Ray Connolly's Being John Lennon is an excellent portrait of the man.
Connolly, the author of Being Elvis, takes a sensible route down the path dividing the saint and the monster in this careful, thoughtful biography. It's a well-told story, but Connolly has a substantial advantage: as a journalist for the Evening Standard and the Sunday Times, he came to know Lennon well enough to be invited repeatedly to his Berkshire house, Tittenhurst Park ... Yet Connolly wears his acquaintance lightly, never forcing himself into the narrative or sinking into the hideous mateyness that can blight rock biographies ... For Connolly, it is Lennon's insecurities that are ultimately most revealing, rooted in an unsettled childhood in Liverpool's postwar suburbs ... Connolly does all this with quiet expertise, an understated writer who collates all the details into a vivid whole ... [N]either hatchet job nor hagiography, Being John Lennon swerves dead-hero worship. What survives is the complicated, enduringly fascinating man
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 ... He deals with the difficult subject of Yoko deftly ... there was never a Saint John - the man in Ray Connolly's account is much more human, and much more lovable
An intimate biography that finds much to say that is new about the head Beatle
Connolly tells the story with a fitting, powerful sense of drama.
Connolly draws on his archive conversations with the Beatles to give a superb portrait of a dissatisfied star who couldn't stop reinventing himself
'[John Lennon] would probably enjoy this very fair biography... Connolly's book presents him as neither saint nor sinner but captures with honesty a complex and fascinating character. Lennon's is an oft-told story but Connolly still unearths nuggets about the insecurities that shaped his life, and the collaboration and rivalry with Macca that created magic