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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 October 2015
I finished this in just two sittings. It shows just what a complex man Lennon was from his Liverpool years through the Hamburg years, the Beatles years to the at times tortured New York years. Lennon, often sending letters to random fans. It's all here with hundreds of letters and the brilliant comments and prose of the Beatles official biographer. A labour of love and it shows.
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on 29 January 2013
John Lennon wasn't a very prolific or good letter writer. Which should come as no surprise. The fact that his collected 'letters' (read: one line postcards, replies to questionnaire with at most five vaguely interesting letters concerning Paul McCartney) have been published is a bit desperate. The book is handsome and Hunter Davies does his best to pull together these fragmants but it amounts to very little.

I write as a Beatles fan and someone who finds Lennon interesting - but not so fascinating that I'd recommend this book (one step above rummaging through Dylan's dustbin) to anyone.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 October 2012
Any material that is available from this musical genius should be available to his public. I find this an addition to the wealth of material adding to the knowledge of a truly great. The problem is that the majority of Lennon's work and thoughts have been widely published in books or magazines. This edited collection by Hunter Davies is to be respected but is really for the completist. Much of his personal writings, drawings and endorsement of Yoko's 'Grapefruit' (I have a copy signed by both live!), this is a perception of John that has to be taken in the context of his life. His letters are those of a young man who wrote to his mates and personal contacts including notes relating to Yoko. I doubt John never expected them to be published. I'm also sure he never expected to die when he did. Hence, this is important to the millions interested and influenced by him.

Dug out by the editor, they make scant reading,yet put together, there are humorous extracts and anecdotes, as expected, but overall they are a patchwork of Lennon. Albeit, they weave into his history. The impact of his death and loss comes through and Hunter Davies deserves credit for this. The sadness of his final words, reference to Aunt Mimi and letters to his cousin, Leila. If you want to know about John Lennon, listen to his music. If you want words they are in abundance. Having lived through this marvellous period I admit to being a Lennon afficianado. Not for everyone, but a part of his history. The quality of the paper has been criticised. That may have been a relic of the past, but could not see any problems. Take it or leave it. My personal decision is recommendation with the above provisos.
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on 8 January 2013
A must for real John Lennon fans...A great insight into the man himself...It shows how humna he was...What more can you say...
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on 7 April 2013
I enjoyed reading the letters. Gives you greater insight into a person who will show different sides to different people. I even like the 'mundane' shopping/to do lists but like anything to do with John Lennon so I'm a bit biased!
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on 25 January 2013
This is a fabulous book for anyone who is interested in the Beatles, particularly if they lived through the fifties and sixties. A lovely read to sit down for hours and enjoy or to dip in and out of.
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on 2 January 2013
What a fantastic book. Hunter Davies has produced a labour of love here. This is a wonderful record of John's crazy thinking, sense of humour and compassion (and anger at times). The illustrations are great and the stories behind many of the contributions are fascinating. I saw Hunter at The British Library giving a presentation about this book, although he spent far more time on his authorised biography of The Beatles from 1968. Try and see him talking about this book. Well worth it, as is this wonderful book.
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on 10 April 2014
Really interesing perspective of a great mans life! Must buy for any lennon fan.

There is a great reply to a letter from Paul McCartney and Linda that John wrote starting 'I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky beatle fan wrote it, i resisted looking at the last page to find out, i kept thinking who is it -Queenie? Stuarts mother? Clive Epstien's wife? Alan Williams? - what the hell - its Linda!' - Get the book to see what abuse comes next.
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on 1 August 2015
The book is good and very much of interest to Beatles/John Lennon fans. My only disappointment is that the proportion of letters included which directly relate to John and The Beatles isn't as great as I'd imagined, many are brief and relate to everyday more mundane communications, some being little more than notes. That said, as a fan and collector, I'd rather have this book than not.
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on 2 July 2013
This weighty book is good value for money, full as it is of lots of Lennon letters to various individuals and organisations. He appears to have written letters at the drop of a hat and thank goodness for that! What has resulted is a fascinating insight into the man s thinking and reasoning over a substantial section of his eventful life. Recommended!
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