Kudos on your John Lennon cover story (PEOPLE, Aug. 15). It's a masterpiece of research and biographical reporting that allows the reader to peek behind doors and see what is lurking in the dark corners. The author, Albert Goldman, interweaves the superstar syndrome with degeneration and leaves us with a tragic portrait.
Your story about John Lennon was moving. John and Yoko were devoted to providing the public with songs that perpetuate peace and harmony on earth. We have to take a hard look at what makes a country so frighteningly violent that its society will not allow its most vital citizens to live.
I'm sure Lennon had his faults. But how much can we believe from a biographer whose primary interest is making money? What saddens me about this book is that it focuses attention on the tragic, seamy facets of Len-non's life instead of the beauty he gave us. John created many poignant, heartfelt songs. But unfortunately there are millions of people who will think of him as a heroin addict.
When Mr. Goldman wrote about Elvis, we found out that the King of rock and roll was constipated, did drugs and shot out television screens. New revelations about John Lennon include the assertions that he was anorexic/bulimic, smoked pot and had a fragile ego. If Goldman wrote a book about Jesus Christ, we'd learn that He was a self-centered person who loved the sound of His own voice and was always showing off with that silly changing-wine-into-water magic trick.
Pacific Grove, Calif.
Despite his considerable shortcomings, Lennon was still able to express through his songs a vision of hope that continues to be an inspiration to many. Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, Lennon was in the gutter with the rest of us, but he was among the few who helped point out the beauty of the stars and sky above.
Dwayne E. Eutsey
Shocking? Long-awaited? Goldman's book on John Lennon was neither of these things. Your excerpt contained no information that any Beatles fan hasn't read. Well, there was one thing. I didn't know John and Yoko had a cat.
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Once I felt pity, sympathy and sadness for Mary Vincent. Now those feelings are overshadowed by admiration, hope and happiness for her. This lady walked through the shadows and is now on her way back to the sunlight.
Michelle L. Parker
I spent several minutes enjoying Mary Vincent's wedding photos. Then I read the article and remembered. I never would have guessed that was Mary. All I saw was her happiness. Her husband is one of a kind. God bless you, Mary and Matt.
Darla J. Polen
Scott and Carolyn
I'm disgusted and appalled. No one seems to focus on the fact that Scott Swanson and Carolyn MacLean kept track of the search by reading the Chicago papers at a local college library. I wonder what their expressions were when they saw pictures of their parents wracked with grief, asking everyone to help them search for their children. The Chicago police, Wheaton College and the town of Wheaton were turned upside down with questions and prayers. My question to Scott and Carolyn is, Why didn't you call or write?
In an article about a new word game called Cardz, PEOPLE stated that the game is available from Waldenbooks and Bloomingdale's. I have checked both stores in my area, and neither carries the game. Where can I obtain a deck of Cardz?
Lawrence R. Billow
We regret the error. Toys "R" Us is selling the game nationwide.—ED.
Women at Large
Hooray for Sharon McConnell and Sharlyne Powell for coming out of the closet and onto the exercise mat! It's past time for large men and women to stop allowing the narrow-waisted and equally narrow-minded to make us feel guilty and unacceptable because of our sizes. I find that my daily 30 minutes of aerobics are helping me gain confidence and be less critical of my size 24, 225-pound body.
What Mr. Guyton is doing in his neighborhood on Detroit's east side is more effective than just saying no to drugs. I got a big laugh out of reading about Guyton dressing up that crack house with brightly painted stripes, dots and squares and putting a doghouse on the porch with a watchdog inside. Right on, Tyree Guyton.
Moores Hill, Ind.