia? Is it a CD? In fact, it's all three (and more) crammed into a highly tempting package that will be an essential purchase for most Beatles aficionados. James Henke has assembled a remarkable document, describing the life of the troubled young musician and socially committed rebel whose influence is still felt today. The coverage here is complete: from the early days of the Beatles' burgeoning success to the moment they virtually took over the world, and the acrimonious break-up of the group (right up to Lennon's assassination by a disaffected loner in New York).

But what makes this retelling of a familiar tale so unusual is the format--personal papers, song lyrics written in Lennon's own hand, sketches and much other material is reproduced unaltered, a great deal of which may be removed from pockets in the book to be examined individually.

More controversial aspects of the Beatles' legend is not examined in detail (such as the schism in the group created by Lennon's relationship with Yoko Ono--after all, her own archives provided much of the material here), but that's not the point of the book. This is no scalpel-sharp examination of a complex man, but a celebration of a highly individual talent. And as an object in itself, whether it's a book or not--Lennon Legend is irresistible. --Barry Forshaw

Review

'Lennon Legend is the bible for all Lennon fans, and once I'd discovered why he fell for Yoko ("I am a cloud. Watch for me in the sky" she told him in a letter) I knew this was the book to get to the heart of the man. It is stuffed with memorabilia galore - letters, drawings, songs and a CD interview with John. Incredible, and should be purchased with 'so this is Christmas' tinkling through the mind.' (JACK magazine (Nov '03) illustrated review )

'There are some dry books about Lennon, cataloguing every fart and tantrum from the sadly assassinated, troubled genius... This volume is more interesting: as well as a light commentary on his life and projects there's a whole load of pull-out material: copies of school reports, joke newspapers, lyric sheets, peace-campaigning literature, cartoons, and Beatle memorabilia. It's all been reproduced faithfully and placed in little pockets. A masterstroke of gimmickry.' (FRONT MAGAZINE (Dec '03) 5 'thumbs-up' review )

'An opulent production including a bonus CD, this book is amazing value for diehard fans.' (THE INDEPENDENT 5/12/03 )

'... a treat for the truly obsessive fan. Laid out like a scrapbook, each page includes wallets and envelopes housing facsimiles of memorabilia... all so faithfully reproduced as to give the collector of Lennon trivia the sensation of being sole curator. Crucially, this is the first life to be approved and authorised by Yoko; the author is a former Rolling Stone journalist and friend of Lennon's and his text ... recounts the history simply and cleanly.' (THE OBSERVER 7/12/03 )

'The text provides a comprehensive picture of Lennon, from art school to Dakota building, by James Henke from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone. What really sets this apart though, is a plethora of individually reproduced memorabilia, from the 1957 St Peter's Garden Fete programme, featureing the Quarry Men, where John first met Paul, to handwritten lyrics of 'Day Tripper' and 'Imagine'. **** (OMM (Observer Music Monthly) December 2003 )

'Ever wondered what John Lennon's school report looked like? Or the piece of paper on which he composed the lyrics to 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'? Now you can find out, thanks to LENNON LEGEND. This extraordinary exercise in beatification contains a short account of his life, a CD featuring interviews with him and, neatly tucked away between the symbolic 64 pages, ersaz memorabilia you can pull out and pretend is real.' (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney FINANCIAL TIMES )

'LENNON LEGEND is a unique biography of the Beatles star, which features pull-out facsimiles of posters, tickets, lyric sheets, scribbles, contracts - even a business card for the The Quarry Men.' (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY )

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flyboys 23 Jan 2004
Format:Hardcover
James Bradley's book is an outstanding piece of historical literature, written in highly readable prose, guiding the reader through the brutality of the Pacific air campaign. Alternatively focussing on the fate and experiences of individual pilots and then stepping back to discuss the wider, strategic impact of events, he opens our eyes to the clash of cultures between the Americans and Japanese. Whilst being unapologetic about the actions of either side, he rather seeks to understand what drove individual combatants on either side to commit the acts they did. That said, Bradley is trying to balance highly readable litereary prose, written in a pseudo-fictional manner, with an attempt at portraying the facts with historical accuracy, coupled with an historians analysis of events. As such, he makes the occasional sweeping statement,in an attempt at keeping the reader enthralled, resulting in an undermining of his credibility as a serious historian. Also, although he tries hard to be balanced in his views, the balance remains (unsurprisingly) pro-American in bias. However, overall, this book provides a fascinating insight into this air war, and is particularly enlightening regarding the actions of a certain Navy flyer named George Bush. For those who know little about the Pacific War, this book is an enthralling read that is hard to put down until the last page is turned.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply wonderful! 9 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book along with its pullout sections and wonderful photos is a must for any Lennon fan. I was struck by the numbers of reproductions of Lennon memorablia that was included with the book. From lyrics to handerchiefs this book includes it all.
As well as this, there is a CD with a load of fun things on it to listen to from Mr Lennon. A bid thank-you to all who made the book and a hearty recommendation to any considering buying the book. Well worth the money!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab in Every Way!!! 7 Jan 2004
Format:Hardcover
So beautiful and totally essential for Beatles fans - like an amazing huge pop-up book for grown-ups or like those "postman" picture books where you can look at and thrill over all the little letters in the envelopes! The CD is great too and the whole package would make a fantastic present even for non-obsessives...
Cannot believe how cheap it is - possibly my favourite book that I own :o)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary story 22 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised by how excellent this book is.

