Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dylan On Dylan” as Want to Read:
Dylan On Dylan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dylan On Dylan

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  863 ratings  ·  48 reviews
'Dylan on Dylan' gathers together 31 of the most significant and revealing conversations with the singer, stretching over 40 years from the earliest days of his career in 1962 through to 2004.
Published December 1st 2007 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published May 17th 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dylan On Dylan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dylan On Dylan

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,672)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
M. Sarki
Amazing body of work selected here. Fascinating autobiography at times both flabbergasting and frustrating, but as Mr. Dylan has aged his honesty has issued forth on a more regular basis. Not that he outright lied about things as a younger man, he just seemed to delight in pulling our puppet strings and showing to a fault what fools we were for believing he may have the answers. It is obvious to me in this chronicle of his life through certain interviews that Dylan was searching as hard as anyon ...more
The interviews gathered in this collection begin in 1961 and end in 2004, from barely 20 through his early 60s. They are remarkably consistent in certain respects, though the tone ranges from unguarded to prickly, merely elusive to intentionally opaque or contradictory. They are all stubbornly resistant to any kind of analysis of his work, of any attempts to pigeon hole either his work with labels or his influences with anything like a cause and effect simplicity. So Dylan is not a protest singe ...more
The more I read about Dylan and listen to him, the more mysterious and mythological he becomes. It's so backwards. The way he talks reveals how he thinks, which is unlike anyone I've ever even heard about. It is both illuminating and disorienting at the same time. This book of carefully selected interviews from 1962 through 2001 confirmed one big thing for me: Dylan is one of the most inspired and inspiring people in the past few centuries. A must-read.
I really like this book so far. I've never read an interview book before, and i'm glad i chose one about my favorite musician. Bob Dylan is one of the most popular and respected artists of all time. Some of the interviews are very controversial, including one where Dylan compares himself to the assasin of President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. He was saying that he acctually saw a little bit of himself in the assasin. This is just one of hundreds of interviews. The book also has a lot of ...more
Oct 18, 2008 CD rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dylan fans, devotees, and pop cultural mavens.
These 31 interviews range from simple transcription of the legendary Nat Hentoff radio interviews to Sam Shepard's turning time spent with Dylan into a one-act play. Dylan conversational nuggets embedded in prose abound throughout this collection from Jonathan Cott. Long form traditional radio/TV interviews from over thirty-five years along side magazine feature interviews illustrate and amplify the trickster legend of Bob Dylan.

Snapshots of the guarded and playful Dylan in this book must be vie
I approached this book as a big Bob Dylan fan (Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Desire and Planet Waves being my favorite albums) but as a relative novice of his personal life and development. In fact the majority of what I know of his personal life came from my viewing of (and subsequent research concerning) the recent movie "I'm Not There." Long story short, I was aware of Dylan's reputation as an enigma and intrigued by the possibility of dispelling some of the mystery.

There's good
Sarah-Jayne Windridge-France
It's interesting ... but it's hard work deciphering this self-indulgent sesquipedalian clap trap!

If I'm perfectly honest it's like chewing on cotton wool, soaked in cherry brandy with a frog in your throat!...You want to suck it dry of the good stuff and swallow it, you're desperate to cough out the guff and hype and you want to spit out a whole load of fluff!

It's disjointed and parts don't make a great deal of sense (I suspect he may be under the influence)! This said - it's written with insigh
Robbie Thompson
If you love Bob then you love getting into his weird crazy mind cause he's an honest bastard. He just floats into his conscious, perhaps his subconsiou and you get to enjoy the ride, even if you can't work out where that ride is going or what hes talking about.
These interviews leave you asking, "who is Dylan playing for?" Sometimes you feel that the answer is within your grasp, but Dylan slithers and weasels away, leaving you clueless.
If nothing else, Dylan cultivates a sense of disconnect, that I is truly another and that the I that others see is nothing but a facade. For Dylan, everything is a fleeting image of times and places, of archetypes and mysteries. Enigmas are the only things left that still got it honest. Life is nothing but a collage of
Amazing insights into one of the best known artistes of America!
Leslie Erin Quinn
A pretty great read. A ton of interviews from his heyday, which I found as interesting as his later ones. His mood during interviews ranges from prickly to notably honest and thoughtful, though throughout you are left with the impression he is managing to keep those things he wants hidden from the press to stay that way. It is pretty fascinating to sort of track his career, and to hear through his own words, what he thinks of what his future holds or what he thinks of the past. Highly recommende ...more
Sep 19, 2007 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: when the music isn't enough
This book is great. You get a real sense of how human Dylan really is. He sometimes contradicts himself from interview to interview (as would anyone). Much more insight into what makes Dylan tick than any other book (including his own book "Chronicles"). The book covers pretty much his entire career so you get to hear him go through many radical changes in perspective/attitude. Very entertaining and probably the closest thing to the truth on Dylan even though he lies all throughout.
I read quite a few of these interviews when they first appeared in magazines, mostly in Rolling Stone. For me, this isn't a book to read straight through from cover to cover. More one to return to. A good reference book.
Mar 10, 2009 dusty.rhodes rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to dusty.rhodes by: amy w
Early interviews: Fun-n-such.
Middle interviews: Up-n-down.
Late interviews: Hit-o-miss.

