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Chronicles: Volume One Paperback – September 13, 2005
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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One would not anticipate a conventional memoir from Bob Dylan--indeed, one would not have foreseen an autobiography at all from the pen of the notoriously private legend. What Chronicles: Volume 1 delivers is an odd but ultimately illuminating memoir that is as impulsive, eccentric, and inspired as Dylan's greatest music.
Eschewing chronology and skipping over most of the "highlights" that his many biographers have assigned him, Dylan drifts and rambles through his tale, amplifying a series of major and minor epiphanies. If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at his encounters with the Beatles, look elsewhere. Dylan describes the sensation of hearing the group's "Do You Want to Know a Secret" on the radio, but devotes far more ink to a Louisiana shopkeeper named Sun Pie, who tells him, "I think all the good in the world might already been done" and sells him a World's Greatest Grandpa bumper sticker. Dylan certainly sticks to his own agenda--a newspaper article about journeymen heavyweights Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis and soul singer Joe Tex's appearance on The Tonight Show inspire heartfelt musings, and yet the 1963 assassination of John Kennedy prompts nary a word from the era's greatest protest singer.
For all the small revelations (it turns out he's been a big fan of Barry Goldwater, Mickey Rourke, and Ice-T), there are eye-opening disclosures, including his confession that a large portion of his recorded output was designed to alienate his audience and free him from the burden of being a "the voice of a generation."
Off the beaten path as it is, Chronicles is nevertheless an astonishing achievement. As revelatory in its own way as Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited, it provides ephemeral insights into the mind one of the most significant artistic voices of the 20th century while creating a completely new set of mysteries. --Steven Stolder --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
For legions of die-hard fans and Dylanologists, there is but one voice. And hearing it spoken is rare, mainly during concert band introductions. So the sound of actor Penn taking on Bob Dylan's legendary and oft-cryptic persona is, initially, a surreal aural experience. But after awhile, it becomes clear that the choice was apt. Like Dylan, Penn is a fearless performer, and his own iconoclastic personality serves the narrative without ever threatening to upstage it. One detects a reverent restraint in Penn's voice that conveys the impression that his casual performance is likely as studied as his acclaimed screen work. He adopts a subtle Guthrie-esque workingman's tone, peppering his delivery with plenty of conjunctions. Only when recounting Dylan's youthful arrival in New York City does Penn's preternatural, been-there-done-that tone seem inappropriate. Not surprisingly, Dylan's prose style is lyrical and rambling, the rhythm and cadences jazz-like, and the content prone to Beat influences. But Penn handles these charges with skill. His delivery is even, but his voice dips and rises with welcome emotion when Dylan discusses his unwanted anointment as the conscience of a generation. Overall, this is a solid and compelling audio adaptation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
The title says it well : Chronicles and this is chronicle of his beginning but mostly the folk musicians of influence and importance.
Come to think of it, it strikes me that as much as I LOVE his art and respect his ethic and deeply appreciate his songs, I dont find him very interesting. Fair enough. I dont ask that of him. But therefore the book was boring for me...
Most recent customer reviews
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