hits counter The Last Days of John Lennon - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Last Days of John Lennon

Availability: Ready to download

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.   With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.   With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer.    By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do.    Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage.    The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.


Compare

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.   With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.   With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer.    By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do.    Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage.    The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.

30 review for The Last Days of John Lennon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    In this book with a rather misleading title, we find out about John Lennon's involvement with the Beatles as well as his "last days." When I put this book on hold, I had thought that it would have been solely about his final days of his life, but instead, the book starts with the birth of the Beatles and then jumps to Mark Chapman's point of view. The thing that bothered me the most was the dialogue, which clearly was created to give the reader a sense of character development between the Beatle In this book with a rather misleading title, we find out about John Lennon's involvement with the Beatles as well as his "last days." When I put this book on hold, I had thought that it would have been solely about his final days of his life, but instead, the book starts with the birth of the Beatles and then jumps to Mark Chapman's point of view. The thing that bothered me the most was the dialogue, which clearly was created to give the reader a sense of character development between the Beatles, but how could the authors have known what the conversations were that went on between the Beatles and the various people. This was a major strike for this book and I found it to go on a bit too long and be a bit too commercialized.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    James Patterson is certainly a prolific writer. He seems to have written about 70 books, either by himself or authored with another writer. He’s written books for adults, children, and teens. I’ve never read a James Patterson book, until I read his latest, “The Last Days of John Lennon”. I mention the sheer number of books Patterson has written because sometimes it’s indicative of a book’s quality. James Patterson mostly writes fiction, but his book about John Lennon is nonfiction. He traces the James Patterson is certainly a prolific writer. He seems to have written about 70 books, either by himself or authored with another writer. He’s written books for adults, children, and teens. I’ve never read a James Patterson book, until I read his latest, “The Last Days of John Lennon”. I mention the sheer number of books Patterson has written because sometimes it’s indicative of a book’s quality. James Patterson mostly writes fiction, but his book about John Lennon is nonfiction. He traces the life - both musically and personally - of Lennon, bringing to the story of his life and death a workmanlike quality. Patterson - and his two collaborators - tell John’s story in relatively calm fashion, leaving the passion to those who mourn Lennon’s death in the streets of New York City and cities around the world. But if Patterson writes about John Lennon’s death, he certainly doesn’t leave out the man who pulled the trigger. Who was Mark David Chapman and what was his beef with John Lennon? James Patterson does a good job at looking at Chapman. This book is well-written enough to keep the reader’s interest.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary Moreau

