The ultimate biography of Bob Dylan.
Half a century ago, a youth appeared from the American hinterland and began a cultural revolution. The world is still coming to terms with what he did. How he did it - and why - has never been fully explored.
In Once Upon a Time, award-winning writer Ian Bell draws together the tangled strands of the many lives of Bob Dylan in all their contradictory brilliance. For the first time, the laureate of modern America is set in his entire context: musical, historical, literary, political, and personal.
In this acclaimed book, full of new insights into the legendary singer, his songs, his life and his era, the artist who invented himself in order to reinvent America is uncovered. Once Upon a Time is a biographical study of a personality that has splintered and reformed, time after time, in a country forever struggling to understand itself. Dylan has become the puzzle that illuminates. Here, in the first part of a major two-volume work, the puzzle is explained.
Born, raised and educated in Edinburgh, Ian Bell is a past holder of the George Orwell Prize for Political Journalism and the award-winning author of Dreams of Exile, a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson. Formerly the Scottish editor of The Observer, he is a columnist with The Herald and the Sunday Herald.
“This is the best Dylan biography yet - an imagined reliving of an already imaginary life, and a book to sit alongside Ellmann on Wilde, Richardson on Picasso, Ackroyd on Dickens.” (Financial Times)
“As knotty, beguiling, contrary, infuriating and ambitious as its subject ... the most vital Dylan biography yet.” (The Guardian)
“Bell's literary bent is his strength. He brings fresh insight into Dylan's verse.” (Scotland on Sunday)
“Bell's analysis is as sharp and intelligent as his award-winning political journalism. Definitely a ‘must-have’ Dylan book.” (The Herald)"
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A life lived in music and role play