John Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of John

In this memoir, Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of John Lennon, recounts her love affair, marriage and painful divorce from the Beatles superstar. Cynthia recounts meeting John at the age of 19 when they were both students at an art college. While Cynthia was a serious student, John was the difficult student no one wanted in their class. Although Cynthia is practically engaged to another man at the time of their meeting, John quickly sweeps Cynthia off her feet. John comes up with the endearing nickname Cyn and forever calls her that. Early in the relationship Cyn sees signs of aggressiveness,
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possessiveness and jealousy in John. The two become love buddies over their mutual losses - Cyn's father has passed away from lung cancer and John's mother Julia was tragically hit by a car and killed not long before school started. John's love of music was a gift from Julia, who taught her son how to play guitar and was musically inclined herself. The tragic death of John's mother and the abandonment by his father when he was a child of five are tragic events for John. As a young child John was taken away from his mother's care by his overbearing maternal Aunt Mimi, a woman who had an oppressive and stern influence on John for most of his life. As John and his friends Stuart Sutcliffe, Paul McCartney and George Harrison form a music group and begin performing at clubs, John states his intentions to pursue a career in music. After taking on Paul Best as drummer, the Beatles are formed. Since it was John's idea to form the band he is dubbed the leader of the group and has the ultimate decision making power. When Stuart suddenly dies from a cerebral hemmorhage John is stunned and plunges into a depression. As the Beatles sign their first recording contract they make the cold decision to fire their friend Paul from the band and replacing him with laid back drummer Ringo Starr. When Cyn finds herself pregnant in August of 1962, John quickly offers to marry her, leading to a rushed civil marriage ceremony. Although many have deemed the wedding of the shotgun variety, Cyn stresses the love and deep friendship that existed between herself and John, as well as the fact that they had intended to get married at some point down the road. As Cyn gives birth to Julian and John's career explodes, their relationship becomes strained and distant. #1 hits, world tours, moves and world wide stardom are pulling John into another stratosphere. As John spirals into heavy drug use and attempts to coerce Cyn into using as well, their relationship suffers. The death of Beatles' manager Brian Epstein from a drug overdose delivers another catastrophic blow to John's heart. When a Japanese woman named Yoko enters the picture and begins showing up at various gigs and writing John personal letters it is the beginning of the end for Cyn and John. As John begins an affair with Yoko and decides to end his marriage, Cyn must fight to protect Julian's rights.
The review of this Book prepared by Sandra Calhoune

Chapter Analysis of John

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Plot & Themes

Family, love    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   mother Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   musician Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A lot in color 11-15 How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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