    In 1964, like many American families at the time, dinnertime was family time and distractions like television were not allowed. (Not long before, in 1943, the CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson, famously predicted that there would be a worldwide demand for about five computers and most people agreed with him. Steve Jobs himself was still in junior high.) The only exception to the dinnertime rule was Sunday night when we ate hamburgers and drank homemade milk shakes in the family room while watching the f In 1964, like many American families at the time, dinnertime was family time and distractions like television were not allowed. (Not long before, in 1943, the CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson, famously predicted that there would be a worldwide demand for about five computers and most people agreed with him. Steve Jobs himself was still in junior high.) The only exception to the dinnertime rule was Sunday night when we ate hamburgers and drank homemade milk shakes in the family room while watching the family fare that dominated Sunday night television at the time. So at the age of nine I recall with vivid clarity the night the Beatles walked onto the stage of the Ed Sullivan show to be introduced to America. Their hair was long for the era but neatly trimmed and clean and they actually wore suits with ties. They were professional showmen, for sure, but the real show was the audience – teenage girls, mostly, screaming, crying, jumping up and down, so overtaken with emotion that The Bard himself would have been hard pressed to describe the buzz. What I didn’t appreciate at the time was how young the four lads from Liverpool actually were or how much work and effort they had put into getting where they were. (Decca Records rejected them noting that “Groups of four guitarists are on the way out.”) I also didn’t appreciate how many previous failures they had faced or how many people had played a role in getting them to where they were. (According to the book they were told to ditch the leather and buy the suits and to stop smoking on stage.) They shaped a generation, for sure, but as this book so clearly and concisely points out, they created a bridge between two generations of people and musicians, from Little Richard to Led Zeppelin. And navigating a cultural and generational cusp like that is probably the hardest feat of all when it comes to the world of music and entertainment. Not many artists can pull it off. They had the wind and the sun at their backs, and more than a little serendipity sprinkled on their shoulders, but they clearly had talent and an incredible work ethic. And the one thing I did learn from this book is that while artistry takes creative talent, there is a “science” to it all that only the truly creative can master through a lot of hard work. It is a fascinating personal story, very well written, that I thought did justice to all facets of the story. It’s not a fluff piece. But it’s not a tell-all either. And while some may question giving Mark Chapman any print time at all I think the story would be incomplete without some background. Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of Lennon’s story is how little security he surrounded himself with. That wouldn’t happen today and NYC was a pretty rough place at the time. And that, along with the reality of how many of the musical geniuses of the era knew each other and spent time together, says something about how far we have extended the limitations of fame inherent in fame itself. Even Lennon, I suspect, would be dismayed and disheartened at the life he would be forced to live today just 40 years after his death. All told, a very pleasant and insightful read about a true musical genius.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The last official words said by John Lennon before he died were, " I'm shot." How awful from a man who had so much to say in his music. Who was the founder of the greatest rock band that ever lived and also genuinely dedicated to changing the world for the better! If there is a single artist who had an effect on the musical, political and social conscience of multiple generations throughout the world, perhaps no one man was more purposefully influential than John Lennon. His music is timeless. T The last official words said by John Lennon before he died were, " I'm shot." How awful from a man who had so much to say in his music. Who was the founder of the greatest rock band that ever lived and also genuinely dedicated to changing the world for the better! If there is a single artist who had an effect on the musical, political and social conscience of multiple generations throughout the world, perhaps no one man was more purposefully influential than John Lennon. His music is timeless. Then along comes this book that gives the reader a unique glimpse into the last days of a cultural icon and creative genius. Most of the book is written as a biography of John and how the Beatles became who they are. The chapters are short but it gives a person time to reflect, digest, and rehash on stories about the Beatles if you grew up in that era. The actually murder reads like a James Patterson crime novel as he doesn't leave out the man who pulled the trigger, David Chapman. There isn't much new in this book I didn't not know before and yet it was hard to put down. Lennon's message and music crossed all national, linguistic, class and age barriers. He brought people together through both discord and harmony...truly a musician's means of expression. Why do bad things happen to good people?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I was hoping for something different I guess. Most of the book is a recap of the Beatles. Not impressed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna Lewis

    The was an interesting book for me. I grew up loving the Beatles, although John was five years older than me. I listened to their music during my college years in Montana, and of course in my years in Haight Ashbury in the 60s. I moved to New York City, got married and raised my children. I no longer had time to follow Lennon’s music, although I followed his immigration issues. I live several blocks from The Dakota and will always remember the shock of his shooting that awful night. The amazing t The was an interesting book for me. I grew up loving the Beatles, although John was five years older than me. I listened to their music during my college years in Montana, and of course in my years in Haight Ashbury in the 60s. I moved to New York City, got married and raised my children. I no longer had time to follow Lennon’s music, although I followed his immigration issues. I live several blocks from The Dakota and will always remember the shock of his shooting that awful night. The amazing thing about the Beatles was their combined creative genius. At one point they wrote seven songs in seven days. They all had so much talent. But they also had so much success so early in their lives. In fact they really never grew up until they were older, and the group had broken up. John in particular had to navigate his many excesses, drugs, alcohol and fame. It is a surprise to me that his marriage to Yoko and his solo career survived as well as they did, considering Yoko’s reliance on psychics, numerologist, and tarot card readers. We will never know where John could have gone if he had continued his life. It is sad that the United States are known for the proliferation of guns. And, for the continued loss of so many people due to gun violence. My grandson goes to sleep listening to Beatles’ songs.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda Mascarenas-Colgan

    John Lennon got me through my teenage years. Having James Patterson write his story was amazing to me. It brought back so many memories of my life. I still love the Beatles and remember the tribute our town had when John was killed. I sang “in My LIfe” to my husband when we were married 13 years ago. If you liked John, you will like this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Merna

    Giving this 3 stars solely for the fact that I pre-ordered this book hoping it would be (for the most part) days leading to the murder. That was not the case.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sammy Jackson

