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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,327 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cynthia Lennon Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9781415925898
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The Extraordinary Story of a Man, a Legend and a Marriage

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.


The time has come when I feel ready to tell the truth about John and me, our years together and the years since his death. There is so much that I have never said, so many incidents I have never spoken of and so many feelings I have never expressed: great love on one hand; pain, torment and humiliation on the other. Only I know what really happened between us, why we stayed together, why we parted and the price I have paid for being John’s wife.

I want to tell the real story of the real John—the infuriating, lovable, sometimes cruel, funny, talented and needy man who made such an impact on the world. —From the Introduction


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • Lennon’s eyewitness testimony vividly captures the time and place and the characters . . . her portrait of John is loving but candid. Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 2/19/2014

    " A new look at the life of Lennon from the perspective of his first wife, Cynthia. Good stuff "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monique | 2/18/2014

    " 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 Brendan | 2/10/2014

    " Yoko vilified; John escapes, barely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 1/23/2014

    " Very interesting look at the life of John Lennon through the eyes of his ex-wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob Hermanowski | 1/23/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. McNippy | 1/20/2014

    " totally awesomely cool! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginni | 1/15/2014

    " Biography of Lennon by his ex-wife. I was struck by his shockingly cold and cruel behaviour towards her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 1/14/2014

    " A different version of what happened before during and after the Beatle years. Well worth the time.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cain Davies | 12/27/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 12/22/2013

    " She seems pretty bitter, but I really can't blame her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth Morris | 9/21/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jade | 6/14/2013

    " Brilliant book. Honestly I cannot tell you how much I've learned from it. If you are a John Lennon fan you must read it, it gives you a different insight of his life and how he affected his family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 4/18/2013

    " 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! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb Fenwick | 4/13/2013

    " The truth is what we all agree on. John was a shit, that much is true, but I sure do miss him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mel | 1/13/2013

    " An interesting look at the life of John Lennon. Definitely worth the read, especially if you're a Beatles fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alohatiki | 11/9/2012

    " When I was young he was always my fave beatle but now not so sure. Interesting book, nice to hear the wifes perpective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 4/10/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 3/16/2012

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 3/2/2012

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corri | 12/6/2011

    " I loved this book. It was a very interesting look at Lennon. "

  • 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. 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.

About the Narrator

Gabrielle de Cuir, award-winning narration, has narrated over two hundred titles and specializes in fantasy, humor, and titles requiring extensive foreign language and accent skills. She was a cowinner of the Audie Award for best narration in 2011 and a three-time finalist for the Audie and has garnered six AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her “velvet touch” as an actor’s director has earned her a special place in the audiobook world as the foremost producer for bestselling authors and celebrities.