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Born to Run Hardcover – September 27, 2016
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“An utterly unique, endlessly exhilarating, last-chance-power-drive of a memoir.”
“Frank and gripping.”
—David Brooks, The Atlantic
“Bruce Springsteen's life is now officially an open book. Born to Run takes readers on a riveting ride through the everyman rock star’s deeply lived existence.”
“Intensely satisfying...Born to Run is, like his finest songs, closely observed from end to end. His story is intimate and personal, but he has an interest in other people and a gift for sizing them up..”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Springsteen can write—not just life-imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margic...And like a fabled Springsteen concert—always notable for its deck-clearing thoroughness —Born to Run achieves the sensation that all the relevant questions have been answered by the time the lights are turned out. He delivers the story of Bruce—in digestibly short chapters—via an informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak that’s worked and deftly detailed and intimate with its readers—cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence—sometimes rather pleasingly subsiding into the syntax and rhythms of a Bruce Springsteen song."
—Richard Ford, The New York Times Book Review.
“A virtuoso performance, the 508-page equivalent to one of Springsteen and the E Street Band's famous four-hour concerts: Nothing is left onstage, and diehard fans and first-timers alike depart for home sated and yet somehow already aching for more.”
"Kinetic...The ultimate rock star shares like he's got one last chance to make it real. It's like sitting next to Springsteen in the campfire light hearing his life story -- you'll be begging for another exhilarating refrain."
—People (Book of the Week)
“Excellent...very funny....eminently readable and engaging. Springsteen was also born to write. He has an active, energetic style that is part Jack Kerouac and part Instagram post.”
“Born to Run has a compelling narrative and an organized structure worthy of a Catholic schoolboy of the 1950s….Mr. Springsteen writes fluidly about subjects light, dark and darker. He’s funny and solemn, tender and insightful. In Born to Run, he risks his mythic stature, but he emerges as more substantial, more admirable. Now Mr. Springsteen isn’t merely a star. He is a man – a son, a husband, a father and a friend – willing to share what he’s learned.”
—Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Bruce Springsteen has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of 20 Grammy Awards, the Academy Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He lives in New Jersey with his family.
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Bruce’s autobiography, Born to Run, gives his fans tremendous insight into what it was that has driven Bruce over the course of his life and career. The motivations, the demons, the anxiety, the joys, the fears, the hopes, the dreams, all the elements that have constituted the Boss’s muse over these past 50 years are explained here. And not only is Bruce one of the great writers of lyrics and music, he is a great writer of prose. He amply demonstrates this here for all the world to see. He shares his story in a way only he could.
If you intend to purchase and read this book, I will tell you it is a real page turner. I could not put this book down. It has a somewhat imposing profile at 528 pages, but it is an easy read. An inspiring read. I do not want to reveal any of the revelations the reader will discover within the pages of this book, but I can say it was interesting to learn that Bruce possesses many of the same insecurities of us mere mortals.
Bruce discloses, in great detail, particulars of his early years, his upbringing, the issues that influenced the way he thinks, his musically formative years, his wide held acclaim, his family, his doubts, his fears, and a treasure trove of personal details I have never heard before. I have been a Springsteen fan for over four decades. I grew up less than 30 miles from Freehold, NJ. I used to go see Bruce in those little seaside bars he used to sing about. I have seen many Springsteen interviews. I have attended over 60 shows. I have read most of the previously published articles and books. Much of the material in this book has never been publicly presented before, and all in his own words. Bruce has obviously spent much time in intense introspection, and he shares many of his insights and conclusions here.
Bruce is arguably the world’s greatest showman. Now that the great James Brown has passed on, the moniker, “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” clearly belongs to Bruce. His unique gifts of lyric writing, musical composition, musicianship, and studio and on stage performance have rarely been seen in a single person. Bruce has won 20 Grammys (out of 49 nominations), 2 Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award, 2 Emmy Awards, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, has received a Kennedy Center Honor, and so much more. He now shows himself to be a gifted writer as well. And this book provides tremendous insights into how all that came about.
Bruce’s drive for perfectionism is explained. Why “good enough” is not in his vocabulary. Bruce is keenly aware the music will last forever. Here he is, 67 years old, and still performing to sold out stadiums and arenas every time he plays. His fans love him. He knows that, and he knows why. He strives to produce and deliver the best product he can, and he almost always succeeds.
If you have ever wondered exactly what it is that makes one of the greatest of this or any other generation’s musical talents tick, it is all right here. Bruce’s candor is striking. He has generally been a reserved and very private person in the past, but in this book, he puts it all out there. If you are a fan, you will love this book.
Bruce Springsteen is not just one of the world’s greatest musicians, writers, and performers, he is one of the world’s greatest people. Through a lifetime of events he details here, his skills developed and he has evolved into the national and world treasure affectionately referred to as "The Boss."
It goes without saying that I am a Sprinsteen fan. His concerts are legendary and if you've not been to one, they *do* live up to the hype. He has always been in my Top 10 to see in concert, but this book has moved him into the Top 5 (and possibly Top 3). I admit that even though I enjoy his music and lyrics, after reading the first chapter I had to look to see if it was written by Springsteen, or had the help of a ghostwriter. Beautifully written (by Bruce).
This novel felt as though I was sitting down having a discussion with Bruce over a beer, and after each chapter, I just wanted to savor the conversation, think about the words, and enjoy the time spent. He writes as the person he remains, not the one the public has glorified. Fame has not changed Springsteen, and after reading this book, we can see the parts that make the man, laid bare before all, hiding nothing (though being respectful of not telling stories that are for others to tell). In our society of glorified celebrity, it is refreshing to know it does not claim all as its victims, that some people grow as we all do, but just happen to experience a level of success beyond our imagination.
As a performer, I have enjoyed seeing him in concert because he is one of the few that becomes one with his instrument - his guitar is an extension of self, and he manipulates it as we would our hand. At the end of each concert, he is drenched in sweat, as if someone has turned a hose on him, and his fingers are bloody from playing so hard. He does it not just because he enjoys playing, but also for his fans... to get that groove right and share it for a common experience. He conveys this same experience through his writing.
He is just a man, humble and with faults just like all of us. Any fan will enjoy his stories and to see how Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band came to be, why he named it so, the players, his family, his demons, successes... all of it.