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Understanding Bob Dylan: Making Sense of the Songs That Changed Modern Music Paperback – October 14, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Beck completed a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Geography from the University of London. He lived and worked in India for several years, and has studied the writings and songs of Rabindranath Tagore. He lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada, and works as a freelance consultant to the United Nations.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461147816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461147817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Tekosky on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this book insightful and probing. I appreciated that the author avoided yet another 'tell-all' treatment of Dylan and focused, instead, on analyzing his songs. He goes to the essence of what Dylan was writing about -- women, money, love, and politics. And he does a great job at putting Dylan's lyrics in a much broader literary and poetic context. His writing is humorous and intelligent in a way that keeps us -- "his intrepid readers" -- engaged and enjoying throughout.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Samuels on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Out of all the Dylan books I have read, this one is by far the best treatment of the lyrical content of Dylan's music. The author provides a deep and penetrating analysis of the major literary themes that Dylan has used in his long career; it is fascinating to read through this deconstruction of Dylan's thought. I would recommend this book to any long time Dylan fan, as well as to the casual enjoyer of music who is even mildly interested in Dylan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tero on April 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book does take Dylan's songs as a whole, and does discuss his themes and literary devices. But this is not much for a music fan, as it does not progress song by song and there is in fact no index. The book is surprisingly easy to read, but not really a keeper for me. It's pretty much the total opposite of A Hard Day's Write, so it makes no attempt to connect to real events that inspired the songs. That approach is in the book from late 2014: Bob Dylan: All the Songs: The Story Behind the Recordings Hardcover - October 14, 2014
by Philippe Margotin. And actually in several other books.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Snowey on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book; if you like Dylan, or just like poetry, its an intense and revealing read. Its proposition is simple: look for the man and the moment in the lyrics; it tells us as much about ourselves and our time as it does about him.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Best on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Bob Dylan, being such an iconic cultural figure has had much literature published about him and his music over the last fifty years. This book shares an understandings of this great artist and his work in a way that is constantly engaging, insightful and generally thoroughly entertaining. A definitive book on Dylan for the 21st century.
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