Review – The John Lennon Letters

It’s the small artifacts of everyday life which reveal so much about us – the notes, letters, photos, lists, all capture our daily moods and thoughts. Some are intimate; others are mundane, but all have the capacity to shed light on who we are.

Collected here are John Lennon’s letters, postcards and other ephemera; each pictured with a transcription (in case you can’t read his handwriting) and well-written text to give context to each item. They show John’s humor, kindness, friendship and creativity, as well as his darker sides – frustration, anger, and sadness.

The book is beautifully produced – 392 pages, on heavyweight, high-quality paper, with color (and a few black & white) reproductions of the letters and other items, a full index, a brief foreword by Yoko, and an introduction by the editor, Hunter Davies. The contents are gathered into 23 chapters, each detailing a different period of John’s life, or topic. Just a few of these are – for example – Early Years (childhood); Hamburg; Beatlemania; India; Apple Dramas, Problems with Paul; Double Fantasy. Many of the pieces are embellished with John’s drawings.

The items in The John Lennon Letters were obviously collected, considered, and written about with great care; Hunter Davies has done a great job in curating this collection. You feel as if you’ve opened a shoebox of treasured mementos.

There’s plenty here to see, read, and reflect on, and it all combines to paint a deeply personal portrait of the man, John Lennon. As a longtime Beatles fan, I’ve gotten great enjoyment out of this book and the glimpses it offers into John and his relationships with others. Anyone with an interest in John, the Beatles, or their history should find this book engrossing and a pleasure to delve into.

You learn more about The John Lennon Letters and buy it at a discount here.

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