Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JOHN LENNON by Elizabeth Partridge Kirkus Star


All I Want Is the Truth

by Elizabeth Partridge

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-05954-4
Publisher: Viking

“The guitar’s all very well, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” Despite his aunt’s admonition, learning to make a living out of his guitar was the theme of John Lennon’s life, and Partridge does a masterful job of placing Lennon’s music in the context of his times—the influences of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, as well as the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and Watergate. Lennon comes across as a brilliant, self-centered, self-destructive figure caught up in a pop culture world that reflected and exaggerated his own worst tendencies. Given the massive amount written about the Beatles, separating the man from the myth is a huge challenge, superbly accomplished here, with great attention to documentation. Source notes let readers into the process of writing nonfiction, and the bibliography is excellent. Photographs and other primary source material help to create an honest, multidimensional portrait of the artist. Strong language, partying, sex and drugs were a big part of John’s life, and their portrayal makes this a work for older readers, who will find it fascinating. (afterword, discography, index) (Nonfiction. YA)