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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,329 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cynthia Lennon Narrator: Cynthia Lennon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780739324332
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When she was eighteen years old, a girl named Cynthia Powell met a boy named John Lennon and they fell in love. Their ten-year relationship coincided with the start of the Beatles phenomenon—from Liverpool’s dockside clubs to the dizzying worldwide fame that followed. And Cynthia Lennon, John’s first wife, was an integral part of the swirl of events that are now an indelible part of the history of rock and roll. 

In John, Cynthia recalls those times with the loving honesty of an insider, offering new and fascinating insights into the life of John Lennon and the early days of the Beatles. And with the perspective only years can provide she also tells the compelling story of her marriage to a man who was to become a music legend, a cultural hero and a defining figure of the twentieth century.

Cynthia has seldom talked in any detail about her marriage and the painful events that followed John’s tragic assassination in 1980. Now she candidly reveals the good and the bad, the loving and the cruel sides of John. She tells of the breakdown of their marriage and the beginning of his relationship with Yoko Ono in more detail than has ever been disclosed before and documents the difficulties estrangement from John—and his subsequent death—brought for herself and their son, Julian.

In John, Cynthia Lennon has created a vivid portrait of the 1960s, the Beatles and the man she never stopped loving. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • Lennon’s eyewitness testimony vividly captures the time and place and the characters . . . her portrait of John is loving but candid. Washington Post
  • A welcome window into a period that’s typically narrated at breakneck pace, [providing] a gentle reminder that John Lennon was a human being . . . before he was a piece of history. Detroit Free Press
  • [Cynthia Lennon’s] portrait reveals an immensely talented and driven man who was capable of great passion, affection, and loyalty, but whose inability to handle confrontation and tendency toward flight from painful realities led him to abandon his family when the going got tough. Buffalo News

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 2/17/2014

    " This was an absolutely riveting book. I'm a big Beatles fan, but I didn't know too much of the band's backstory (except that which has evolved into legend), so this was a bit of an eye-opener. John, creative genius that he was, could be an incredibly cruel man, and while I'm sure Cynthia wasn't entirely the innocent she claims to be in the book, I now understand where the public's animosity towards Yoko Ono comes from. Holy homewrecker. Part pop culture history, part romance and part tragedy, I highly recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in the Beatles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosanne | 2/10/2014

    " How can you not read and appreciate this first hand account of life with John? I felt Cynthia was truthful and as straightforward as possible. Beatles fans will always love her. As a woman, I feel for what she went through. She's a survivor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Althea | 1/28/2014

    " Great inside look at John Lennon by his first wife. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monique | 1/22/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I admit I teared up a bit when Cynthia was putting Julian to bed and saying that she wouldn't let John take him from her or something to that effect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Uhe | 1/17/2014

    " A great insight into a troubled genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Mattocks | 1/1/2014

    " finally we hear from Cynthia! Her account of her life with John was not watered down, just straight forward and honest. This is a must read for every Lennon fan, it shows John not as a hero or a marter, but as a person, with feelings, and passions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jimmie | 12/27/2013

    " A sad ending to a brilliant man. But his music lives on.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cain Davies | 12/26/2013

    " Brilliant. Somehow alot of this book has remained relatively exclusive to the pages and not easy to find on the internet and for that reason alone it is worth a read if you are a fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 12/17/2013

    " This book by Cynthia Lennon is by far my most favorite book written about John Lennon. I own it and I can't tell you how many times I've read it. This book is a must read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maria | 12/17/2013

    " God awful. Creative people should never torture normal people. Mating with other creatives is the only way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 E | 10/25/2013

    " I think this is a very true story about John Lennon.. You get a lot of respect for Cynthia Lennon, It must have been very hard for her when her husband became famous and got dragged into the life of a legend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob Hermanowski | 10/22/2013

    " Written by first wife Cynthia, this is interesting, if understandably biased. I met Cynthia Lennon at a Beatle convention years ago; she seemed like a very gracious and somewhat vulnerable woman. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill | 9/3/2013

    " Written by John Lennon's first wife about her life and everything that went on with him and then, later, with Yoko. Interesting inside look. Sometimes frustrating behavior on her part. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 7/14/2013

    " I loved this truthful view of the real life of John Lennon as a teenager up until his death. Very interesting to know what he was like behind the scenes and what a dramatic effect his assassination had on his friend and family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judi | 5/29/2013

    " I read this book many years ago. It was a real eye opener. It is a must read for any Beatles fan however, it shows another side of the squeaky clean Beatles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Javier | 5/14/2013

    " This book should have been called Cynthia Lennon. Some interesting facts definitely. Gives you some insight on how John was in his early 20's. After that, she loses track of him and the story becomes hers and Julian's. A little too long in my opinion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 3/9/2013

    " i don't think she did john justice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 7/1/2012

    " LOVED this, for obvious reasons but mostly because of the interesting perspective of his first wife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 1/27/2012

    " Cynthia's story presented a different view of John Lennon and it is definitely a bittersweet view. Julian Lennon wrote the forward which sets up the tone of the book. I recommend this book. It is written with love and great pain. A good book to balance the artist with the flawed man and the legend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hanna | 10/26/2011

    " This is my favourite book I read!!! I love it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 6/16/2011

    " A must read for any John Lennon fan. Cynthia writes a different heartfelt side of John that only a wife could know. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maria | 5/12/2011

    " God awful. Creative people should never torture normal people. Mating with other creatives is the only way.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pl | 4/11/2011

    " Interesting story, but it left MANY ???s... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Javier | 4/6/2011

    " This book should have been called Cynthia Lennon. Some interesting facts definitely. Gives you some insight on how John was in his early 20's. After that, she loses track of him and the story becomes hers and Julian's. A little too long in my opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 3/31/2011

    " Makes me rethink the people I thought John Lennon and Yoko Ono were. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/13/2011

    " Absolutely brilliant. What a fantastically written book and a wonderful insight into John Lennon by someone who knew him right at the beginning. Couldn't recommend this book more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/24/2011

    " Poor misunderstood much maligned John Lennon....we'll never know what the man could have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth | 1/6/2011

    " Great book. A good companion to Patti Boyd's memoir. There was necessarily much new or surprising in "John", but it is always interesting to hear the stories from the source. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bee | 12/20/2010

    " Excellent book. You have to really take everything with a grain of salt because it's a one sided retelling of Lennon's life. But it's easy to get caught up in this book and it's nice to see John from the other side. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 10/29/2010

    " I loved this book and finally getting to hear Cyn's side of the story!!! I felt like I learned so much about everyone involved in The Beatles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristy | 10/16/2010

    " I cried, I felt her pain about losing someone you love, about feeling cast out of a tightly-knit group of people. Deeply appreciated her perspective. "

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About the Author
Cynthia Lennon was born in Blackpool, England, in 1939. While attending the Liverpool College of Art she met John Lennon, whose rebellious style, caustic wit and passion for rock and roll already marked him as someone different. John and Cynthia married in 1962 and their son, Julian, was born in 1963. The Lennons were divorced in 1969. Cynthia retained custody of Julian, who saw his father sporadically until John was killed in 1980. In the years since, Cynthia has been a restaurateur, a designer and a television personality. She now lives in Spain with her husband, Noel Charles.