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The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In this engaging book, Jeffrey Symynkywicz, a minister and dedicated Springsteen fan, shows us that Bruce Spingsteen's enduring importance stems largely from the rich spiritual themes that run throughout his albums. With a lively and engaging style, Symynkywicz probes each of Springsteen's albums and shows how his music helps make sense of the many threads of our lives, in ...more
Paperback, 197 pages
Published June 16th 2008 by Westminster John Knox Press
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John Brooks
Jul 22, 2008 John Brooks is currently reading it
every sentence reminds me why i love music, and makes me wonder why i'm lucky enough to live in a world and a time with bruce springsteen in it.
Dec 20, 2009 Leonard rated it liked it
Lots of great songs have been written and sung by Bruce Springsteen, and an increasing number of books have been written about Springsteen and his impact on the world. Symynkywicz is a Harvard educated, Unitarian Minister who says that most of Springsteen's songs are deeply religious and sets out to prove it in this book. He is clearly very familiar with Springsteen work, especially with the lyrics of the Boss' songs, and closely inspects every album Springsteen released from "Asbury Park to "Ma ...more
Aug 16, 2008 David rated it really liked it
If you've ever wondered about the religious significance of "say hey hey, what do you say? Sherry darling.....".....this is the book for you.

Just kidding. Obviously, many Springsteen songs repay closer lyrical analysis, and this book is ready to provide. It's light on the personal gossip (marital transition from Julianne Phillips of Lake Oswego, Oregon, to Patti Scialfa of the E Street Band is handled in about a paragraph) and concert reviews and heavy on lyrical analysis. The author is a Unitar
Oct 19, 2008 Tommy rated it liked it
This was a good book, though the need to turn all things pop culture into spiritual journeys grows a tad old (The Gospel According to the Sopranos and 'The Zen of...' just about anything come to mind).

I sought this book out because I am an ardent fan of Springsteen, and have always been intrigued by his use of religious imagery, especially from a professed lapsed Catholic.

The book works when it embraces the great lyrics from songs like "The Rising", "The Devil's Arcade", "Spare Parts", "Reason t
Aug 22, 2008 Marigold rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marigold by: Debra
Shelves: non-fiction, music
Is it possible that I could grow to love Bruce Springsteen even more than I already do? YES! In my search for spiritual growth and fulfillment, I reached out and found...Bruce! Oh yeah. I believe I shall register him as a Church. One thing I noticed on reading this, is apparently I have neglected my catechism! I do not have all the lyrics memorized! Second item of note, I always thought Bruce was saying those things just to ME! But I'm happy to share this spiritual enlightenment with others, so ...more
Linda Stephens
Oct 26, 2010 Linda Stephens rated it really liked it
I was not sure i would enjoy this book. I was certain that a book that dissected Springsteen songs to find spiritual meaning would be dull and a bit cloying.
this Harvard educated Unitarian minister is more than just a man finding spirtual meaning in a rock icon's music. Jeffrey is a Springsteen fan.
The way he chronicles Springsteen's music over the year's in fascinating and chronicles my personal journey through life and Springsteen. the youth trying to find a place in the world, the cynical dis
May 25, 2013 Caroline rated it it was ok
The song-by-song analysis seemed kind of amateurish and the conclusion's 10 Commandments/Suggestions would've been better if they were explored more deeply throughout the rest of the book. The author did have some original (at least to me) takes on some songs. But, in the words of the Boss himself, the author needs to work 'neath the wheels til he gets his facts learned. Get it straight with some editing and fact-checking.
Scott Groth
Aug 19, 2010 Scott Groth rated it it was ok
A song by song breakdown of Springsteen's work. I would have loved to see more depth on Springsteen's larger message, how his message has changed, and how it fits in the context of 20th century theologies such as Liberation or Process Theology.
Aug 10, 2008 Gail marked it as to-read
This book was a topic of recent discussion on NPR's All Things Considered. The author, a Harvard educated minister, discusses the spiritual layers that are evident in Bruce's work.
Dec 19, 2008 Rob rated it liked it
Ok, I know it looks like a "Behind the Music" book, but for Bruce fans that love his storytelling it's a great examination of the stories he tells and the characters in them.
Apr 02, 2015 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-music
I have returned this book to the library, unfinished. I may borrow it later to finish it. Didn't quite grab me as I thought it would. Perhaps it was the writing style...
Dec 29, 2011 Abbey rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Read more like an analytical paper of his work than a spiritual journey. I wanted to like this so much more.
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