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Flatbush Flashback

When Critics Disagree

"When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself," Oscar Wilde said in his best-known book, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I've always liked that quote because I think it's true, especially when applied to my best-known book, Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon. Though the majority of critics have showered Nowhere Man with praise, a vocal minority have insisted that the book is "useless," "redundant," "poorly written," and that "it hardly qualifies as a book." A number of these negative reviews begin with words to the effect of, "I don't need to read this book, I know what it says."

 

Well, I appreciate their disagreement, but for my final post of 2022, I'm going to look back at some of the positive reviews Nowhere Man has garnered. Below are 22 years of pull quotes from newspapers, magazines, websites, TV shows, and radio shows from all over the world.

 

Happy New Year to all my readers, especially those who read my books before posting reviews!

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"A gripping read that no Lennon fan will be able to resist." The Times (London)


"Controversial... intriguing... surprising." —Court TV

 

"An obsessive, corrosive, unforgettable account of Lennon and his ménage at the Dakota. Even readers who never bought the airbrushed image of Lennon the benign father and house-husband are likely to experience powerful cognitive dissonance as they read Rosen's chronicle of weirdness, in which the tragic and the absurd are inextricably mixed." Christianity Today

 

"Rather like re-reading a favorite detective story... though you know how the story's going to end, you still wind up willing the events to unfold differently." Mojo

 

"You feel like you are inside The Dakota with John Lennon and Yoko Ono." —HuffPost

 

"Captures with disturbing immediacy the pressure of being a celebrity… flirts with brilliance." Chicago Reader

 

"Entertainingly salacious." Booklist

 

"After reading this book I felt an affinity for Lennon; his life with all its torments, joys and pains was real to me." Vision

 

"Robert Rosen's gripping account of Lennon's five-year seclusion in the Dakota building makes it impossible any longer to agree with the cozy popular image of him during this period as a devoted father and bread-baking domesticated househusband. This is a portrait of... the twilight of an idol." Uncut

 

"A fascinating story.... A shocking biography." Proceso (Mexico)

 

"One of the most sincere and brutal biographies ever written." —iLeon.com (Spain)

 

"What makes this book valuable is the sense that Rosen is providing as honest a characterization as possible—honest enough so that, in spite of Lennon's quirks and foibles, his genius ultimately shines through." Metroland

 

"Eminently readable, whether you're a fan or not.... An excellent, beautifully written book." Chaotic Order (U.K.)

 

"We become privy to first-hand knowledge about Lennon's final days which has never before seen the light of day... this book makes for engrossing reading." Beat (Australia)

 

"The manuscript is so personal that one would think John Lennon himself was telling Rosen exactly what to write." —Shu-Izmz

 

"One of the most fascinating insights in Robert Rosen's book is that John knew that he, in the last half of the Seventies, exercised his greatest power to the extent that he wasn't seen; he was beyond success; he had achieved such fame that his five-year silence hummed more loudly than, say, any of Paul McCartney's appearances in People magazine." Oakland University Journal

 

"A fast-paced demystification of a former Beatle. An essential book." Últimas Noticias (Venezuela)

 

"One of the best books on the life (and death) of John Lennon." ABC (Spain)

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