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Skywriting by Word of Mouth

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  656 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews

John Lennon wrote Skywriting by Word of Mouth, an impressive collection of writings and drawings, during Yoko Ono's pregnancy with Sean, and always planned to have it published. The book's publication was a wish that seemed to end with Lennon's assassination in 1980 and the theft of the manuscript from the Lennons' home in 1982. When it was recovered and first published i

Hardcover, 200 pages
Published 1986 by Pan Books
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Joan Lattanzio
Jul 10, 2012 Joan Lattanzio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am the biggest Lennon fan in existence so you may find this biased, but if you do (after having read the book that is) then you are a Lennon-hating hipocrit. It is without a shadow of a doubt a-fucking-mazing, I don't know how he does it. We get immersed in the work of one of the most brilliant people to date. Witty, funny, dark, light, heavy, sexy, raw, clever and absolutely entertaining are a few of the adjectives I dare use in description of this work of genius. I am noticing my words and l ...more
Man, I love me some John Lennon but this was just an incoherent string of brain farts and puns. Sure, once you dissect the sentences you find some clever little plays on words and the odd mildly amusing/witty line, but on the whole I found it unreadable. In His Own Write is similar (short nonsense stories), but more enjoyable because each story is illustrated and had more structure/coherence than this.

The first 30-odd pages (the autobiographical stuff: "The Ballad of John and Yoko") is great tho
Apr 13, 2016 sanny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scribd
I really liked the autobiographical sections on him and Yoko Ono.

Then came his part amusing, part nonsensical musings which gave the reader glimpses into the psyche of this very talented artist. I skimmed through some of those as they can get repetitive, and I gather he might be high on mushrooms or other processed plants when he wrote some of them.

Not to say they weren't fun to read though. They could be, depending on your mood and/or perhaps how much cough syrup/hash you're currently inhaling.
James Murrell
Aug 25, 2011 James Murrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great at showing how to use conjunctions in a more creative way and therefore scores and seven years ago I first read it. I suggest this book to everybody of evidence as an example of John Lennon's genius.
The humor is very dry witted and anyone of the best examples of John's sense of it. That is his sense of the humor thereof that which he possessed within & out of itself made man. Just read it -
James Murrell
Samantha Soon
Oct 01, 2016 Samantha Soon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
I bought this book at the first American city I visited, San Francisco. Haight Street, famed for its influence on the hippie culture. I thought it was only appropriate that I buy a Lennon book here when I saw it at the tiny bookstore I stopped by.

That was 2010, and I just finished the book. The parts of the book I enjoyed most were the autobiographical parts, chapters where John recounted his split from two of his biggest comfort zones – The Beatles and his first marriage. The way he describes h
Stephen Lillis
Sep 09, 2016 Stephen Lillis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η επίτομη του υπερρεαλισμου μεσα απο μια πενα επηρεασμένη απο την φαση της αποκοπής απο τη show biz και την αφοσίωση στα οικοκυρικά ενός απο τους μεγαλύτερους καλλιτέχνες του 20ου αι. Το πρωτο μερος αποτελει μια βολικη αυτοβιογραφια χωρις αντικειμενικοτητα και αναφορες στη στρυφνή και βάναυση πλευρα του καλλιτεχνη αλλα με μια θεαση πρωτοπροσωπη και ζωντανη που πιανεις τον εαυτο σου να διαβαζει και να ακουει τη φωνη του Lennon να αφηγείται μεσα απο ενα δισκο βινυλίου ενω νιωθεις πως εσυ ο ιδιος β ...more
East Bay J
I didn't really know what to expect going into this one. The description on the back makes it sound very exciting, considering the manuscript was stolen from Lennon's home after his assassination. I loved The Ballad Of John And Yoko, in which Lennon recounts various scenes and scenarios from his and Ono's relationship and their relationship with the press. In fact, I found that part of the book fascinating.