Read: Learn the level(s) Bob Dylan thinks on.
Read: With "My baby's on the level"* on the tip of your ear.

Think moron: Where Dylan isn't than who he is.

*- See Raconteurs, The. Broken Boy Soldiers. "Level."
John Kaess
Very interesting read. Bob Dylan is a very unusual, maybe strange guy who clearly thinks much differently than the rest of us. His thought process is very stream of consciousness, and while his songs seem introspective he repeatedly claims that is not so, that he just writes what he feels. His growth and maturity become very clear as you move from his earlier interviews to his later ones.
Asoka Selvarajah
Very insightful about him. Rather hard to read at times as his way of thinking is not normal to most people. It might be that if you are an artist or performer, very much in the Arts, you might understand hims better. For me, a lot of it was rather obscure.

That said, very interesting and added to my overall appreciation of him.
Aug 22, 2007 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dylan addicts, no one else
I am borderline-obsessed with all things Dylan, so this collection of interviews over the years made for some great reading. It's as much fun reading Dylan's evasive answers as it is reading how hyper-aware the interviewers are of the artist's aversion to PR shilling. Probably only a must-read for Dylan fans.
Dan Geddes
For Dylan fans this representative selection of interviews from his entire career will be a treat. Dylan is often elusive, but he is always consistent in resisting in suggestion that he has all the answers to the meaning of life or societal problems. He is a songwriter and performer; nothing more, nothing less.
Maggie Joyce
Any one who knows me knows I'm a "Dylanologist". I have already read many of the interviews in this compilation.

I especially recommend this compilation because it focuses on Dylan's thoughts on his development as an artist as opposed to the baser objectives of other such compilations and commentary.
I can't promise I read every word of this book (it's been about a year and a half) but I very nearly read every word as I skipped around. I remember reading it at a time I really needed cheering up and to get out of my own head. Immersing yourself in someone elses life can help with that, I guess.
Great book full of interviews with Bob Dylan from the 60's to pretty current. I find Bob Dylan interesting, and the way he would antagonize the people interviewing him is so funny. Even when he's being a jerk, the words come out like poetry. If you're a Dylan fan, you will love this book.
Tim Gaskill
Great selection of interviews through the ages. He's consistent in his answers...Whatever the interviewer asks, Bob will somehow find a point of disagreement. It's a fascinating character study, and rarely gets boring.
Dale Ward
huge dylan fan and had high hopes for this book but when i stared to read it i found out it was just a book compiled of interviews throughout his career not a book for reading but a book to skim through now and again
This is for the true Bob Dylan fanatic... it is huge! I love to skim through here and there when I am in an exceptionally Dylan-esque mood; it is remarkably comprehensive.
Not sure this book contained any enlightening interviews.... many just got repetitive. Or maybe all his interviews tend to be repetitive? Part of the allure?
Amazing collection of interviews from a 40+ year span.
The 1966 Playboy magazine interview with Nat Hentoff is as interesting as it's reputation.
Sep 15, 2007 Jake rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bob Dylan fans
Shelves: music
How do you review a collection of interviews? Dylan is interesting and their is a nice variety in the selections. Worth picking up for Dylan fans.
I like this guy and these interviews are very illuminating. There is an early interview with Studs Terkel, another of my favs. It is smart.
Kirk Bower
Several interviews, reviews, etc. from early to present Dylan. Read it in two days; but I am a "Dylan Head!" THANKS JOE (Great gift)
Sep 09, 2007 Robert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dylan fans
A great overview of Dylan's life and career, with a lots of insights into his enigmatic personality. Essential reading for Dylan lovers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 55 56 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia
  • Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited
  • Bob Dylan: Writings, 1968-2010
  • On the Road with Bob Dylan
  • Bob Dylan in America
  • Dylan's Visions of Sin
  • A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks
  • Bob Dylan: A Biography
  • No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan
  • Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan
  • The Ballad of Bob Dylan
  • Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes
  • Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña
  • Songwriters On Songwriting: Revised And Expanded
  • Highway 61 Revisited
  • Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting
  • Why Write?
  • Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, poet, and, of late, disc jockey who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times T ...more
More about Bob Dylan...
Chronicles, Vol. 1 Tarantula Lyrics: 1962-2001 Lyrics, 1962-1985 Forever Young

Share This Book

“Anything worth thinking about is worth singing about.” 6 likes
More quotes…