Lennon by Tim Riley
The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life

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Synopsis

In his commanding new book, the eminent NPR critic Tim Riley takes us on the remarkable journey that brought a Liverpool art student from a disastrous childhood to the highest realms of fame.

Riley portrays Lennon's rise from Hamburg's red light district to Britain's Royal Variety Show; from the charmed naiveté of "Love Me Do" to the soaring ambivalence of "Don't Let Me Down"; from his shotgun marriage to Cynthia Powell in 1962 to his epic media romance with Yoko Ono. Written with the critical insight and stylistic mastery readers have come to expect from Riley, this richly textured narrative draws on numerous new and exclusive interviews with Lennon's friends, enemies, confidantes, and associates; lost memoirs written by relatives and friends; as well as previously undiscovered City of Liverpool records. Riley explores Lennon in all of his contradictions: the British art student who universalized an American style, the anarchic rock 'n' roller with the moral spine, the anti-jazz snob who posed naked with his avant-garde lover, and the misogynist who became a househusband. What emerges is the enormous, seductive, and confounding personality that made Lennon a cultural touchstone.

In Lennon, Riley casts Lennon as a modernist hero in a sweeping epic, dramatizing rock history anew as Lennon himself might have experienced it.
 

About Tim Riley

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Tim Riley is currently the pop critic for NPR's midday news-magazine, Here and Now.
 
Published September 20, 2011 by Hachette Books. 784 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lennon

Kirkus Reviews

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The Windsors may have lost the real one, but thanks to the Beatles and kindred acts, Britain “lay claim to a new cultural empire, with significance far beyond its borders.” Despite recent boneheaded claims that Lennon was a closet Reaganite, Riley shows that Lennon was no deliberate imperialist—P...

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

Publishers Weekly

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Is there room for another big biography of John Lennon, just a few years from Philip Norman's doorstopper, and four years from Bob Spitz's epic history of the Beatles?

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

Kirkus Reviews

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John Lennon was enigmatic, charismatic, romantic, neurotic, frantic, pedantic and altogether fantastic.

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

Suite 101

This new biography about legendary musician John Lennon is filled with new info and insight about the man and the Beatles.

Oct 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

USA Today

Riley makes his most convincing points upfront, homing in on one perceived misconception in particular."There's no more misleading Lennon myth than the one spun from his 1970 Working Class Hero, which every self-respecting Liverpudlian renounces as a sham," says Riley, repeatedly underscoring Len...

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

USA Today

Few subjects cry out as much — or as often — for so-called definitive biographies than contradiction-heavy cultural deities like John Lennon.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

Portland Book Review

Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music – The Definitive Life delivers a complete fly-on-the-wall account of Lennon’s life from the day he was born until the day he was shot dead by a deranged fan.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Lennon: The Man, the Myth, th...

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