There are very icons who command the status that is reserved for John Lennon. His music, his politics and his ideals garnered a wide range of fans, admirers and also naysayers. This adaptation may well serve to introduce Lennon to a new raft of fans, whilst also allowing for an element of “warts and all” expansion on the late Beatle’s potentially most confusing of times.
The graphic novel covers Lennon’s life from 1975 to his death in 1980 during which time he was living in New York with Yoko Ono from the perspective of the imagined couch of a fictional therapist in NYC to which Lennon recounts his joys, shortcomings, wins and loses; which may cause some consternation from his fans.
Originally a book published in 2010 by David Foenkinos, the story is now adapted by Corbeyran with illustrations by Horne, and with any adaptation, it is a hard to book to review. Corbeyran has taken the story, along with its extrapolated viewpoints and thought processes of which at the end of the day are hyperbole and delivered an interpretation that’s gives its audience a choice. It is up to you the reader, the fan, the detractor to take what you will from the story.
As stated, Horne provides the art for the book demonstrating a flair of catching a realism in the depiction of John and Yoko, The book is a black and white affair which allows for the art to convey the ramifications of emotions and feelings on show, emotions and feelings that Corbeyran alludes to throughout. The shading of the greyscales also acts a metaphor for the shades of grey that encapsulates this period of Lennon’s life.
I haven’t read the original book, so it would seem that I may well be the perfect audience. That said, adaptations of popular books walk a fine line between gaining new fans whilst not alienating the existing fan-base. Fans of Lennon may well enjoy this book, with its almost alternative life, acting as a pseudo insight into one of the most unique musical geniuses.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars