Author: Robert Rosen
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Genre: Fictional Biography
Retail Price: 9.99
Buy on Amazon.com link
I was looking forward to this slim book, which claims to be a factual account of John Lennon’s last days, thinking that Yoko finally lightened up and give someone access to Lennon’s secretive diaries.
Imagine my groans when I read the intro, disclaiming that the author had read the stolen diaries almost twenty years ago and created this book “from memory,” and with the help of “investigative journalism and imagination.” This “investigative journalism” consists of information from unlisted sources, the consultation of astrological charts, and just wondering what Lennon might’ve been thinking at the time. In other words, it’s saying it’s both a “roadmap to the truth” and yet also an incredibly lame creative writing exercise.
The story itself is somewhat interesting (if not well-written or full of depth), and I’m sure it’s based on some true events, but some of the imaginative paintings of his psyche contradict Lennon’s own words in interviews just before his murder. The items that are more-than-plausible (and extremely mundane) are written like groundbreaking revelations, when it really just warrants a shrug. (Wow, John Lennon was into astrology and chain smoked?? He was conflicted and depressed?? Certain foods made him constipated? Oh my gawd!!!!) The “revelations” in this book will only come as a shock to those who consider Lennon a perfect saint or incapable of releasing his feces.
If you want a new perspective on Lennon that isn’t endorsed by his very silent and uncooperative widow, you might like this book. But if you’re looking for the truth, stay away from this work of speculation.
Bottom Line: Many insights about John Lennon, few true.