Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads Paperback – April 4, 2006
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
I found some of Marcus's cultural commentary compelling and some not so compelling -- the highlights for me are the less disputable "facts" about the great song itself, recorded on June 15, 1965 and released on July 24, 1965. It stormed the pop charts, unprecedented for a 6-minute song, and reached #2 in the USA. What was #1, you ask? It was the Beatles' "Help!" Al Kooper's story of how he ended up playing organ is quite amusing, and Dylan's recruitment and use of Michael Bloomfield in the session is fascinating. Also superb is Marcus's account of the ensuing tour of the new electric Dylan, with the booing in the U.S. and the large-scale disruption of the U.K. concerts, some of it quite purposefully organized by the old British Communist Party, as it turns out, which controlled a network of stodgy folk clubs. "Like a Rolling Stone" was the last song every night on that tour, a perfect howl of anger for Dylan to wreak vengeance on his recalcitrant fans. (See my 9/5/04 review of the LIVE 1966 disc, the official release of the famous "Royal Albert Hall" bootleg of the Manchester concert.)
Once you realize the scope of Marcus's musings, it becomes clear that this book could have been much longer.Read more ›
That the song remains legendary no one probably doubts. That it stands as one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded may also not meet with much dissidence. But over two-hundred pages on a single song? The idea alone entices a read.
So what happens in this book? And why should anyone read it? First off, this book likely won't appeal to those who don't see a connection between popular music, popular culture, how it potentially affects our lives as consumers/listeners, and how a song can take on a life of its own (which explains the "biography" moniker - this book really tries to capture the life the song took on all by itself). Some of the claims this book makes seem a little far out. Did "Like A Rolling Stone" contain seeds for a "strange revolution"? Does the song have, for lack of a better term, a metaphysical category all of its own (as some of the descriptions and rhapsodies in this book suggest) that seems unreachable and ineffable? Those who like to put on music, dance to it, and not think about it will probably close this book quickly. In other words, it's a heady book for those who want to dig into the mystique of popular music and theorize about what makes it tick. Marcus descends to levels of granularity that don't seem possible when chatting about popular music.Read more ›
On the downside, Marcus also shares Agee's tendency to lapse into rambling and grandiosity, and the words can pile up and stumble over themselves, leaving you wondering what the hell he's talking about. He has so many ideas and passions, and wants to draw connections between his subject and so many other things. When it works it can be fascinating, but sometimes it's a bit of a stretch, and you wish he would at least not try to cram them all into one sentence/paragraph/page. In this book especially, I often found myself wishing for a stronger editorial hand to rein him in and clear up some of the log jams. It raises an interesting question about how far you can push journalism in the direction of literature and have it still be effective. After all, Agee's great tome began as a magazine article that got out of hand...
But I like to watch Marcus' mind at work, even when he goes off the deep end. He's one of my favorite writers to argue with; I may occasionally think he's full of it, but I admire the effort. When so much music writing is either lame fanboy drivel, shallow blurbage, or arid academic nonsense, it's a pleasure to read someone both passionate and scholarly who is prepared to dig so deeply, to stake a claim that this music (whatever it is - in this case Dylan's) really matters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a Dylan fan this is a fast facinating read. Like a Rolling Stone, is a bone chilling monumental song that changed pop music forever. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Moldymind
It's all about Dylan and it's all about one of the greatest rock songs ever (per RS), Like A Rolling Stone. Every Dylan lover and every song lover will love this book.Published on April 29, 2013 by Robert D. Dominiec
This book is more about Greil Marcus than it is about Bob Dylan. Marcus is always pretentious, long-winded and under foot in his writing, and he is at his absolute worst here. Read morePublished on May 27, 2012 by R. Daniels
Personally, I think Marcus is trying to make up for his insulting review of Dylan's (admittedly somewhat unimpressive) "Self Portrait" album with this book. Read morePublished on March 18, 2012 by Diefenbaker the dog
....But I think some people should not be allowed to be published.
Or have some books in print for that matter.
Especially this one. Read more
Well this book was not quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be a biography of Dylan but instead it was a somewhat pretentious narrative of how "Like a Rolling Stone"... Read morePublished on April 23, 2011 by fhuband
I tried hard; very hard but unfortunately I couldn't finish this book.
The author is boring and pretentious.
Now I am one of Mr Marcus's fans, his obstruse and poetic whimsy often stimulating further thought. In this instance, while not utterly dismissive, I'm in agreement with most of... Read morePublished on December 4, 2009 by Rodney J. Moss