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In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works
23 March 2015
2.17am
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Mr. Kite
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I couldn't (to my surprise) find a dedicated thread for these... But mods, you know the drill.

Got myself both today, printed together. After reading through the first few stories I:
a. Love John even more.
b. Think he was a little mad.
c. Think he wanted to mess with people. What other purpose would leaving the first story of the first book without the most important line (I assume) serve?

So I should be done with this tonight or tomorrow unless I decide to read slowly to enjoy it more.

This thread is now open for discussion of the books/individual stories/John.

I'd love it if you'd all help me break these down... Starting with 'Partly Dave!' a-hard-days-night-ringo-14a-hard-days-night-john-6

(Pointless endnote: I can't imagine what it would be like to be John Lennon in 1964/1965. On top of the world, riding the wave of Beatlemania, starring in two films, AND having two books published? Wow.)

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23 March 2015
10.23am
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meanmistermustard
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John was very insecure at this time which is how we got 'Help !'.

When Help ! came out, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it's just a fast Rock 'N' Roll song. I didn't realise it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. So it was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: he - I - is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.

Most of the first book ('IHOW') was material John wrote years previously, the second ('ASITW') had a lot written at the time.

From Joe's article here

During the holiday John Lennon spent time reading Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books, which helped inspire his second collection of stories, A Spaniard In The Works.

I was writing The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield, the Sherlock Holmes piece; it was the longest one I'd ever done. I was seeing how far I could go. I would have gone on and on and made a whole book out of it, but I couldn't.
I read one or two Conan Doyle books when I was younger, but on the boat that we'd hired there was a set of them. There was nothing else on the boat but books, half of them were in French and half of them in English. Tahiti and all those islands - great, but I still got into reading. I read every book that was in English whether I liked it or not; through boredom, really. There just happened to be a big volume of Sherlock Holmes, a sort of madman's Sherlock Holmes where you get all the stories in one; and I realised that every story was the same. They're all pretty similar; and that's what I was doing, writing all of them into one. So I wrote one Shamrock Womlbs after three weeks of Sherlock Holmes in Tahiti.
@Mr. Kite, if you like these two you should check out 'Skywriting by Word of Mouth', the third collection of Johns writings and poems which got published after his death. It includes John's take of the Beatles break-up.
 
Would be great if Yoko released another as there are more.
 

Oh, and whilst it comes to mind one of the best moments in any of the Beatles Christmas messages is when John talks about his book in the 1964 one. Really needs to be heard but a (hopefully exact) transcript reads 

...John speakin'. Thanks all of you bought me book. Thank you folks for buying it. It was very handy. I notice there was another one out pretty soon. It says here. Hope you buy that, too. It'll be the usual rubbish but it won't cost much. You see, that's the bargain we're going to strike up. I write them in my spare time. It says here. 

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23 March 2015
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Are these books worth a read? a-hard-days-night-john-1

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23 March 2015
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vonbontee
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Gonna find out for myself probably later today - one of these is in my nearby library and I need something to read. :)

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23 March 2015
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Vonbontee roared 
Gonna find out for myself probably later today - one of these is in my nearby library and I need something to read. :)

Same. If it's "uncommon nonsense", then it'll be right up my alley. a-hard-days-night-john-1

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23 March 2015
2.22pm
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I couldn't find any of John's books at the library or bookstore :(

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

Brainwashed by RadiantCowbells.

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23 March 2015
2.23pm
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meanmistermustard said
John was very insecure at this time which is how we got 'Help !'.

When Help ! came out, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it's just a fast Rock 'N' Roll song. I didn't realise it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. So it was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: he - I - is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.

Most of the first book ('IHOW') was material John wrote years previously, the second ('ASITW') had a lot written at the time.

From Joe's article here

During the holiday John Lennon spent time reading Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books, which helped inspire his second collection of stories, A Spaniard In The Works.