Then there's the rest of the book. Short stories featuring Lennon's way with words on full
John Defrog
Jan 25, 2015 John Defrog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lennon’s “lost” novel (published six years after his death), combined with a few other short works, notably “The Ballad Of John And Yoko”, an autobiographical account of his relationship with Yoko Ono, how badly the British press treated them, and the break-up of the Beatles. As for Skywriting … itself, I haven’t read either of Lennon’s other two books (both published in the mid-60s), so I don’t know how this one compares. On its own merits, I can safely say that it is essentially 150+ pages of ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Liliana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the last bundle of literature that John Lennon blessed us with. And when I say blessed, I mean that in a jokingly way. Considering I had read his first two books, I was wondered if his writing would be any different. His writing certainly matured along with himself but as per usual the vintage Lennon humour is still stored in the many paragraphs. It first starts off with his dream woman aka Yoko as he talks about his life that was documented in the late 60s then after that there's a cate ...more
Dane Cobain
Jan 21, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Lennon was by no means a great writer, but he was a master wordsmith, and in his two published books we get to see a more playful side to his personality, along with some serious insights into the way in which he viewed his own life.

Skywriting by Word of Mouth is arguably his most serious work, with passages about his relationship with Yoko and the autobiographical ‘Two Virgins‘, which garnished its fair share of notoriety elsewhere. You’ll also get to see some of John’s drawings, which are
CJ Scurria
I read this book YEARS ago... but I still remember finding this book a pretty good thing to read.

To tell you what it is about would be IMPOSSIBLE as the book on purpose makes little to no sense much of the time. It is John Lennon at his "free most"- taking words and letting them sail off in directions as far as they can go.

It has very surreal stories so if you are looking for understandable narrative you are looking in the wrong place!

This is John Lennon's works so almost all the controversial s
Feb 14, 2013 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big Lennon fan, but despite some witty lines here and there, the book is a series of unconnected nonsense bits, I think written for self-amusement. I don't believe Lennon himself would have intended it to be published - at least not without working on it a great deal more.
There's no discussion about how the writings were collated, which has the feel of heavy editing / sellection. In relation to the first part of the book there is no background into issues and persons that Lennon is clearl
May 16, 2016 Gwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really do like John Lennon and am quite fond of his earlier works, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, however this book isn't what the other two were. This book has longer "stories" and not as many illustrations and is full of expletives that weren't in the other books. I guess the public has "grown up" and language poses no problem in publishing now. John is still putting nonsense words and phrases together and some of them are quite clever, but I wouldn't recommend this book for r ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Lanier rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another book I should have read long ago. Although I'm not your Beatles fanatic, I can appreciate their unique influences upon society and the musical and artistic worlds. I remember where I was when he got shot, and how that became my generation's "Kennedy" moment, which was followed by The Challenger explosion, Tianenmin Square and The Fall of the Wall. Unfortunately, this generation has its 9/11, Katrina and perhaps a few more.
Still, after only a few pages, great to get into the mind of the m
Surreal, poetic, nonsensical, play on words, fanciful... John Lennon's mind was a gem of creative wordplay. His little stories and poems are fun, funny, light, child-like, and endearing, and a little dark at times. It is in the same genre at times as Lewis Caroll (think "Jabberwocky") and Bob Dylan's TARANTULA. Inspiring to broaden your "discriptionary" for everyday speech... A look in on John Lennon's private mind, away from his fame and fortune as one of the Beatles. He is, in his own "write", ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A key component of the Meyer family sense of humor is a deep appreciation for clever word play. We also really like the Beatles. Of course I know Lennon's lyrics include wordplay throughout his career and there was a smattering of it throughout his letters that I recently read but this collection exhibits his true mastery. His mind must have been working at super speed as he made these connections between phrases and pop culture and political references. And through it all he managed to create a ...more
Feb 17, 2008 jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
there has not been, nor is there likely to be soon (though, nor is there unlikely to be later), a creative genius the likes of john lennon. his authenticity and commitment to truth are but two of his many admirable qualities. this book illustrates the ceaseless extent of his wit & humor.

