Picks and Pans Review: The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

updated 02/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by David Sheff with G. Barry Golson

The 1980 interview was the most revealing self-portrait of John Lennon's career: 20,000 words of reminiscence, remonstration and repartee with "Mother" (Yoko Ono) that would have deserved hard covers even if he had lived. Now writer Sheff (a frequent contributor to PEOPLE) has added another 40,000 words, some of which ran in a second installment in Playboy last April, from his 20 hours of taped conversations. A highlight is John's song-by-song exegesis of the Lennon-McCartney oeuvre, which for the first time spells out exactly who wrote what and why. But the domestic details also remain affecting. Lennon opens with a paean to baking bread ("I took a Polaroid of my first loaf. It was like an album coming out of the oven"), and he and the equally quotable Yoko are off and talking. (Playboy Press, $13.50)

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