A lifetime of letters, collected for the first time, from the legendary musician and songwriter.
John Lennon was one of the greatest songwriters the world has ever known, creator of “Help!”, “Come Together”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Imagine”, and dozens more. But it was in his correspondences that he let his personality and poetry flow unguarded. Now, gathered for the first time in book form, are his letters to family, friends, strangers, and lovers from every point in his life. Funny, informative, wise, poetic, and sometimes heartbreaking, his letters illuminate a never-before-seen intimate side of the private genius.
This groundbreaking collection of almost 300 letters and postcards has been edited and annotated by Hunter Davies, whose authorized 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, contextualizing them in Lennon’s life and using them to reveal the man himself.
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About John Lennon and Hunter Davies
John Lennon was born in Liverpool in 1940. A singer, songwriter, and musician, he was one of the cofounders of The Beatles. He died in 1980.
Hunter Davies is the author of over 40 books and has written for The Guardian (London), New Statesman, and The Sunday Times (London). He is married to the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster and they live in London.
The John Lennon Letters edited by Hunter Davies: review
The Telegraph Book Review – October 15, 2012 (Excerpt)
In the 32 years since John Lennon was shot dead by a crazed fan outside the New York hotel in which he lived, a number of different versions of the former Beatle have stepped forward to blur the edges of his memory. There’s the moon-faced pin-up of Sam Taylor-Wood’s recent biopic Nowhere Boy (Toyboy Lennon), the weaselly schemer of Ian Hart’s two Nineties film portrayals (Bitter Lennon) and – perhaps most vividly – the abrasive lifelong performance tribute staged by Liam Gallagher (Asbo Lennon).
To say that The John Lennon Letters brings the “real” Lennon back to the fore is not to shackle the book’s titular correspondent to a single identity, but rather to appreciate how vividly his collected hand-drawn postcards, eight-page Christmas love letters, anguished drunken screeds and painstakingly typed expositions of religious faith depict him as the animating spirit of a plethora of different guises. 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. [Read the full article...]
‘John Lennon Letters’ Reveal A Life As It Happened
NPR Book Review – October 20, 2012 (Excerpt)
John Lennon loved word play; he wrote songs that have not only become standards, but also milestones, like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Strawberry Fields,” which he wrote with the Beatles, and “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance,” which he wrote on his own. For most of his life, he also composed letters to friends and family; then lovers, as he grew up; and strangers, as he grew famous. His notes, letters and postcards often contained small, funny drawings and self portraits.
Now Hunter Davies, who wrote the band’s 1968 authorized biography, The Beatles, has helped annotate almost 300 of letters written in Lennon’s own hand. The result is his new book, The John Lennon Letters. He joins NPR’s Scott Simon to discuss the love and rage of Lennon’s letters, and what the notes reveal about the man. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.