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on March 12, 2009
Rob Kirkpatrick has done a wonderful job with this revision and updating of his book about Springsteen and his music. He presents the context and development of each and every album (except "Working on a Dream") in a detailed, thorough, and engaging manner. He also presents a quite complete and detailed biography of Springsteen here. So we emerge with a very clear idea of where these works came from, how they fit into Springsteen's overall development, and how they fit into the history of our nation and society. Kirkpatrick is admiring of Bruce, and obviously takes great joy in his music; but the work is free of hagiography, and Kirkpatrick never comes across as just another gushing fan. His abilities and discernment as a knowledgeable commentator always shine through. Kirkpatrick is clear about what of Springsteen's music he likes, and what he doesn't; while we may from time to time disagree with his judgments (as any good Springsteen fan would), we never doubt the depth and plausibility of his perspective. Finally, Kirkpatrick is obviously an excellent writer, and his tone throughout, while intelligent and knowledgeable, is always engaging and lucid-- neither overly informal, nor overly detached and scholarly. In sum, "Magic in the Night" would be an excellent (and necessary) addition to any Springsteen collection.
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on February 3, 2013
If you're a fan of THE BOSS this is a good read to delve into
the band chemistry at the different phases/albums they've gone
thru in their decades together.
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on July 11, 2012
I was so happy when I ordered this book. I thought that all the Boss' lyrics would be available in it. And I was wrong. I should have paid more attention during English class! I did not understand the title properly.
Interesting book anyway.
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on December 17, 2009
The book seems to be better suited for me as a companion to the songs off the albums covered in this book. I tried to sit down and just flat out read the book, but grew bored quick!

Being a huge Springsteen fan relating to the songs isnt the issue, I wanted something that gave me some history behind the lyrics. The book does a fair job at that....

I did however have the book laying in my office one day while I was listening to "Darkness on the edge of town" and picked the book up and lightly read certain things that pertained to the song playing. Seemed to be a better fit for this book.
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on April 11, 2013
I am a huge Bruce fan and loved this book. I would recommend it for fans- others may lose some of the references.
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on June 19, 2009
The author does not introduce a whole lot of new information but it is still a read worth having. It was my impression that the book was going to go in depth with Springsteen's songwriting but it is merely a biography.
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on July 24, 2010
item rec'd in good readable condition, just as promised. very happy with this transaction. thanks!
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on January 8, 2010
I was given this as a Christmas present. I had to force myself to finish it because it is so poorly written. Kirkpatrick's book is really not an analysis, it's a recitation. He fails to connect the dots in Bruce's songs over time - the religious themes, the notion of grace, the meanings of all those willows, dusty beach roads and dresses. Although he does get to the highways, he doesn't do much more with the place of roads and highways in Bruce's lyrics than enumerate them. There's just not a lot of real insight.
There are also infuriating errors which may be due to bad editing rather than Kirkpatrick's ignorance. One, when "Mary's dress waives" (sic), what is she waiving - her rights? Then, he repeatedly refers to the Clash's "Sandanista" (sic) - come on, the guy's name was SANDINO, it's a political party, not just an album title - get it correct.
The interpretations of songs are sometimes just wrong - for example, in "Tougher Than the Rest", Kirkpatrick states that all the guy wants in the world is for the girl to dance with him. NNNOOOOOO - all the guy wants is a second chance in life, a shot at redemption!
This book just really disappointed me. I've listened to all these lyrics for years, and have probably seen Bruce about 10 times in concert. I am a huge fan, but not a fanatic. And I could have come up with deeper thoughts on his lyrics than this. Kirkpatrick is playing in the shallow end.
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on August 1, 2009
The author makes no bones about his zealous fandom for Bruce, so if you seek a critically dispassionate look at the Boss, this book is not for you. Inside, you get a fan's analysis of each album. I found the related info about the records more useful than the song by song analysis, which bored me. Enough already. Springsteen had some good tunes in the 80s - mainly on Tunnel of Love where he didn't scream - but Max Weinberg's heavy handed drumming isn't my cup of tea and Bruce's vocals are always a dicey prospect. If you lost track of Bruce soon after Born in the USA, as many did, then this book will catch you up on what he did since then. For real fans only.
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