I was writing The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield, the Sherlock Holmes piece; it was the longest one I'd ever done. I was seeing how far I could go. I would have gone on and on and made a whole book out of it, but I couldn't.
I read one or two Conan Doyle books when I was younger, but on the boat that we'd hired there was a set of them. There was nothing else on the boat but books, half of them were in French and half of them in English. Tahiti and all those islands - great, but I still got into reading. I read every book that was in English whether I liked it or not; through boredom, really. There just happened to be a big volume of Sherlock Holmes, a sort of madman's Sherlock Holmes where you get all the stories in one; and I realised that every story was the same. They're all pretty similar; and that's what I was doing, writing all of them into one. So I wrote one Shamrock Womlbs after three weeks of Sherlock Holmes in Tahiti.

Awesome! I'm not generally keen on mysteries but I love Sherlock Holmes. And I read books whether I like 'em or not, too-- just for something to do. 

@Mr. Kite, if you like these two you should check out 'Skywriting by Word of Mouth', the third collection of Johns writings and poems which got published after his death. It includes John's take of the Beatles break-up.
 
Would be great if Yoko released another as there are more.
 

Oh, and whilst it comes to mind one of the best moments in any of the Beatles Christmas messages is when John talks about his book in the 1964 one. Really needs to be heard but a (hopefully exact) transcript reads 

...John speakin'. Thanks all of you bought me book. Thank you folks for buying it. It was very handy. I notice there was another one out pretty soon. It says here. Hope you buy that, too. It'll be the usual rubbish but it won't cost much. You see, that's the bargain we're going to strike up. I write them in my spare time. It says here. 

I've heard it. It's really quite funny as he's speaking in sort of a "I'm reading from a script and I'd like you to know it" sort of voice. The transcript seems pretty exact. 

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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23 March 2015
4.50pm
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Annadog40 said
I couldn't find any of John's books at the library or bookstore :(

I've never found it in any of my Libraries or book stores either, just seen it or Ebay and probably Amazon.

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23 March 2015
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Bongo said
Is this book worth a read? a-hard-days-night-john-1

I found them both well worth the time but your mileage may vary.

Or should that be kilometrage?

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23 March 2015
5.03pm
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Beatlebug
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trcanberra sped by, pointing out 

Bongo percussively wondered 
Is this book worth a read? a-hard-days-night-john-1

I found them both well worth the time but your mileage may vary.

Or should that be kilometrage?

I read like I'm running a race, so I'll probably whiz through. 

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23 March 2015
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Remember, if your library doesn't have a copy, ask them to get it for you via Interlibrary Loan. Or, if they have a "suggest a purchase" option on their webpage or via a form at the library, ask them to purchase this copy: 9781451611014. It is only $10.67 if they have Amazon Prime (my library does). Otherwise, it is about $16.

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23 March 2015
9.28pm
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Mr. Kite said

I couldn't (to my surprise) find a dedicated thread for these... But mods, you know the drill.

Hi, Mr Kite - I made an, admittedly slight, post on the (lovely) new 50th Anniversary editions a few months back. We're both in it.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....-editions/

Just finished In His Own Write a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it's gobbledygook, but cogently so and there's a definite thought-out method to the madness, I think.

It's very much a product of it's time, however, and therefore not exactly politically correct - John's obsession with 'cripples' and 'spastics' rears it's ugly head, and frequent mentions of 'blacks', 'coloureds' etc can be jarring.

Other than that, though, I was glad to have read it. (I also enjoyed Paul's short Forward).

I'll read 'Spaniard' some time soon.

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23 March 2015
11.46pm
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Vonbontee said
Gonna find out for myself probably later today - one of these is in my nearby library and I need something to read. :)

...aaand, it wasn't there after all :(  Still in the computer catalog, so somebody must have it out. (Checked out the novel "The Wonder Boys " instead.)

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24 March 2015
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Vonbontee said

Vonbontee said
Gonna find out for myself probably later today - one of these is in my nearby library and I need something to read. :)

...aaand, it wasn't there after all :(  Still in the computer catalog, so somebody must have it out. (Checked out the novel "The Wonder Boys " instead.)

Did you put a hold on it so they will give you a call or send you an email when it is returned?

