Over the years Lennon fans have been whiplashed by biographies that alternately demonize and canonize the Beatles' front man. Norman does both, and in doing so gets closer than anyone else to capturing the man. No novelist would have dared to invent the improbable story of a motherless little boy from a dreary British backwater who grew up to become the Pied Piper of global pop culture. Boozing, bedding and brawling, preaching universal love while nursing a bottomless inner well of loneliness, Lennon scaled the heights of fame almost in spite of himself. He only experienced the peace he sang about in his last years, before an act of insane violence silenced him forever.