7,772 book reviews and counting...

Being John Lennon: A Restless Life Reviews

Being John Lennon: A Restless Life by Ray Connolly

Being John Lennon

Ray Connolly

4.00 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 4 Oct 2018
ISBN: 9781474606806

An intimate yet unsparing biography of one of the greatest and most mythologised musicians of the twentieth century.

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
4 stars out of 5
18 Oct 2018

"A fascinating new biography"

Lancashire-born, Connolly perfectly captures the shabby conformism and deference of post-war Britain that the Beatles would help to overturn. He handles their much-told tale with welcome concision...After Lennon’s murder, Yoko attempted to beatify her husband, but there never was a Saint John – the man in Ray Connolly’s account is much more human, and much more lovable.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Roger Lewis
13 Dec 2018

"Connolly tells the story with a fitting, powerful sense of drama"

Described here as being ‘as changeable as the Liverpool weather’, John Lennon was perhaps much more tempestuous than that. By Ray Connolly’s own account, the darkness and insecurity outweighed any tranquillity — and the story moves with the inevitability of a myth towards Lennon’s date with destiny. On December 8, 1980, outside The Dakota building in New York, four bullets fired at point-blank range ‘ripped into his back’. Lennon was dead aged 40... Connolly tells the story with a fitting, powerful sense of drama.

4 stars out of 5
Victoria Segal
7 Oct 2018

"'Connolly, the author of Being Elvis, takes a sensible route down the path dividing the saint and the monster in this careful, thoughtful biography.'"

 'neither hatchet job nor hagiography, Being John Lennon swerves dead-hero worship. What survives is the complicated, enduringly fascinating man'

4 stars out of 5
Clive Davis
29 Sep 2018

"(a) brisk and eminently readable biography"

Just about the whole world wanted the Beatles to stay together; we adored them too much to want the love affair to end. But Ray Connolly’s brisk and eminently readable biography of John Lennon reminds us of the irresistible forces driving the Fab Four apart.... As with his earlier portrait of Elvis Presley, Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, Connolly inevitably goes over some well-trodden ground... but if Connolly doesn’t deliver any seismic revelations, he tells his story with all the gusto of an old Fleet Street hand.