The John Lennon Letters

Hunter Davies (ed.)

The John Lennon Letters

This collection of almost 300 letters and postcards has been edited and annotated by Hunter Davies, whose authorised biography The Beatles (1968) was published to great acclaim. With unparalleled knowledge of Lennon and his contemporaries, Davies reads between the lines of the artist's words, contextualising them in Lennon's life and using them to reveal the man himself. 2.8 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
The John Lennon Letters

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Music, Stage & Screen
Format Hardback
Pages 400
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-0297866343
Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson
 

This collection of almost 300 letters and postcards has been edited and annotated by Hunter Davies, whose authorised biography The Beatles (1968) was published to great acclaim. With unparalleled knowledge of Lennon and his contemporaries, Davies reads between the lines of the artist's words, contextualising them in Lennon's life and using them to reveal the man himself.

Reviews

The Independent

Arifa Akbar

Lennon's scrawls have an energy, a personality. His illustrations have verve. Even the to-do lists in the last chapter are as riveting as they are banal. Lennon's force of personality stops the smallest doodles from being mere memorabilia.

13/10/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Ben Thompson

The passage of time has made it increasingly hard to connect Lennon’s mythology — and, more importantly, his music — with a living, breathing person, so the kind and cruel and serious and playful individual who emerges joyously intact (albeit eternally fragile) from these pages elicits an almost physical shock of delighted recognition.

15/10/2012

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The Mail on Sunday

Craig Brown

Though most of the letters are slapdash and artless in themselves, they have a curiously moving cumulative effect when taken as a whole … Taken together, the 285 letters, many of them little more than scraps, somehow transcend their surface banality, and acquire the bittersweet poignancy bestowed by sudden death. There is something about their rushed, chatty incoherence that echoes the fleeting quality of life on Earth.

13/10/2012

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The Guardian

Jarvis Cocker

Are we really so bereft of new ideas that we now wish to study the equivalent of someone's Ocado profile? A clue may lie in the sources that Davies has used for this book: in the main the letters came not from their original recipients, but from private collectors who had acquired them at auction. In the years since they were written, these communications have turned from scraps of paper into banknotes ... It's a book of religious relics rather than some form of autobiography. Or maybe it's just a posh version of a Sotheby's catalogue.

13/10/2012

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The Evening Standard

Jonathan Meades

There’s scraping the barrel and then there is this dazzlingly indiscriminate collation of letters and memos and telegrams and postcards and doodles and shopping lists and action lists and lists of records to listen to and lists of books to read and lists of chores to give the staff and lists of stolen clothes (insurance purposes) and lists of diet foods and so on up to an adoring review for the New York Times of Spike Milligan’s The Goon Show Scripts. “Edited” is perhaps not the first word that springs to mind when one considers Hunter Davies’s role in this production.

11/10/2012

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The Sunday Telegraph

Neil McCormick

This book is beyond parody … The contrast between the serious presentation and triteness of the content only serves to make the subject look silly.

10/10/2012

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