Jon's Reviews > John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth

John Lennon by Elizabeth Partridge
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's review
Sep 08, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Recommended for: Beatles Fans
Read in July, 2006

Through the first three quarters of the book, I found myself wondering why this photobiography was given a Printz Honor Award. Sure there is a lot of interesting information and wonderful pictures, but the text itself to that point is mostly summary, with only occasional insights into John’s psyche.

Finally, around page 150, right after the Beatles break up, the book redeems itself a good bit. John’s flight from stardom and his ensuing series of identity crises are well chronicled and fascinating. In Chapter 12, “Househusband in Search of Himself,” Partridge captures spot-on the essence of the days before Lennon became a father: “Long ago, his sense of self had become rooted in the John Lennon he saw reflected back in the public eye. He couldn’t help agonizing: Just who was he if he wasn’t playing music, and making headlines in music magazines like Billboard and Rolling Stone?”

Partridge makes good use of quotations from John’s friends, family, and band mates throughout the book. She tells the stories of many songs both from the Beatles career and John’s solo career. The relationship with Yoko is handled realistically and lovingly, at times reverently, in contrast to the tendency of some to denigrate her as a home wrecker and as the reason for the Beatles’ break up.

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