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John Lennon: The Life par [Norman, Philip]
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Longueur : 865 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Description du produit


Before leaving London for the Sweet Toronto Peace Festival in September 1969, John had finally made up his mind to resign from the Beatles. But the whirl of departure had left no time to break it to the other three.

On September 20, Klein called a meeting in Apple’s boardroom for the formal signing of the Capitol contract. For the first time in months that John had all his fellow Beatles on hand to hear his news. But initially he held back, confining himself to a generalized complaint about Paul’s dominance of the band since the Magical Mystery Tour album. “I didn’t write any of that except Walrus . . . ” His tone was more hurt than accusatory. “So I didn’t bother, you know, and I thought I don’t really care whether I was on or not, I convinced myself it didn’t matter, and so for a period if you didn’t invite me to be on an album personally, if you three didn’t say, ‘Write some more songs ’cause we like your work,’ I wasn’t going to fight.”

The insecurity and fatalism revealed in this outburst were surprising enough. But John did not stop there. Warming to his theme – though still wounded rather than angry – he accused Paul of always having overshadowed him, not only by writing more songs but also by inveigling the lion’s share of studio time. It was not a row, more like the airing of mutual grievances before a marriage counselor. Surprised, and not a little hurt himself, Paul conceded that he might have “come out stronger” on recent albums, but pointed out that often when they went into the studio, John would have only a couple of songs ready to record. John agreed his inertia had been a factor: “There was no point in turning ’em out – I didn’t have the energy to turn ’em out and get ’em on as well.”

Paul was all for burying hatchets and pressing forward, convinced all would be well if they could free themselves from balance sheets and office politics. “When we get in a studio, even on the worst day, I’m still playing bass, Ringo’s still drumming, we're still there, you know. . . .”

It was the cue for John’s bombshell. “He hadn’t even told me he was going to do it,” Yoko remembers. “John said, ‘You don’t seem to understand, do you? The group is over. I’m leaving’ “

“I started the band, I disbanded it. It’s as simple as that,” John himself would recollect. “I must say I felt guilty at springing it on them at such short notice. After all, I had Yoko; they only had each other.”

According to music-industry wisdom in 1969, not even the Beatles could split up and expect to continue selling records in significant quantity. It was therefore vital that no word of John’s resignation should leak out until the Abbey Road album had realized its full market potential. “Paul and Klein convinced him to keep quiet,” Yoko remembers. “We went off in the car, and he turned to me and said, ‘That’s it with the Beatles. From now on, it’s just you – okay?’ I thought, ‘My God, those three guys were the ones entertaining him for so long. Now I have to be the one to take the load.’ ”

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“[A] haunting, mammoth, terrific piece of work.” (New York Times Book Review)

“It’s this level of detail that makes Norman’s 822 pages such compulsive reading.” (Bloomberg News)

“[Norman] sharpens what we know about Lennon at just about every turn…devotees will relish the new information, while casual readers will find a familiar story told more truly than ever before.” (Rolling Stone)

“[Norman’s] definitive biography draws impressively on exclusive and extensive interviews with Yoko Ono and, for the first time on the record, their son Sean…densely detailed, intricately woven and elegantly told, John Lennon: The Life neither condemns nor condones, nor does it consecrate its subject. (USA Today)

“The bad news is that John Lennon: The Life is so rich and enveloping that it demands to be read…it’s a clear-eyed and compassionate study of a man...Grade: A-.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Powerful and heartfelt.” (Washington Post Book World)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2179 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 865 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 006075401X
  • Editeur : Harper (3 septembre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI9EZK
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.2 étoiles sur 5 400 commentaires
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Much useful facts, beware of the author bias 7 août 2016
Par Marco Roman - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Plenty of detail on John's life. I am a long time Beatles fan, but still learned a lot. There is a lot of information.

Then why giving only three stars?

Well, Philip Norman, the author, is famous for diminishing the role of Paul McCartney in the Beatles. He said that John was three quarters of the Beatles - which is very unfair to Paul, George and Ringo. Throughout the book he puts plenty of quite derrogatory remartks to Paul that are totally uncalled for. He has also included quite a few gossip remarks. One example is suggesting that Stu Sutcliff's death could have been caused by a fight with John.That is based on a remark from a Stu's relative, years after his death, which is not confirmed by Paul, Astrid, or any of the other guys. It is there just to include a polemic topic.

Throughout the book he keeps suggesting a homo affective relation between John and Stu, that do not resonate with any of John's, Paul's, Astrid or anybody else's accounts.

He does not provide much detail or comments on the music either. One particularly silly comment, describing Abbey Road, is saying that Oh! Darling is a particularly unmemorable song (once again to downplay Paul). Well the proof that he is wrong is someone who was born after The Beatles disbanded (me) still be hearing and enjoying that very song, right? It is memorable that long afterwards.

At this point you're probably asking why I am still giving it three stars, right? There is some good reasons for that. The author does a good job in portraying a scenario of all John's life phases and what was happening in England and in the world. He provides lots of details and facts.

My criticism is that you need to take everything with a grain of salt. Don't have this book as your only source of information. Read other stuff from John and about him, to have a more balanced view.

And don't listen to the author when he writes about Paul. Too much unjustified bickering. John was certainly my favourite Beatle, but I believe that the true power of The Beatles was that those FOUR guys challenged themselves to put out the world's best music ever. So many years passed and I still listen to them constantly.