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Gene Wagendorf III
Sep 27, 2007 Gene Wagendorf III rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is filled with a lot of Lennon's goofy and borderline non-nonsensical anecdotes. Some are more charming than others, but it's hard not to have a good time with Skywriting. The couple non-fiction pieces are pretty interesting (his thoughts on beginning a relationship with Yoko, and his reaction to meeting American radicals like Abbie Hoffman). The poems in the book are hard to draw anything out of, but the short stories show flashes of brilliance.
Elizabeth Rogers
Dec 01, 2014 Elizabeth Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beatles fans; those looking for a book that's a little different
I started reading this as a joke, but really ended up liking it. Much of it's nonsense, but it's written by John Lennon, so what else is there to expect? Lennon does cool things with words in this book, as one might also expect. This is a good beach read, or bedside book for casual reading. Each chapter is pretty self-contained, so there's no rush to finish the book. Basically, this book is just fun!
Max Nemtsov
Часть книжки - довольно ехидная автобиографическая журналистика, остальное - обычная безалаберная и безответственная писанина, хорошо нам знакомая по двум предыдущим книжкам. Шутки, картинки и каламбуры забавные попадаются, но в целом тексты менее осмысленны и как-то необязательны: Леннон, как он сам сказал, still suffering from a slight case of vernacular. Эдакие судороги традиций пресловутого британского юмора, в общем.
May 02, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lennon has a very unique voice, and his descriptions and attention to language really seperate his work from that of other writers. In "The Ballad of John and Yoko" it is quite evident that written words were the way he communicated best. A very insightful story, not for the story of The Beatles, but about the true human nature that is in essence conflicting.
This book is out there like other writings by John Lennon. Somethings make sense others do not. If you like John Lennon or the Beatles you may enjoy reading his writings and looking over his drawings.
Aug 05, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beatles fans
Published long after his death, this collection of John Lennon poems and stories picks up where A Spaniard In The Works left off. Yoko chose things written and drawn after that book to show where John ended up with his strange writing.
Not a typical poetry book and well worth a shot.
kacie smith
A master of nonsense language :].
I'm a big Lennon fan, and this is an interesting look into his head. I've read lots of biographical stuff, and of course listen to the music, but his writing is a really great view of him as well.
Mar 02, 2009 Cbusdeane1987 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavily satirical and rebelliously absurd. There is not one page where Lennon won't go off topic into a new curiosity and there is no such thing as too far in his mind. Really great glimpse into a unique mind.
Clint Priest
You have to adore John Lennon and know and appreciate his personality to enjoy this book. Very familiar with such, I did dig the book. But I think average readers or indifferent fans of John won't find it as amusing and perhaps even a bit odd. I dig it.
Jun 19, 2009 Katsumi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
This work is truely a gem from John Lennon. This books contains everything that you want to have from John himself. In this book he offers the cynical satire of everyone and everything that are related to him. He attacks other Beatles, FBI, Richard Nixon, and everything that he can get a hand on..
William Trently
May 12, 2013 William Trently rated it liked it
For me, the best parts were "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and the Afterword by Yoko Ono because these were coherent. The remainder really should be classified as a random collection of worksheet ramblings filled with creative puns, "stories" that go nowhere.
Jul 29, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
Some really funny stuff:

"The separation of the church and Christiaity was one of my earliest memories"

and stories like "The Air Hung Thick Like a Hustler's Prick" & "A Word in Your Orifice"

but on the whole it became redundant.
Hannah Lockhart
The only part of this likely to make sense is the beginning but after that, it just becomes a stream of consciousness. I love me some nonsense words and playful gags. Took me a while to get through it but it certainly tickled me when I did have the time to sit down and read it.
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John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE, was an English singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, and together with Paul McCartney formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager, his first band, The Quarrymen, evolving into The Beatles in 19
More about John Lennon...

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