    A really interesting read

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly Ramsey

    Not very well written--just a bunch of facts strung together. James Patterson should be embarrassed to have his name on this book (even if he didn't write it)! Not very well written--just a bunch of facts strung together. James Patterson should be embarrassed to have his name on this book (even if he didn't write it)!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The beginning, the middle and the end of John Lennons life and career. I learned quite a bit about John's personality, work ethic, love life, family, friendships, career and death, that I didn't know before. Granted I'm of a younger generation that wasn't born until the following year after his death but I have a great love for John Lennon and The Beatles due to my mom playing their music constantly when I was young, which I also passed on to my children. This book just cemented my respect and n The beginning, the middle and the end of John Lennons life and career. I learned quite a bit about John's personality, work ethic, love life, family, friendships, career and death, that I didn't know before. Granted I'm of a younger generation that wasn't born until the following year after his death but I have a great love for John Lennon and The Beatles due to my mom playing their music constantly when I was young, which I also passed on to my children. This book just cemented my respect and now deeper knowledge of his life... As well as The Beatles. I would recommend it, not only to John and The Beatles fans but also any fan of music or biographies. My one critique would be that it's fairly obvious that James Patterson didn't write much of this book. The writing is somewhat choppy and doesn't flow as well as it should. I also hated the fact that the book ends SPOILER ALERT!!..... On Mark Chapman's outcome and not on a positive note about John. I felt that was a big mistake.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    What I liked: I enjoyed reading about the formation of the group and John's younger days in Liverpool and his attitudes toward their sudden super stardom. It was also very interesting to read about his life after the breakup of the band. Also there is information from interviews with several popular artists of the time which I found very informative. What I didn't like: There wasn't much new in this book - it was mostly a regurgitation of previous articles over the last 50 years. I also didn't li What I liked: I enjoyed reading about the formation of the group and John's younger days in Liverpool and his attitudes toward their sudden super stardom. It was also very interesting to read about his life after the breakup of the band. Also there is information from interviews with several popular artists of the time which I found very informative. What I didn't like: There wasn't much new in this book - it was mostly a regurgitation of previous articles over the last 50 years. I also didn't like the way that Mark David Chapman (the man who murdered John) was humanized often in a sympathetic way. Plain and simple, he was a killer and there is nothing sympathetic about what he did. Overall, if you are a Beatles fan or a John Lennon fan, this is a great book to read to bring back the memories of the group that changed music during a simpler time in our world.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    This book covers the same time period of the other Beatles book I recently read by Craig Brown, from the way they met and formed the group through their immense success and break up. However, it is larded with chapters about shooter Mark Chapman's trip to New York to kill Lennon. So you're reading along with a straightforward account of recording a particular album and then suddenly, you're supposedly 'inside the head' of the killer as he talks to a cab driver or prostitute. (Think of Robert DeN This book covers the same time period of the other Beatles book I recently read by Craig Brown, from the way they met and formed the group through their immense success and break up. However, it is larded with chapters about shooter Mark Chapman's trip to New York to kill Lennon. So you're reading along with a straightforward account of recording a particular album and then suddenly, you're supposedly 'inside the head' of the killer as he talks to a cab driver or prostitute. (Think of Robert DeNiro's scenes in Taxi Driver...) I'm guessing the Chapman sections are more indicative of James Patterson's "gripping" writing that has made him famous and rich, but I didn't care for them. They were creepy, as would be expected, but more than that, they were speculative in the extreme. The style and juxtaposition were jarring and more like pop-up YouTube ads. Skip this book; read Craig Brown's "1-2-3-4: The Beatles in Time".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Burkhart

    I found this gem at Costco and couldn't resist. I've been a Beatles since since I was 12 in 1980. I've done a lot of reading, and watching a lot of bio-pics about the Beatles. I've always enjoyed the music and I'm always up for learning what motivated them. If anything, there's not a lot of new material out there. That's why Patterson's book intrigued me, as it takes a look at the last days of John Lennon and what motivated his killer. Mind you, there's a heavy dose of John Lennon's background b I found this gem at Costco and couldn't resist. I've been a Beatles since since I was 12 in 1980. I've done a lot of reading, and watching a lot of bio-pics about the Beatles. I've always enjoyed the music and I'm always up for learning what motivated them. If anything, there's not a lot of new material out there. That's why Patterson's book intrigued me, as it takes a look at the last days of John Lennon and what motivated his killer. Mind you, there's a heavy dose of John Lennon's background before you get to his last days, and for me, it was like a refresher. The authors cover John's beginnings, his motivations, his relationships, and how his music evolved. They also look at Chapman's days leading up to his assassination. The writing doesn't delve heavily into Chapman's mindset, but does imply that mental illness is at play. They take an honest assessement of Lennon, his life, and his boating adventures that lead up to his desire to make Double Fantasy. In that regard, I saw a love of the ocean in him, that perhaps he got from his own father. The writing is easy to read and very engaging. It was hard for me to put down the story as I devoured chapter after chapter. It's an interesting look at a part of Lennon's life that isn't examined much; his last years, and changes in his motivations. Lennon starts to 'grow up,' but there's more to do. If you've always enjoyed the Beatles, this is a rags-to-riches, heartwarming, frustrating story of a life that influenced others to embrace peace.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill Crosby

