|Publisher:||Blackstone Audio Inc|
|Publish Date:||Jun 2011|
|Number of Pages:||0|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.13|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.0 x 5.75 x 1.25|
Daniel Mark Epstein is an award-winning essayist, poet, playwright, translator, biographer, and musician. He's won the Prix de Rome, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and been anthologized in several collections of essays and poetry. His books include biographies of Aimee Semple McPherson and Nat King Cole, and seven volumes of poetry. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Bob Dylan certainly has left an indelible mark on American society. After listening to this book, you might feel that his many laurels don't easily fit Minnesota's little Bobby Zimmerman. Dylan was a poet and an expert at weaving his guitar/harmonica skills into his songs, but what did anyone really know about him off-stage? Epstein is convinced that Dylan deserves his high place in the cultural pantheon and seems willing to overlook his many flaws.
Forgoing the usual chronological sequence, Epstein focuses on Dylan's most iconic concerts to introduce the turning points in his life, and the result is a disjointed, rambling, oddly readable book that will both please and infuriate Dylan devotees. Here is where the audiobook, read in a mature and consistent voice by Bronson Pinchot, may be the better choice. Audie Award winner Pinchot has the skill to keep the narrative flowing where a reader might be wondering if they missed a chapter somewhere.
- Joseph L. Carlson, Vandenberg Air Force Base Lib., Lompoc, CA
(c). Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Poet and historian Epstein (The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage) mixes personal observation, interviews with insiders, and rehashed highlights from well-known biographies in this well-written but frustratingly incomplete portrait of Bob Dylan. The author, a longtime fan who does not hold back his strong opinions on Dylan's career and private life, frames his book around personal concert experiences in 1963, 1974, 1997, and 2009, leaving large gaps in Dylan's life story.
Epstein skims through Dylan's mid-1970's renaissance and almost completely ignores his gospel period, instead focusing on his early Woody Guthrie fixation, late 1960's/early 1970s home life, and recent touring. Epstein draws heavily from Dylan's autobiography (Chronicles) and previous biographies by Robert Shelton, Anthony Scaduto, and others. There seems to be no original research here other than new interviews with friends, band mates, and Don't Look Back filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who provide fresh and surprising glimpses into Dylan's personal life.
Verdict: This minor work is only mildly recommended to well-informed readers interested in what the interviewees have to say about the musician's character and private side.
-Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The Ballad of Bob Dylan is a vivid, full-bodied portrait of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth-century--a man widely regarded as the most important lyricist America has ever produced. Acclaimed poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein frames Dylan against the backdrop of four seminal concerts--all of which he attended: Lisner Auditorium, Washington, D.C., 1963; Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1974; Tanglewood, Massachusetts, 1997; Aberdeen, Maryland, 2009. Recreating each performance song by song, Epstein places them within the larger context of Dylan's life, from his meteoric rise as a young folk singer through his reemergence in the 1990s and his role as the min en ce gris e of rock and roll today.
He explores the star's private side, including marriage and fatherhood and his struggle to overcome substance abuse. Epstein also traces the influences that shaped Dylan's career and offers a thoughtful analysis of his work and fresh interpretations of his lyrics. Here, too, are anecdotes and insights from those closest to the man, including D. A. Pennebaker, Allen Ginsberg, Nora Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and Dylan's sidemen throughout the years. Beautifully written, The Ballad of Bob Dylan is a unique, eye-opening portrait of an artist who has transformed generations and continues to inspire and surprise today.