Death of a Dreamer: The Assassination of John Lennon by Alison Behnke[This review also appears on Andis Young Adult Books.]
John Lennon had a dream. He imagined a peaceful world where everyone got along and was happy. His dream was snuffed out too early by Mark David Chapman, who gunned him down in violence. Alison Marie Behnke takes a look at these two contrasting figures in her book Death of a Dreamer.
Instead of focusing on Johns musical career, Behnke profiles him and the times in which he lived. She explains the society of the times and how they shaped Johns beliefs. She also shares how John helped to influence the society of the time.
The middle of the book takes a deeper look into the troubled soul of Mark David Chapman, the gunman who put down the voice of a generation. His troubled soul is evident in the confusion of his stories about why he assassinated Lennon and the events leading up to the act.
I like this different take on the story because it puts the events into an historical context that makes more sense for younger generations who werent even alive at the time. It focuses on Lennon the man and the dream, not so much his music. While the music was very influential, its Johns passion for peace and his beliefs that prompted Chapman to snuff out his life.
The book is written more for the young adult genre, but it is captivating and informative, even for an adult.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
John Lennon's surgeon describes the horrific night the singer was assassinated
On the evening of 8 December , English musician John Lennon , formerly of the Beatles , was fatally shot in the archway of the Dakota , his residence in New York City. The perpetrator was Mark David Chapman , a recently unemployed resident of Hawaii. Chapman stated that he was incensed by Lennon's lifestyle and public statements, especially his much-publicized remark about the Beatles being " more popular than Jesus " and the lyrics of his later songs " God " and " Imagine ". Chapman also said he was inspired by the fictional character Holden Caulfield from J. Salinger 's novel The Catcher in the Rye. Chapman planned the killing over the course of several months and waited for Lennon at the Dakota on the morning of 8 December.
John Lennon left behind an indelible legacy of music that evoked a range of emotions. Songs like "Real Love" with the Beatles , "Jealous Guy" and "Imagine," to name a few, were a testament to his musical genius. Only two months earlier, on October 9, , Lennon had celebrated his 40th birthday with his wife, Yoko Ono , and five-year-old son, Sean who coincidentally shares the same birthday. All we need is love. I believe it. Lennon was in good spirits on the morning of December 8, , but sadly, his life would be tragically cut short before the day's end.
English musician, singer and guitarist with the Beatles, John Lennon pictured during production and filming of the British musical comedy film Help! It was only a decade since The Beatles broke up and Lennon was already making a name as a successful solo artist. And his tragic death reminded everyone that he may be a rock god but at the core, he was very much human. And it was also a wake-up call to other musicians — that obsession from fans can be extremely dangerous. It was an unspeakable tragedy and the work of someone truly vile and evil.
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THE man who killed John Lennon allegedly told his wife he was planning to murder the legendary Beatle two months before he went through with it. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Roosevelt Hospital, after getting four major gunshot wounds. Chapman pleaded guilty to the murder of Lennon and was sentenced to years-to-life imprisonment. He has remained in prison ever since, having been denied parole ten times due to campaigns against his release after he became eligible in Chapman, a Beatles fan who had idolised Lennon, allegedly started planning to kill him three months before he committed the murder.