Having read James Bradley's first book, Flags of Our Fathers, I was curious to read his follow-up. But Flags is such a compelling personal story - a journey to discover what happened to his father in World War Two - that I wasn't entirely confident he could achieve the same with a subject he was less directly connected to. I needn't have worried. Flyboys is not only well-researched and truly revelatory. It's also an unusually well-balanced and sensitive attempt to get to grips with the horrors of war.

Most of us are aware of the particularly gruesome nature of the war in the Pacific. But Flyboys delves into a previously untold tale that descends into levels of atrocity and barbarism that are hard to comprehend. And this is where Bradley's writing talent really comes to the fore. He doesn't just dig up the facts and tell the story remarkably clearly. He goes much further, placing the brutality in some sort of context. It's the insight and background he places the events within that takes this book to a higher level, giving the reader a grasp and understanding of otherwise incomprehensible inhumanity.

Some American reveiwers have criticised Flyboys as unpatriotic - mainly for taking the trouble to offer a Japanese perspective on the Pacific conflict. But Bradley's credentials are hard to refute. His father, after all, was one of the flag-raisers on Iwo Jima; yet he has also travelled and studied extensively in Japan, acquiring an uncommon grasp of Japanese language, culture and history. And it's this uniquely balanced sensibility that takes Flyboys well beyond the mere unearthing of a harrowing story that it might otherwise have been.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book in every way 21 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover
This terrific book is full of interest, sparkles with episodes from John's iconic life. The inserts are just spectacular - large numbers of superb reproductions of material from his school, concerts, promotional material etc etc etc. I loved it and everyone who has borrowed it from me has loved and enjoyed it, too. The CD included is XLNT.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book 5 Jan 2005
Format:Hardcover
This book is a must have for John Lennon fans. It comes complete with copies of some of the songs, business cards, and other memoribilia from various shows. It also comes with a cd that is of an interview with John Lennon and has a live bersion of the song Imagine. This book is more than i could ask for and even has a approval from Yoko.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMAGINE..............A GREAT BOOK !!! 29 Oct 2003
Format:Hardcover
Just went through the whole book. This is truly
a must. Written by an authority in the field
as well a friend of John Lennon, this book is tracing
perfectly the path of our dearly missed working class hero.
I recommend it strongly. Forget about intimate details of his personal life. In reading it, we feel we was really and closely
part of the whole history.
It inspires lot of respect for a man we still love.
Thank you
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favored books !!
I would recommend it to anyone interested in the Pacific Theatre of War (WWII). It covers a war that has not received the coverage it really deserves.
Published 9 months ago by KAST Hans U.
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
As we have come to expect from James Bradley, a fascinating, nail-biting insight into the lives of those who flew the skies and defended our country.Excallent.
Published 14 months ago by E. Edgar-Dimmack
5.0 out of 5 stars lennon the genius we still mourn
the most interesting parts of this book are of course the reproductions such as his school report and the programme for woolton church fete in 1957 the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by cardus
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected
Having been born in the middle of the second world war, in a Japanese comcentration camp, I have always been interested in books about that period. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2011 by Marijcke Jongbloed
5.0 out of 5 stars Super gift
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my 23 year old son who is a big beatles fan.He loved it especially all the replica items. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2011 by Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary satory
I was pleasantly surprised by how excellent this book is.

Having read James Bradley's first book, Flags of Our Fathers, I was curious to read his follow-up. Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2009 by classic 1965
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever
Cleverly collaberated into one deffinitive collection. Excellent page layouts and graphic design. Amazing life story of Lennon
Published on 15 Sep 2009 by Ms. M. S. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Samurai Swords killed more people that Atom Bombs in WW2.
Flyboys is a book primarily about Gearge Bush's Navy flying days around Iwa Jima and its smaller sister island. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2008 by Andrew Moules
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