    Three stars is a stretch for this series of pasted- together stories about the creation and life of the Beatles, their break-up and solo careers, and the murder of the their founder by the hand of a paranoid schizophrenic, but the Beatles aren’t one of my top-10 all-time favorite bands and before reading this book, I knew NOTHING about them. I appreciated the background info, interspersed with a 2-page chapter on Mark Chapman’s actions outside the Dakota on Dec 6-8, 1980, but the actual “last da Three stars is a stretch for this series of pasted- together stories about the creation and life of the Beatles, their break-up and solo careers, and the murder of the their founder by the hand of a paranoid schizophrenic, but the Beatles aren’t one of my top-10 all-time favorite bands and before reading this book, I knew NOTHING about them. I appreciated the background info, interspersed with a 2-page chapter on Mark Chapman’s actions outside the Dakota on Dec 6-8, 1980, but the actual “last days” were glossed over for the most part, and the planned Murder itself took up only about 40 of the 340 pages of narrative text. I guess I was looking for more depth and detail, and instead received a Beatles’ information press packet. Generically informative, but that’s about it

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    3.5. The title was a total misnomer. It was NOT about the last days of John Lennon's life, it was about every breath the man ever took from before he formed The Beatles until his final breath. It was all well and good and it was written in Patterson's very quick-paced, short chapters so it's easy to read. But I wondered, did it cover any new ground? Also, it felt unfinished, since we now have 30 plus years to learn about Chapman, and more recently his parole hearings. Why not take it all the way 3.5. The title was a total misnomer. It was NOT about the last days of John Lennon's life, it was about every breath the man ever took from before he formed The Beatles until his final breath. It was all well and good and it was written in Patterson's very quick-paced, short chapters so it's easy to read. But I wondered, did it cover any new ground? Also, it felt unfinished, since we now have 30 plus years to learn about Chapman, and more recently his parole hearings. Why not take it all the way up to the present? Anyway, fairly enjoyable, learned a lot, and all the lyrics had songs playing in my head the whole time. Going to go dig out some old CDs now...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Richard West

    Have you ever gotten a book and started reading it with high expectations, only to be let down, wishing you had waited until it hit the bargain table at Barnes & Noble? This is one of those books. "The last days of John Lennon...." indicates it's going to be an in-depth and insightful look into just that - the last days of the celebrated musician. If one is take the "last days" part literally, John Lennon's "last days" began in 1957 when he met Paul McCartney and they took the first steps towards Have you ever gotten a book and started reading it with high expectations, only to be let down, wishing you had waited until it hit the bargain table at Barnes & Noble? This is one of those books. "The last days of John Lennon...." indicates it's going to be an in-depth and insightful look into just that - the last days of the celebrated musician. If one is take the "last days" part literally, John Lennon's "last days" began in 1957 when he met Paul McCartney and they took the first steps towards forming what would later become The Beatles. Roughly, the first approximately 300 pages is a re-hash of the Beatles story which has been covered in greater and better detail in many other books. Interspersed between these chapters, there will be one detailing the movements of Mark David Chapman, then it's back to The Beatles Story again. Only in the last 150 or so pages, do we really get into the "last days" of John Lennon. Even then, most of the information has been covered elsewhere in other books. To say this book was disappointing is putting it mildly and the only reason for the 3 star rating is because of the photographs! Save your money. Wait until it's on the Barnes & Noble bargain table at $3.98.

