In John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, Elizabeth Partridge tells us about the life of John Lennon as if she were there. She begins by describing the night John was born and gives a lot of details that only family close to John would know. She describes his life in a way that its almost like she was there growing up with him and interviewing him. She doesn’t stereotype him as a hippie rock star, she makes him seem almost normal but with a difference to him that was not always visible to people. He kept a lot of feelings bottled up inside of him and he sometimes had an odd way of showing his emotions, Elizabeth Partridge is able to depict that in a very real manner. There are many great photographs throughout the book of John and Liverpool, England and the Beatles that it really helps the reader visualize John’s life. She did stray from John’s life story from time to time to give a little bit of background information on important people that came into John Lennon’s life. Elizabeth includes John’s Aunt Mimi, his childhood best friend Pete, his mother Julia, and then of course the different members of the Beatles.
His childhood and teenagers years show how John Lennon struggled with himself and made wrong choices that led to life changing events. Partridge also includes the relationships he had with people. We learn how he got along with his aunt as if she were his mother and how he got along with his mother as if she were his fun aunt. John connected with his friends in brotherly and almost soul mate ways. He experienced love, sorrow, and madness in strong and weird ways. Just when he seemed “normal” , Elizabeth Partridge showed you it wasn’t the case. Lennon went through two major losses, he lost his mother Julia and one of his best friends Stuart Sutcliff, the “5th Beatle”, both times he broke into hysterical laughter. His emotions would manifest in odd ways or very intense ways. He loved Cynthia Powell with a big passion but his anger would often get the best of him and he would mistreat her. She always hoped her love would be able to change him, but it never did. When fame struck John Lennon, he began to sell himself out little by little and that build up resentment that later led to the disintegration of the Beatles. Music was his passion and he gave his all into it, he expressed himself in it.
He build a very good friendship with Paul McCartney, they seemed to balance each other musically and in real life. Paul brought the love and tenderness to the songs, while John brought the beat and rhythm to them. The Lennon-McCartney songs were often the Beatles’ number one hits. The Beatles were obviously a very big part of John Lennon’s life, he loved performing with them and they were like his brothers. He also had a strong connection with Brian Epstein, their manager, the was some speculation about their relationship early in the Beatles’ career, it was often believed that they had an affair but John always denied it. As the Beatles gained more fame, John got involved in drugs a lot more. He was particularly hooked on acid and LSD, they were his way of escaping. He later on meets Yoko Ono, who changed his life in a big way. John felt an intense connection with her, that he left his son Julian and his wife Cynthia to be with Yoko. He later marries her and they begin finding their inner-selves and composing songs together.
She was always with him and she was often accused of breaking up the Beatles. The Beatles eventually broke up due to bottled up feeling that all band members had kept to themselves for many years and that were exposed to each other and they could no longer work harmoniously together. John went to record with Yoko and he focused on reconnecting with his son Julian and being in Sean’s life, he was Yoko and John’s son. On Dec. 8th, 1980 shortly after recording a song with Yoko, John Lennon was murdered by Mark Chapman. Elizabeth Partridge does a great job of telling his story and remains neutral with controversial claims that surrounded John’s life, such as his sexuality and Yoko Ono. She tells his story from birth to death and the pictures of his life are all centered around him that the reader gets a very good idea of what his life was like. Overall it was very well written biography although there is some foul language in the quotes from John Lennon and controversial topics like sexuality and drug use, making it inappropriate for children and better suited for college students and maybe some upper level high school teenagers.