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Download John Lennon: The Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample John Lennon: The Life, by Philip Norman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,829 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Norman Narrator: Graeme Malcolm Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For more than a quarter century, Philip Norman’s internationally bestselling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom belonging to the world’s most beloved pop group was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, here is the comprehensive and most revealing portrait of John Lennon that is ever likely to be published.

This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon’s much-chronicled life, including the songs that have turned him, posthumously, into a near–secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore—his upbringing by his strict Aunt Mimi; his allegedly wasted school and student days; the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney; his Beatle-busting love affair with a Japanese performance artist; his forays into painting and literature; his experiments with Transcendental Meditation, primal scream therapy, and drugs. The book’s numerous key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon—whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never before—and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candor about the inner workings of her marriage to John.

Honest and unflinching, as John himself would wish, Norman gives us the whole man in all his endless contradictions—tough and cynical, hilariously funny but also naive, vulnerable and insecure—and reveals how the mother who gave him away as a toddler haunted his mind and his music for the rest of his days.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] haunting, mammoth, terrific piece of work.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[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

  • “Powerful and heartfelt.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[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

  • “It’s this level of detail that makes Norman’s 822 pages such compulsive reading.”

    Bloomberg News

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Harrison | 2/14/2014

    " I'm probably the biggest Beatles fan you'll find who isn't over the age of thirty. So, as you can imagine (haha, pun intended!), I really had a good time reading this book, so much so that I brought it with me here, there, and everywhere. First of all, it was so detailed it was scary! (it was thicker than my bible and weighed as much as my cat.) But, what I liked about it most was that the author did not place any sort of opinion that would take away from the reader's experience of reading about this incredible man's life. The author told the story as it was, delving deep into Lennon's personal and professional life smoothly. If you're a fan, or just want to know more about this music legend, hurry up and read this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Heather | 2/8/2014

    " This was a good read. Philip Norman seemed to be a bit jadded so that is why only 3 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Drew | 2/5/2014

    " My friend let me read this and I couldn't finish it in time, but it was really interesting and jaw-dropping. I love John Lennon, so i really enjoy a look into his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Indra | 1/21/2014

    " Good book. I've read a fair amount about Lennon and the Beatles, having been a fan of them as long as I can remember drawing breath. I thought this book was well researched and did provide some new insights and ideas--it was nice to hear more from Yoko and from Sean as an adult. (I would have liked to hear more from Julian...I hope he writes his own book one day.) Definitely worth reading for fans. "

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About the Author
Author Philip Norman

Philip Norman is an award-winning novelist and biographer who, in 1969–70, was assigned to cover from the inside the breakup of Beatles’ own business utopia, Apple Corps. He is the author of Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation, Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly, and many other books. He lives in London.