  18. 4 out of 5

    P. Hogentoren

    Extremely disappointing. The title says the last days of John Lennon however the books first takes you down memory lane of the youth of John Lennon and the beginning/end of the Beatles and his years with Yoko. Only at the end of the book it will give you SOME insight of the last days. I am a huge Beatle- and solo Beatle fan so for me there were not much new facts. Next to this the writing is just so incredible simple. I understand that it is not literature definitely not the new Hemingway but th Extremely disappointing. The title says the last days of John Lennon however the books first takes you down memory lane of the youth of John Lennon and the beginning/end of the Beatles and his years with Yoko. Only at the end of the book it will give you SOME insight of the last days. I am a huge Beatle- and solo Beatle fan so for me there were not much new facts. Next to this the writing is just so incredible simple. I understand that it is not literature definitely not the new Hemingway but the short paragraphs, the more naming facts than take you in the story etc. was just for me too much. This was my first James Patterson and believe me it will be my last. Don’t waist your money on it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Hughes

    It was a great history of the Beatles, but there was not much about Mark David Chapman and his crime. I was sort of disappointed as it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. However, it was nice to read the bit about the Beatles rise to fame. It was a great history of the Beatles, but there was not much about Mark David Chapman and his crime. I was sort of disappointed as it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. However, it was nice to read the bit about the Beatles rise to fame.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Disgusting. Never thought Patterson could sink lower, but to exploit this story with a specious novel is subterranean.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I loved this book. Having grown up knowing the Beatles and John Lennon’s name, but not knowing much of the history, this was an excellent intro into their rise to fame and breakup.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Schreck

    What a great read it gives great insight to all that happens before and up to the gruesome crime

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roman

    I am disappointed. This book is a digest of facts well known amongst not even The Beatles fans — why this book was named "The Last Days of John Lennon"? I suppose this is just a marketing trick which misleads readers, that's all. I am disappointed. This book is a digest of facts well known amongst not even The Beatles fans — why this book was named "The Last Days of John Lennon"? I suppose this is just a marketing trick which misleads readers, that's all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jutta

    Quick read. A history of the Beatles, post Beatles and John Lennon‘s last days. Tragic ending to someone who had still a whole lifetime left to give, Imagine if he lived.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gary S

    Disappointed....pieces of his life thrown together...not what the title suggested...could have been done in less than a hundred of pages...I don’t even call this writing...again very disappointed!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trinity Shaver

    Not exactly a book about "the last days of John Lennon", however I really enjoyed the book! The book is basically a well-written Beatles memoir that captures John Lennon's overall development within The Beatles as well as his role as a political advocate. I wasn't really fond of how Patterson dramatized Mark Chapman's side of the story. I would have really like to have seen more information regarding the crime and the trial itself. Overall, great Beatles memoir and a crappy "crime drama". Not exactly a book about "the last days of John Lennon", however I really enjoyed the book! The book is basically a well-written Beatles memoir that captures John Lennon's overall development within The Beatles as well as his role as a political advocate. I wasn't really fond of how Patterson dramatized Mark Chapman's side of the story. I would have really like to have seen more information regarding the crime and the trial itself. Overall, great Beatles memoir and a crappy "crime drama".

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fredão

    Should be called the last thousands days of John Lennon. What a waste of time!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paula Maione-Slagle

