- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Fusion Press (30 Nov. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1901250431
- ISBN-13: 978-1901250435
- Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.6 x 1.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,710,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon
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From the Author
There has been much written in the press about the fact that in 1981, under controversial circumstances, I transcribed John Lennon's private diaries. Now, 20 years later, what is being described as my "poignant" and "controversial" book, "Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon," has finally been published to worldwide acclaim. According to the October 2000 issue of "Mojo," it's the #1 rock 'n' roll book in the UK. For this I am grateful.
What I tried to do in "Nowhere Man" is get inside Lennon's head unlike any book ever has. I did this by using my knowledge of his diaries as a road map to the truth. In other words, I tried to tell the truth as John saw it. It was my intention to paint the most honest and emotionally accurate three-dimensional portrait of John Lennon as a human being that I was capable of doing. He comes off as neither a rock 'n' roll saint, as some biographies would have you believe, nor a degenerate murderer who could barely play the guitar, as others suggest. Lennon was a flawed and complicated man. Ultimately, he was The Great Searcher, a man who looked everywhere for The Answer but never found it. By the time you're finished reading "Nowhere Man," you will know how it feels to have been John Lennon, and that is a devastating yet sublime experience.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robert Rosen was a 28 year-old New York cabbie and graduate of journalism school when Lennon's personal assistant, Fred Seaman (later fired by Yoko and given five years probation for theft), approached him to collaborate on a book about Lennon. Seaman and Rosen briefly had in their possession the personal diaries of Lennon, but Rosen's notes and the diaries themselves were stolen. Hence, Rosen does not base his account on anything more than his memory of the journals he claims to have read, hearsay, and imagination. Nowhere Man is much more a work of imagination than "investigate journalism" - much more so than Rosen is willing to admit in the opening pages, although he does concede that "I have used no material from the diaries". Since what he writes should not be taken as fact, it is fundamentally misleading of him and his publishers to subtitle the book 'The Final Days of John Lennon'.
Rosen tells us of his attempt to get inside Lennon's mind and lifestyle, which turns out to be unintentionally funny: "I ate the foods that he ate. I fasted. [...] I lived as he would have lived, but without Yoko, without Sean, without a staff of maids, cooks, governesses, chauffeurs, and their assorted servant seers and personal assistants. I lived as he would have lived, but without his Beatle past, without his superstar present, without his $150,000,000". Well, I'm sorry, but then he wasn't living remotely like Lennon was!Read more ›
Rosen strikes an engagingly Lennonesque balance between poeticism and unswerving directness throughout the book, and is largely sympathetic towards his protagonist, "doing time in a gilded prison". The chapter chronicling the descent into madness of Lennon's assassin is particularly powerful.
Yet the underlying problem with "Nowhere Man" is the other book born out of its controversial genesis: Fred Seaman's The Last Days of John Lennon. Lennon's former personal assistant published his memoir in 1991 after "Project Walrus", the biography he and Rosen were collaborating on using Lennon's stolen journals, collapsed in a maelstrom of acrimony and double-dealings. In Rosen's bitter introduction, he begs the reader's sympathy for the mental anguish he endured after Seaman "robbed" Lennon's journals back from him- a mind-boggling conceit considering Rosen's complicity in their theft.
"Nowhere Man" is essentially a Cliffsnotes version of Seaman's book, which tells exactly the same story in considerably more detail and with none of Rosen's brouhaha about "channelling Lennon's spirit".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
According to Elliot Mintz, Rosen was one of the witting conspirators in 'Project Walrus', in which John Lennon's personal journals were stolen from the Dakota shortly after his... Read morePublished on 13 July 2008 by B. Fairhall
Rosen charts the last 5 years of this musical genius and more particularly the last year of his life. Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2003 by Peter Uys