November 24, 2011
Rolling Stone
Gimme Some Truth by Will Hermes
New bio is the most reliable guide yet to Lennon’s messy life and musical genius (4 1/2 stars, p. 74)

“…the most reliable, least star-struck volume on Lennon to date… Riley is a keen critic, and his analysis is what distinguishes this bio… helps you hear the man’s music anew – and given its omnipresence, that’s pretty amazing.”

Download the pdf

October 28, 2011
The Washington Post
Lennon: The Man, The Myth, The Music — the Definitive Life
Reviewed by James Rosen

“…Riley’s insight into the Beatles is unsurpassed, and he misses none of Lennon’s inventiveness, wit, tenderness and cruelty; ditto for the defining personality traits of major figures such as George and Ringo, Cynthia Lennon and Yoko Ono…”

Read the entire review.

October 21, 2011
The Montreal Gazette
Jagger and Lennon Still Fascinate by Ian McGillis

“…Balanced, eloquent and absorbing… Riley has just leaped to the front of a very crowded field.”

Read the entire review.

October 7, 2011
The New York Times Book Review
John Lennon’s Primal Screams by James Parker

“Lennon” is potently descriptive… Riley already wrote a useful book about Beatle music, “Tell Me Why” (1988), but the added biographical dimension in “Lennon” has deepened his insight considerably. His account of the writing and making of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” for example, is a critical tour de force, equally in touch with the song’s subterranean sources and the technical midwifery that drew it into the light… “Suddenly,” Riley writes, “their most reliable cutup had enchanted them with a reverie of youth, which somehow made him sound older — and made the others feel older as well.” …Woozily regressive but sharp as splinters, “Strawberry Fields Forever” would take weeks to perfect, spliced and respliced, the finished article sounding, in Riley’s phrase, “like a dream reassembled in a bottle”…

Read the entire review, or download a pdf file.

September 26, 2011
92.9 davefm Atlanta interview with Mara Davis

September 22, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Marjorie Kehe, interviewer
Who was John Lennon? Interview with biographer Tim Riley

“I think that, as reflected through his writing, [John Lennon] is really deeply fascinating and quite unknowable,” says biographer Tim Riley.

September 20, 2011
USA Today
Jocelyn McClurg, reviewer
Enigmatic Beatle John Lennon shines on in exhaustive new bio

“Riley’s Lennon finds its deepest resonance and meaningful reflections in a methodical analysis of song and verse:

“Strawberry Fields Forever” plumbed the loneliness of the world’s most famous man,” Riley writes, calling it “the hangover that would sound utterly clichéd were it not so unguarded, so inimitably John Lennon: part Beatle, part loner in his own band.

“There’s far more about the path from here, there and everywhere than we want to know, but, spellbound, we follow nevertheless…”

Read the entire review, or download a pdf file

September 18, 2011
The Sunday Times, London (culture>books>non-fiction)
Mark Edmonds, reviewer
Lennon, by Tim Riley

“This exhaustively researched life of the Beatles’ chief cynic, John Lennon, aims to get beneath the surface gloss…”

“…an ambitious and erudite project 10 years in the making.”

“In contrast to Norman, Riley’s strength in his well-crafted and exhaustively researched book lies in the picture he paints of Lennon’s life once the Beatles had become multimillionaires…”

Read the entire review [paywall], or download a pdf copy.