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This is a really fine autobiography, with plenty of fascinating insights into what has made Dylan tick. It's great as a companion to the new Martin Scorsese documentary picture No Direction Home, providing more detail, background and color on much of the same material. For my taste, Sean Penn's reading is good, certainly very listenable (even if he doesn't know how to pronounce Don Juan). Unfortunately, the abridgement seems to be terrible, leaving out huge chunks and ruining any sense of continuity. I don't mind the jumping back and forth, but completely excising a whole decade and suddenly Bob has a wife and 5 kids - it doesn't work. Still worth 4 stars for what remains.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
It's a warm summer's day in the interlude between summer school and fall quarter in the late 60's. We're all on the front porch of the adobe looking out over the valley. The big event of the day is that eventually the train will ramble by the back fence. The music is Dylan. Some say that if you can remember the 60s, you weren't there. I say that if you can't remember the words to your favorite Dylan tune, you weren't there.
There is a reason that Dylan is considered the poet laureate of the Twentieth Century. And now he's back. Add to that the amazing reading by Sean Penn. Occaisonally you hear in his voice the sing-song verse of Dylan's early work. Occaisonally Penn sounds just like him.
A definite read if you were there (and maybe styill are).
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I did not know what I was going to expect when I purchased it. If you're a fellow songwriter then this is a book for you to check out. The inspirations Dylan experienced helped make him wonder what he could achieve with his own sound and identity. It's not really a book that talks about his whole life, feels like he wanted to express more how he developed during that early period in his life. He's been pretty adamant that he's not a folk singer and I agree. The number of genres during that time was not as developed as it is now and drawing in the knowledge he could get was important. The identity of his country with his own sound feels to be part of his goals . Hope that helps with no spoilers!
interesting. Well narrated. I learned loads as Bob Dylan was before my time.