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the Complete Review
the complete review - biography/music



The Mourning of John Lennon

by
Anthony Elliott


general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase The Mourning of John Lennon



Title: The Mourning of John Lennon
Author: Anthony Elliott
Genre: biographical study
Written: 1999
Length: 274 pages
Availability: The Mourning of John Lennon - US
The Mourning of John Lennon - UK
The Mourning of John Lennon - Canada

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Our Assessment:

B : an interesting and quite useful study of Lennon's life and his influence, in life and, particularly, in death.

See our review for fuller assessment.



Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
American Studies . Spring/2001 Stephen L. Recken
American Studies International . 10/2000 James I. Deutsch
Australian Book Rev. . 6/1999 Chris Feik
Biography . Fall/2000 Kevin M. Burke
J. Psychoanalysis Cult. and Soci. . 1999 David S. Caudill
Popular Music . 10/2002 Dónal Griffin


  From the Reviews:
  • "As a political scientist who has also published books on psychoanalytic theory, Anthony Elliott perceptively examines his subject's personality, believing that Lennon regarded his life largely as a "recovery from loss," moving from a "nowhere man" to salvation with Ono and a new family." - James I. Deutsch, American Studies International

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Part biographical, part analytical, Elliott's book examines the phenomenon of John Lennon, and in particular the legacy he has left us with. Elliott's emphasis is very much on Lennon, and so the Beatles, for example, are looked at largely only insofar as how being part of them affected him and what effect he had on them and their success. The book actually serves as a very useful biographical introduction to Lennon and his work. One of our favourite aspects was his careful analysis and criticism of other Lennon biographies, especially Albert Goldman's.
       It is a relatively short book, trying to cover a lot of ground, but Elliott presents sound arguments as to what Lennon meant to the public at various stages in his career and life, and afterwards. Neither sensationalistic nor pedantically academic (don't be put off by the fact that Elliott himself is an academic, and the book published by a university press) this is a very useful overview of Lennon's life. The discussions of Lennon's unusual and varied private life, and of his politics, are exceptionally well-handled, with Elliott presenting a well-argued case for his interpretations. The book leaves many questions unanswered and many subjects only lightly touched on, but that is certainly its intent. It is a thoughtful and useful book about Lennon and its rational tone is very welcome.
       Highly recommended to anyone with a continuing interest in the Beatles, Lennon, or Yoko Ono, this is also a book that even those who are not fanatical in their devotion to the Fab Four will find interesting. As Elliott clearly shows, the Beatles -- and especially Lennon -- transcended pop music and became something far, far bigger.

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Links:

John Lennon:
  • Bagism -- good general John Lennon site, with links
Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Anthony Elliott is a Research Fellow in Political Science at the University of Melbourne. He has authored and edited a number of books.

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