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24 March 2015
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Father McCartney said

Mr. Kite said

I couldn't (to my surprise) find a dedicated thread for these... But mods, you know the drill.

Hi, Mr Kite - I made an, admittedly slight, post on the (lovely) new 50th Anniversary editions a few months back. We're both in it.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....-editions/

Just finished In His Own Write a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it's gobbledygook, but cogently so and there's a definite thought-out method to the madness, I think.

It's very much a product of it's time, however, and therefore not exactly politically correct - John's obsession with 'cripples' and 'spastics' rears it's ugly head, and frequent mentions of 'blacks', 'coloureds' etc can be jarring.

Other than that, though, I was glad to have read it. (I also enjoyed Paul's short Forward).

I'll read 'Spaniard' some time soon.

I have no problems with it not being politically correct - that's one of the things that literature can be useful for - to make us think by making us feel uncomfortable. If we end up making everything that is published PC it will be a sad and bland world.

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24 March 2015
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It was written in a different time period. Hundreds of the greatest novels will be un-PC going by todays standards, heck Tom and Jerry could be easily labeled un-PC what with the black maid.

Personally i dont think you can look back decades in history and criticise novels and such for not being in line with what is in most cases correct today - not that there are some books, tv shows etc that should never see the light of day again for their depictions of races, genders, (generally female) religions etc and there are a few 70's UK comedies that would fall into that category.

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24 March 2015
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Unless you are in the maligned group.

John outgrew talking about women in bad ways (I hope I have that right). Did he outgrow talking about "cripples"? Knowing that he was all for integrated seating at US concerts, did he stop talking about blacks/coloureds in bad ways (if that is what he did in those books)? I haven't read them yet.

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24 March 2015
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Father McCartney sang at dawn 

Mr. Kite shouted in the night  

I couldn't (to my surprise) find a dedicated thread for these... But mods, you know the drill.

Hi, Mr Kite - I made an, admittedly slight, post on the (lovely) new 50th Anniversary editions a few months back. We're both in it.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....-editions/

Just finished In His Own Write a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it's gobbledygook, but cogently so and there's a definite thought-out method to the madness, I think.

It's very much a product of it's time, however, and therefore not exactly politically correct - John's obsession with 'cripples' and 'spastics' rears it's ugly head, and frequent mentions of 'blacks', 'coloureds' etc can be jarring.

Other than that, though, I was glad to have read it. (I also enjoyed Paul's short Forward).

I'll read 'Spaniard' some time soon.

You're making me want to read it even more. I read a lot of old books, so I'm sorta used to that sort of thing (that doesn't mean I approve, of course). 

trcanberra called at midday
I have no problems with it not being politically correct - that's one of the things that literature can be useful for - to make us think by making us feel uncomfortable. If we end up making everything that is published PC it will be a sad and bland world.

Agreed! 

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24 March 2015
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I agree these things shouldn't be censored or Bowdlerised. Just last year I had a (good-natured) argument with a lady who thinks the 'N' word should be removed from Huckleberry Finn (one of my favourite books), and won't let her children read it otherwise. My very, very strong feeling is that such censorship would completely undermine the whole point (Twain found the attitudes towards black people at the time shameful and so skewered them with wit and sarcasm), and what's more is dangerous.

Censorship serves only to sweep such ugly episodes of history under the carpet. These words and passages need to remain precisely because they show, unvarnished, the prevailing attitudes of the time.

In the case of Lennon's writing, as I say, it's pretty mild-ish and just jars a bit more than anything.

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Ahhh Girl said
Unless you are in the maligned group.

John outgrew talking about women in bad ways (I hope I have that right). Did he outgrow talking about "cripples"? Knowing that he was all for integrated seating at US concerts, did he stop talking about blacks/coloureds in bad ways (if that is what he did in those books)? I haven't read them yet.

I think I disagree on that point.

I'm part Greek and I would fight on the barricades to protect the right of someone to use the term wogs for Greek people in a novel, play or other piece of literature as long as they are not actively trying to incite racial hatred. That's why we have courts decide on these issues to make sure people don't cross the line.

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