A couple weeks ago, I was digging through a box of books about the Beatles that I had in search of something to read when I stumbled upon Lennon in America , written by Geoffrey Giuliano and published in 2000. I was surprised to find this book because the author is quite controversial especially in one of the Facebook groups I belong to – Beatles Book Collectors. Though I haven’t kept up with exactly why people don’t like his books, I decided to take a look-see for myself and hoped that I could read this book without prejudice and write a fair review. Here it goes:
According to the subtitle of this book, 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries, Mr. Giuliano was at some point in time in possession of some of John Lennon’s written and audio diaries which he used extensively in writing this book. I tried to contact a friend to see if I could find out what diaries these were since I had heard of the diaries that were in Fred Seaman’s possession for a short time after John’s death. And… there are the diaries that were stolen that in the past several years that recently turn up in Berlin, Germany. I’m sure someone who reads my blog will be able to clear this all up.
This book, though easy to read, can be a bit choppy. I got the impression that the author was taking information from the diaries and other people’s books and just rewriting it. In fact, the bibliography reads like a Who’s Who of the most popular books about John Lennon, including books by May Pang, Fred Seaman, Cynthia Lennon, Julia Baird, Pete Shotton, John Green, Albert Goldman, etc.. What made me come to this realization was the continual contradiction of events, even within the same paragraph without explanation. I can only guess that without actually researching the events, the author was just trying to cover all bases by including all the stories from everyone who was there. Mr. Giuliano also writes heavily about John’s sex life. In fact, the entire 21 page prologue of this book is about every story ever told about John’s homosexual tendencies. I guess sex sells, doesn’t it?
I kinda left this book not knowing what to believe and more confused about John’s life than I ever was before. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 2 out 4 Beetles!
6 responses to “Book Review: “Lennon in America” by Geoffrey Giuliano”
I have thought of Giuliano as a gossipmonger and opportunistic embellisher.
Gossipmonger is a good way of putting it…
I read this one when it first came out. I hated it. I thought all he was doing was exploiting John for his own profit and notoriety by making it as salacious as possible. I still have the book (curse of a collector). Occasionally, I use it to balance a wobbling table.
My opinion is he took everything he read and heard and shoved it into the book without any real research on what was true or false.
Good hearing from you!
Well you know whats coming:
“It is the only time it could be accused of being balanced”
Tip your waitress
Yeah right. How the hell did he know what John did on his own, on a night in some Polynesian uiisalnd. Somehow he knew John did heroin, he even knew he mainlined it and did not use a torniquet!
Di he know how many ml he drew up, which arm he used, what field the poppy came from, what shower we last came down in, my dat of birth being yesterday.