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Publisher's Summary

Despite the nearly universal fame of the Beatles, many people only know the fairytale version of the iconic group’s rise to fame. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Liverpool, Francis Kenny reveals the real John Lennon who preceded the legend, showing how his childhood shaped his personality, creative process, and path to success, and how it also destroyed his mental health, leading to the downfall of one of the most confident and brilliant musicians of the past century. 

The Making of John Lennon is a must-listen for any Beatles fan. It explains how Lennon’s turbulent family background affected his relationships, why the true inspiration for “Strawberry Fields” could not be revealed, how Pete Best's college connection led to his removal from the group, and why class backgrounds were the real reason for the breakup of the legendary band. Offering a complex portrait of Lennon’s early life, The Making of John Lennon tells the true story behind the rise of the legendary icon. 

The book is published by Indiana University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks. 

"A carefully prepared examination of his early years, slowly examining the general picture that surrounded John’s life...." (Bill Harry, author of The John Lennon Encyclopedia)

©2018 Francis Kenny (P)2020 Redwood Audiobooks

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THE BEST LENNON AUDIOBOOK

The most intimate portrait of Lennon out there. With many sound insights into how his upbringing in Liverpool shaped who he would become. If you’re a Lennon fan - as I am - then there’s a lot about him you probably know, but I was surprised at how much there was to learn, especially about his key relationships in his formative years. The narration is excellent, and is immensely talented at doing the voices of the fab four and a lot of the other well known key players in this story like Bob Dylan, Neil Aspinall, Pete Best and George Martin.

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  • Foxy
  • 08-07-20

Comprehensive, but a little one-sided.

I enjoyed the book and it gives a new insight to the very well-known story of John Lennon. The book concentrates on how his troubled background (losing his mother, having an absentee father, and being brought up by a strict Aunt Mimi) affected his life and behaviour. The message is that John was very insecure, and his hardman persona, was only a defence to his insecurities. The book focuses upon the relationship between Paul and John and how John felt (when they stopped touring and became studio based) that Paul was taking over the group, especially whilst recording Sgt Pepper & Magical Mystery Tour. John bounced back with the White Album and with a multitude of songs, but by then, they were working more on their own songs. The arrival of Yoko Ono at around the time of the White Album, changed John's outlook, and gave him the confidence to see a life as an artist outside of the Beatles. Where I disagree with the author is with regard to the rather dark picture he paints of John. I think the author's concentration on the well-documented frictions which surfaced within the Beatle family in '68 and '69, overlooks the deep bond which existed between them. As Paul recently commented; they were like a tight family, and like any family, they had arguments, but essentially, there was a deep bond between them which couldn't be shaken. The book also falls short on the post-Beatle, John. The author skips through John's period in the '70's, which is of equal interest. It's a good read, but I think the author got the emphasis wrong, and focused too much on negative aspects of the Beatle story.

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  • Jakob Patryk
  • 03-25-20

NARRATED BY LENNON HIMSELF?

A very detailed and rich biography of John, and one of the better ones I’ve had the pleasure to hear, not least because of Thomas the narrator who REALLY nails the impersonations when he reads quotes by John and the rest of The Beatles.