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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for fans of recent Dylan, September 20, 2010
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This review is from: Bob Dylan In America (Hardcover)
Brilliant! Really, the only word for this book. It covers several different phases of Dylans career, but the main focus is on his more recent output. You will especially love it if you are REALLY fascinated by Dylan's output since "Love and Theft", which I believe to be one of the best albums of the last 25 years.

The first two chapters are fantastic background into what other forms of culture have influenced Dylan besides Woody Guthrie, and they are well worth plowing through because from there on it only gets better.

This book gives you a lot of interesting information when it matters, not necessarily chronologically, which makes it a fascinating read. You aren't getting bogged down in encyclopedic facts, just what matters when the subject comes up.

The book gives a remarkable insight as to how and where Dylan's music was influenced by many parts of American musical culture, including minstrel shows, Bing Crosby, Blind Willie McTell...not just Woody Guthrie.

I actually got EXCITED reading the chapter on "Love and Theft" and plan to download a lot of the songs the writer sites as influential to that album, because I've NEVER had more fun listening to any other recording...to me Dylan's last few records are better than anything else anyone is currently releasing.

Believe me, this is well worth reading.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 9, 2010 5:39:48 AM PDT
Peter Hyatt says:
Although I love all the periods, including Self Portrait, the "modern period" since Time Out Of Mind is my favorite with "Modern Times" a masterpiece. ("Working Man Blues #2 has his most beautiful singing this side of Bing Crosby, who I love).

thanks for a great review; knowing now that this covers the Love and Theft period caused me to order the book now, rather than wait for a "surprise Christmas gift". Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2010 9:56:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 11, 2010 9:56:25 AM PDT
Super...let us all know what you think of the book once you read it...and, like I said, don't get discouraged by the detail in the first two chapters, to me they are very interesting, yet you can also skip around in the book to get right to the meat of what interests you.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 10:26:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2012 10:27:44 AM PDT
I've been reading this, enjoying it richly, and think you cover the most of right bases. I like his historian's approach, esp what he has to say about the place of Ginsberg/Kerouac vs the folkies, and how he blended the neo-commun(al)ism of the latter with the iconoclasm or even nihilism of the former ...along with the curious ties to Aaron Copland.
I also have a taste for a bit of the gossipy stuff, but I guess you can't have everything.
Most of all, I agree with your assessment of Love and Theft. A masterpiece, musically, and now that I'm twigging to all the allusions and obscure references, from even more angles! Certainly to me it's right up there with Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks, his previous masterpieces.
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