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Publisher's Summary

John Lennon achieved with the Beatles a level of superstardom that defied classification. "We were the best bloody band there was," he said. "There was nobody to touch us." In the summer of 1980, Lennon signs with a label and hires a top producer to recruit the best session musicians, ready to record new music for the first time in years. They are awestruck when Lennon dashes off "(Just Like) Starting Over". Lennon is back in peak form, with his best songwriting since "Imagine".

The Last Days of John Lennon is the amazing story of John Lennon's life and career, from his earliest days and first songs up to his last seconds. It tells the story of the most profound rock-and-roll genius of all time - and of the consummate Nowhere Man who took him from us. Even as Lennon leaves the Beatles, becoming a solo artist and making a life with Yoko Ono in New York City, Mark David Chapman has become obsessed with murdering his former hero. Chapman is convinced that Lennon has squandered his talent and betrayed fans with messages of hope and peace. He quits his security job in Hawaii, signing out as "John Lennon", and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. He's never going home again. Only James Patterson could weave the remarkable life of John Lennon with the story of the ultimate loser who destroyed him in a heartbreakingly beautiful and immediate take of genius and loss. 

Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon's friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is a true-crime drama about two men who changed history. One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day - and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger. 

©2020 James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

What listeners say about The Last Days of John Lennon

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great book

Excellent listen. Now I hope to listen to Catcher In The Rye. This was well read and I learned a great deal more than I understood previously

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Wow

What a story. Always have been a huge Lennon and Beatles fan but did not know a lot of these stories. Great production and story development.

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A fantastic recollection of a sad and devastating story

This was a fantastic recreation of the history of the Beatles through the life of John Lennon. I listened to it during my evening walks with my dog and was enamoured with the retelling of such a sad and devastating story about the life and death of one of 20th century’s greatest musicians.

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MIND BLOWING

I struggled with some of the later chapters because I had to re-play them over and over- WHY? because I really had difficulty dealing with Chapman's premeditated actions. I remember the night Lennon was murdered as if it was yesterday.

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  • Nor'easter
  • 2020-12-10

A rehash of every other book written about John’s

This book has a very misleading title. Most of it is about John’s boyhood and days with the Beatles. Nothing new here.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ginger
  • 2020-12-22

Unique

I thoroughly was entranced by this book. It is not the usual story of John Lennon or, of his killer. The story envelopes you in the teen struggles of John and the other Beatles to become a polished musical group, often adding humor as they managed to make it to the top. They also suffered sorrows and yet they made it! They were astonished by the twists and turns they followed to become the best. They were scared at times of all the overwhelming crowds and how to navigate their ways. Eventually each seemed to branch out into a path of their own but continued to love & respect each other. Yet, totally as if from another book, a chapter would pop up now & then about one lonely, abnormal, persistent man with one goal in his life, to kill John Lennon. Though we knew how the story would end, it was easy to get caught up in John’s personal problems and joys, post Beatle years. And so, when the chapter came through, where the murderer succeeded, you were not ready for it, and it was as if it had happened all over again. I was placed back in 1980, in tears.

5 people found this helpful

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  • D.Torres
  • 2020-12-12

5 Stars Overall! Not crazy about the final line...

Easy to listen to easy to follow for anyone, especially if you or any kind of Beatles/John/Paul/George/Ringo fan... particularly liked the back-and-forth English accent when talking about John and American accent when talking about his killer (whose name I refuse to repeat). I did not, however, like the final stanza of the book and ending with John’s killer’s distorted viewpoint. It lingers like a stench you can’t air out. The man is horribly disturbed and while he obviously holds a place in John’s story, I feel it gave him way too much attention, which only fed into his narcissistic motivation to insert himself into John’s life to begin with.

5 people found this helpful

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  • David Akey
  • 2020-12-11

Rehash

Nothing new if you’ve read anything else about Lennon or the Beatles. Very disappointing. I’m actually angry about this purchase. I feel duped.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Enright
  • 2020-12-23

Not Really About the Last Days

This book chronicles Lennon's whole life and career in a way that comes off as very personal and well researched. That said, haven't we all heard all of this before. from the title I expected a more detailed, intricate study of the period near the end of his life, hopefully with some new insights into his reclusive final years and reemergence with a burst of creativity and fresh respect for his life and art. we get a bit of that near the end, but really nothing new or insightful. The narrator is quite good and the book is well written.

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  • patti whisler
  • 2020-12-20

And in the end...

I’ve read literally thousands of pages about Lennon and the life of the Beatles including Albert Goldman’s excellent “the Lives of John Lennon” and Peter Browns “The Love you Make”. I hesitated to buy this as I didn’t think there could be anything new on the topic . I was wrong- the book is outstanding with a new point of view. The British narrator does a superb job in capturing the accents and nuances of the voices of Lennon and McCartney as well as all the other characters he reads. For my generation, we remember where we were on December 8, 1980. Not to be missed by Beatles fans, Lennon fans or fans of history . Can’t wait to see who Patterson takes on next.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea A.
  • 2021-01-18

Misleading

If you are expecting the book to center on the title, it doesn't until the end of the book. This was more of John Lennon s history with story perspectives of Mark David Chapman in between chapters. Being a Beatles fan. I enjoyed this, but stuff already known.

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  • Anthony G. Dispenza
  • 2021-01-16

old material poorly presented

If you have read much Beatles material, you'll find little new here, and very little having anything to do with Lennon's "last days." Maybe 5% of the book actually pertained to Mark David Chapman and the day he shot Lennon. The other 95% is a poorly written summary of Lennon's career in music, all of which you can read in other books with much better presentation. The prose were very dry, almost like a history textbook, lacking in color or insight, evoking no emotions. It's a short listen, and yet I kinda want my 8 hours back.

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  • John_SF_CA
  • 2021-01-12

Top Notch!

This is a very well done audio book that provides outstanding details on the history of the Beatles and John Lennon as well as a lot of contextual history to tie it all together. The parallel character study of his murderer is interesting and definitely disturbing. Well done book by Mr Patterson and solidly performed.

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  • David Collins
  • 2021-01-09

Great journey through time

Really enjoyed learning history and relationship dynamics of The Beatles! Book is mistitled though ie very little about his so called last days, more of a lifetime journey. Great read!