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Any biographies that paint John in a good light?
20 November 2014
8.03pm
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Rishikesh
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Are there any biographies that don't paint John in a negative light, or that are not annoying to read? I'm probably going to sell back Philip Norman's biography and I was wondering if there is another one that is any better. I hated Norman's attention to insignificant details and his overuse of "big" words just for the sake of using them. I got tired of going to the dictionary to look up a word and realizing he could have just used a more common word. I know all the negatives in John's life, so I'm not interested in more trashy stories....more something along the lines of interesting insights. Any ideas?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

20 November 2014
8.46pm
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Ron Nasty
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I've read many John biographies over the years.

I got into The Beatles as a result of John's death, and lots of the early ones I read were the hastily produced "tribute" cut-and-paste paperbacks that quickly appeared.

John is my favourite Beatle by far, and so I've read most books on him, from the unreliable to the blinkered adoration.

Were I to recommend one, it would be Ray Coleman's Lennon, originally published in two parts but now available as a single volume. While far from a whitewash, with Coleman not afraid to address John's flaws, it's a nicely balanced account of John's life from someone who might be called an "insider" journalist who knew John from 1963 onwards. I'd highly recommend any of Coleman's work on The Beatles (his Epstein biography is one of the great Beatles-related book, in my opinion).

@Zig might be able to offer an opinion, as I'm aware he bought it not so long ago, after enjoying the Epstein book which he'd got on my recommendation of it in another thread.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

20 November 2014
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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely check it out.

What does the updated edition contain that the original doesn't? (And is the updated edition available as hardback?)

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

20 November 2014
10.34pm
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The original two volume version (John Winston Lennon and John Ono Lennon) were published in 1984-5. Coleman was able to incorporate information that had come to light since. It also added a 70-page chapter about Lennon after death - the solo and Beatles archive releases (Anthology, BBC, Free As A Bird  and Real Love , etc.) and the industry and image of John after the assassination.

It certainly was available in hardback in 1993 when first published, whether it still is, or what hardback copies now sell for, I couldn't tell you.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

21 November 2014
11.32am
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Zig
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@Ron Nasty is correct in saying Coleman's books are terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed the ones on Lennon and Epstein because he tells it like it was.There is no slant toward the good or the bad - "a nicely balanced account" is a perfect description. I look forward to reading more of his work.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

21 November 2014
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It looks like there is a revised one-volume edition dated 1987 that is available in hardback. I can't find the 1993 edition anywhere in hardback. I hate buying such large books in paperback format. I wonder if the paperback just adds the chapter on John after his death?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

22 November 2014
5.36am
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I saw that there is a third edition (2000) that supposedly has 850 pages as opposed to 640 (the 1987 edition) or 784 (the 1993 edition) so I bought a used third edition paperback for $6.50. Hopefully the condition is good. I hate worn paperbacks.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

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