Read the book, but beware of the author bias.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good read but very detail oriented... 21 décembre 2016
Par E Trane - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Before I read this I had read Paul McCartney: The Life. Norman writes in enormous detail but perhaps sometimes not about the most interesting stuff. The music is secondary but I feel like I now know everything (maybe too much) about both of these men who are my heroes despite their various and plentiful faults. It may be that I know so much about the songs and their origins that someone less well versed would get more out of it. If you are not into detail I might suggest a simpler bio of John (or Paul). It's interesting to read both books and compare the different views both the author and the subjects. He clearly bent a bit for both of them although there are parts of both books that are less than flattering. For instance, Norman seems particular fascinated by John's apparent incestuous interest in his own mother, Julia. And clearly he was really struggling from some of the events of his youth, particularly her untimely death.

And I suppose the big question is still; Who broke up the Beatles? Clearly the death of Brian Epstein was a factor but it also seems clear John was determined to leave and used Yoko as a wedge to make that happen. it was just never going to work having her in the studio and the idea of her providing input on the music made it worse. a damn shame but they left behind a treasure trove. John's death is still one of the seminal moments in my life. We know from Double Fantasy that there was much more to come.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 HOME RUN! 13 septembre 2015
Par BigDrumDaddy - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
In JOHN LENNON: THE LIFE, Author Philip Norman has complied possibly the most complete, concise, honest and forthright biography of the late John Lennon to date. And it saddens me that Yoko couldn't bring herself to endorse it because, as she said, "He was mean to John."
That may be the most telling aspect of the whole ordeal. For, if anything, it was John himself who was most mean to John - and nearly everyone else. Even the most casual Beatles fan knows that. And Yoko was, in many ways, his facilitator. In others, the mother figure he never truly experienced.
Nonetheless, from his early childhood to Quarry Bank, to Beatlemania and well beyond - until the day of his tragic murder - Philip Norman covers it all in exacting detail, straight from the mouths of John Lennon's family, friends, and closest confidants. And all the names and footnotes are laid out for all the whole to see. So, to that end I say, "Bravo Mr. Norman!" You've taken on one of the most beloved and controversial figures of the 20th Century, laid him bare, raised him up, praised him where deserving, and - not really criticized - but shown us all just how complicated, confused and conflicted this self proclaimed "Working Class Hero" could be.
In doing so you've painted a picture of a man with parental & authority issues, who never quite grew up, yet managed to reach heights never before scaled by anyone in his chosen profession. A man full of insecurities and paranoia. A drug addict. Sex addict. And God only knows what else. And yet he managed to author some of the most endearing, inspiring, tender, and meaningful songs of his time. And despite all his flaws, bared to the world for decades now, he remains beloved by untold millions still.
You've taken the story of this complicated man, and told it in a straightforward, unapologetic fashion. Told his story, good, bad and otherwise - warts & glory - in a manner easy for anyone to understand and relate to. And done a fine job of it sir. And John Lennon fans everywhere (this one included) are forever in your debt.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I was an avid Beatle fan from early on but George was always my favorite. Such a great musician but did not seem ... 9 juillet 2015
Par Winston - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The writing was well done, it was the subject that ended up bothering me. I was an avid Beatle fan from early on but George was always my favorite. Such a great musician but did not seem to need all the attention. With that being said, I just never particularly cared for John as he always seemed to put his foot in it and the rest would always have to handle the fallout. He seemed to be getting better as he aged and took an hiatus to raise his son. Ok, those were my impressions so wanted to really know about John once I heard this book was out. Yikes! What a narcissistic and self-serving jerk. Horrible father to Julian and beyond horrible to Cynthia (although she was way too much a victim). Really did not like him through this book. Had to read in separate sittings as it bothered me so much. Not a nice person. They kept saying he was shy. I think he was just mean-spirited and self-aggrandizing. A good read in as much gives you their side of the "Beatles' story" yet may definitely change how you view the "Fab Four". I know it had to be hard living those lives with no privacy, although I certainly believe John made his own life harder just by being John.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Low on music, high on who-said-what-to-whom 20 novembre 2016
Par George M. - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Generally worthwhile, but only about 20% of it is about the music. The rest consists of long narratives about John's extended family and the details of his life long anger internalization caused from childhood abandonment by both his parents. Unlike the seedier books about his life, John is portrayed as likable and somewhat adorable and witty in this treatment, but the depth of his bi-polar insecurity despite being among the most famous musicians on Earth is the recurring theme. This causes the read to be tedious in many parts and the feeling that the book is too long pops up repeatedly because there's too much minutia mixed in with the important things, and there's no way to separate the mundane from the magnificent. This can be seen when the reader slogs through many pages of detailed narratives about (aunt) Mimi, (father) Freddy Lennon or (mother) Julia's sisters; or the litany of characters, hangers-on and acquaintances of no significance to the reader coming and going, while the composing and recording of the albums were often presented in several pages. Sgt Pepper... Great achievement. Case closed.

The problem with biograph-izing a long gone hero is that the social and political norms of the 40 or 50 years ago differ greatly from today, and what sounds irrational or a little `out-there` to us today was reasonable in context back then. And vice-versa too -- I'm sure we'd be considered a little out-there to those of the '60's and '70's. Yoko had the advantage of speaking in the now, and of course her comments about the past (having been interviewed in the present) seemed perfectly reasonable in retrospect. I thought she came off pretty well in the book despite eventually un-endorsing it just before publication (according to the book's afterword). Norman does pretty well at scaling the two epochs even though his subject's words came from a man outside of time.

You quickly sense that Norman is not a musician. A word man instead of a cadence man. While he had a good working knowledge of the lyrical side of John's compositions, what he didn't have was an understanding of their musicality.

I did finish this huge read and felt I had accomplished something, and I enjoyed most of it. But I do confess eventually I found myself rapidly hitting my reader's page-turn button, flying past a lot of the family stuff until I got to the tales of the next Beatles or post-Beatles album project. John Lennon's life was about his tremendous contribution to 20th century music. To me, how it came to be is not as important as why it came to be.
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