Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Death of a Dreamer by Alison Behnke
The story of the tragic killing of John Lennon, Alison Behnke offers a well-rounded view of not only the death of John Lennon but of his life, the life of his killer and the world they lived in. The book has six chapters each focusing on a separate part of the story. Chapter 1 is a brief biography of John Lennon with Chapter 2 shifting to focus on his political side – the side that fought for freedom and peace as well as the politics that surrounded him. Chapter 3 switches sides and offers the biography of Mark David Chapman. This is the lesser known part of this story. Mark David Chapman was a complex and sympathetic character who, to this day, is still shrouded in mystery. Chapter 4 gives the reader detailed information of the days that lead up to the assassination of John Lennon from both perspectives. Chapter 5 is the trial and the conviction of Mark David Chapman. The book ends with the standard wrap-up and where are they now. Anyone interested in the Beatles and John Lennon would benefit from this book. It is written for a juvenile audience and does a fair job of explaining all the roles and words that come into play. I was fascinated by the story. In the end, it was hard to draw sides. While Mark David Chapman did commit a heinous crime, I can’t help but feel sorry for him and feel that a life in solitary confinement is more than a punishment. I find that the world surrounding this incident has nearly as much fault and I am not alone. It makes me wonder what the world could be like if we strive to give peace a chance and if political conflicts can ever be solved.