    I enjoyed reading this book. I learned so much about John and his life. I also learned more about the tragic events leading up to his death. Fans and non Fans will find this book riveting. I highly recommend this book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    I enjoyed reading this book. It is a true crime book about the last days of John Lennon. It was a well written book. Gives a history of how John joined the beatles right up until he was shot and killed in NY in 1980.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    On the night of December 8, 1980, John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left the recording studio in New York City after doing some work on one of Yoko's tracks, "Walking on Thin Ice." Dinner was suggested, but John decided to make a pit stop at the famous Dakota building where they lived so he could say good night to their young son, Sean. As they got out of their car, John was followed by a man named Mark David Chapman, who took a shooter’s stance and opened fire, hitting him in the back and sho On the night of December 8, 1980, John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left the recording studio in New York City after doing some work on one of Yoko's tracks, "Walking on Thin Ice." Dinner was suggested, but John decided to make a pit stop at the famous Dakota building where they lived so he could say good night to their young son, Sean. As they got out of their car, John was followed by a man named Mark David Chapman, who took a shooter’s stance and opened fire, hitting him in the back and shoulder with five rounds of bullets. When the police arrived, they decided not to wait for an ambulance and threw a bloody John across the back seat of their squad car. They got him to the nearest hospital, but despite valiant efforts by the doctors and medical staff there, he was pronounced dead on arrival. Ironically, a producer for ABC Television was sitting in the very same ER waiting to be seen for a motorcycle accident he had earlier that day. When the police told him that John was DOA, he contacted the network. The shocking news was delivered by legendary sports announcer Howard Cosell, who interrupted a "Monday Night Football" game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins to tell the world of the tragic slaying. Bestselling author James Patterson and journalists Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge recount not just the last days of John Lennon, but his entire life prior to his global success as a member of the Beatles. If John is the protagonist of this true-crime story, then the clear antagonist is the depraved psychopath Mark David Chapman, who traveled from Hawaii to New York, purchased a gun with hollow-point bullets, and completed his mission of ridding the world of John Lennon. He believed that John was a corrupt phony who needed to pay for, among other things, his remarks from the 1960s claiming that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. As far as Chapman was concerned, that blasphemy would not stand. John Lennon was not only my favorite Beatle, he was my idol since I was a lad. I thought I knew everything about him and his rise to fame from the streets of Liverpool, England. But THE LAST DAYS OF JOHN LENNON opened my eyes to many stories and tidbits that I was never aware of and is an engaging read from start to finish. The chapters about John's past are interspersed with those set in December 1980 from the point of view of Chapman and his well-crafted yet demented murder plan. It was clear to me that the Chapman bits are pure James Patterson because they rang true with his ability to create fictional, evil characters and get inside their heads. The suspense grew with each passing chapter, even though I understood what the outcome would be. In Patterson's hands, Chapman glides through the streets of New York City and various hotels as if he is invisible. He gets inside this sick man's mind but still is unable to figure out why this had to happen. On the flip side of Chapman's madness is some of the best researched details of John and his life that I have ever read. We are there when Beatles manager Brian Epstein tells the group that they will be bigger than Elvis because they write their own music. Ironically enough, they did end up meeting "the King" when they visited the States on one of their early tours. The difficult decision to replace original drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr was prompted by John, and it was not made easily. However, John fought for Ringo's inclusion even when the record company claimed he was too loud. John was the first Beatle to get married; he and Cynthia had a son, John Charles Julian Lennon --- named after his own father, Cynthia's father, and his mother Julia, which I never knew. Another tidbit I loved involved my favorite rock band, The Rolling Stones, deciding that the only way they would make it big was if they stopped doing covers and write their own songs like the famed Lennon-McCartney team. One night, while watching a Stones show, John and Paul handed them a new song. An amazed Keith Richards went up to Mick Jagger and said, "Jesus, look at that. They just went over there and wrote it." The result was "I Wanna Be Your Man," which went as high as #13 for the Stones. Almost equal to the Elvis meeting was Bob Dylan being the first person to introduce the Beatles to marijuana. We all know that this became a gateway drug for both psychedelic and hard drugs that would cloud their minds for years to come. It is well known that John was incredibly fond of his Aunt Mimi, who raised him from the age of five. He actually presented Mimi with the same royal medal that Queen Elizabeth had bestowed on him. The narrative shifts to Chapman and an incident where he ran into singer James Taylor coming out of a subway station. He went up to Taylor and told him he was working with John Lennon. Taylor recognized Chapman as being mentally ill and couldn't get away from him quickly enough. The story spirals through John's well-documented divorce from Cynthia, the breakup of the Beatles, and his marriage to Yoko. While the other Beatles continued to make music on a regular basis, John occasionally released an album while seeing his real role as a celebrity figure responsible for being a public conscience to the masses and a proponent of peace; to that end, he became very spiritual. A seven-year-old Julian asked, "If you die, will I ever see you again?" John thoughtfully responded, "If I can communicate from the dead, I will float a white feather straight across the room to you." I would love to know if Julian ever saw that feather. Tragedy and the end are inevitable in this tale. What made it so much worse was that John had just recorded his first album in seven years, Double Fantasy, and it was immensely successful. The first single, "(Just Like) Starting Over," was a #1 song, and the album was receiving amazing critical praise. Mark David Chapman prevented us from seeing John Lennon and Yoko Ono fully realize their own “starting over,” and that is perhaps the most unforgivable crime. Chapman famously offered the classic J.D. Salinger novel, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, as his full statement to the police, permanently tarnishing the name of that great work. THE LAST DAYS OF JOHN LENNON will provide a welcome walk down memory lane coupled with tears of regret as we watch how someone so evil could deprive the world of someone who did, and would have continued to do, so much good. Reviewed by Ray Palen

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.