Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bob Dylan: Writings, 1968-2010” as Want to Read:
Bob Dylan: Writings, 1968-2010
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bob Dylan: Writings, 1968-2010

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The book begins in Berkeley in 1968, and ends with a piece on Dylan’s show at the University of Minnesota—his very first appearance at his alma mater—on election night 2008. In between are moments of euphoric discovery: From Marcus’s liner notes for the 1967 Basement Tapes (pop music’s most famous bootlegged archives) to his exploration of Dylan’s reimagining of the Americ
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by PublicAffairs (first published September 24th 2010)
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 Bob Dylan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bob Dylan

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 295)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I'm a fan of Marcus' book on the way Dylan emerges from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes (1997). Unfortunately, Marcus changed that book's title to "The Old Weird America" when it was republished as a paperback. This had been the title of the Smith chapter from Invisible Republic, a title Marcus appropriated from a phrase of Kenneth Rexroth's, "the old free America." Rexroth was talking about the midwestern culture of the pre-first wo ...more
Blog on Books
There may be no more thorough chronicler over the four decades of Bob Dylan's musical life, than one of America's top rock writers, Greil Marcus. Marcus, the Berkeley-based former Rolling Stone editor and author has covered Dylan since the sixties and in this book "Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010," (Public Affairs) the author serves as editor, compiling every last article - from Stone to the Village Voice to the long-forgotten New West magazine - to paint an intensely detailed port ...more
James Klagge
I doubt Greil Marcus is a pleasant person, and I don't often agree with him, but he is well worth reading when it comes to Bob Dylan, rock music, blues, or old-time music. He knows a huge amount, and always has an opinion. He is very much a critic--in that he is very judgemental. I suppose that is not surprising, since he is basically paid to have an opinion. He is an intelligent music listener, which I aspire to be. He knows a lot about history, influences, social context, resonances--things th ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Drew marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
For lovers of books about music, take a look at: Pitchfork's 60 best music books:

Plenty of good stuff here including two by Greil Marcus, Miles Davis' Autobiography, Revolution in the Head, England's Dreaming, Lester Bangs' collected works, Bob Dylan's Chronicles. I was a bit surprised to see Daniel J. Levitin's This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human ObsessionThis Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, which I found pretty banal in terms of it
Good collection of his many articles, reviews, etc. dealing with Bob Dylan. Some of the more interesting pieces are only partially about Dylan, such as a good essay about "The myth of the open road" in American music (Springsteen, Bob Seger, Chuck Berry.........).

The besetting vice of any column collection is repetitiveness. Most of us have only so many ideas. I'm sure that if I had read these at the pace at which they were published, a few per year, it would have been fine, but going back to b
I find myself less awed by Marcus' prose and his (occasionally ponderous) tangents than I used to be. But one of my favorite writers writing about my favorite musician over the course of more than 40 years? Yes, please. There's so much here that I'd never read before, particularly much of the stuff from the '70s, that by the time I reached the more familiar entries, they read like new. Even the pieces that seem unrelated help contextualize Marcus' take on Dylan, while also being themselves conte ...more
Greil Marcus has been writing about Bob Dylan for over forty years. ! This 400+ tome is a chronological selection of articles, reviews, musings, and fragments he has written about Dylan (or subjects touching on Dylan, or in rare cases that just mention him in passing but which still belong in the book). It doesn't include anything from the whole books he has written on Dylan ("Invisible Republic" aka "Old Weird America", about the Basement Tapes, or his one about "Like a Rolling Stone" or his ma ...more
I liked Mystery Train and The Doors better than this book. Probably would have enjoyed this more if I were more acquainted with Dylan's lyrics. Having not lived through the '60s, I have kind of always viewed Bob Dylan as someone who started a revolution of sorts and then got rich and comfortable later. He even says in Chronicles that he wanted the picket fence just like everyone else. (He called the cops on some hippies when they broke into his house. What happened to your revolution Bob? I thou ...more
I was going to read this one out of duty more than anything; lots of pieces in here I didn't' remember reading when they first appeared (lots I did). But I ended up enjoying a lot more than I expected to. I'll probably pick up a used or remainder copy. :) There are a few pieces in here I'd like to come back to, such as the longer piece about Harry Smith. But some Marcus flaws can really wear on you. The style is hyperbolic and the judgements often too extreme. Still, if you're a person like me, ...more
This is a terrific book.

I am, admittedly, a Dylan fanatic. But don't be put off by the subject even if you are not a fan of Dylan's music. Greil Marcus uses the music as a lens to examine American culture and human nature in a manner that is utterly brilliant.

One great artist shares his take on the work of another--and in the process brings insight, illumination, and inspiration to the reader.
M. Sarki
Mar 30, 2012 M. Sarki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: abandoned
Pretty poor writing by a guy who makes more money than I do by doing what he obviously loves. His writing just isn't interesting, no matter the topic, or maybe it is that Greil Marcus just isn't. I read what I could and had to let it go. Bob Dylan is worth better than this clown gives us, no matter that Pitchfork says otherwise.
Roderick Mcgillis
Worth the price of admission for the essay on the road in American literature and music and for the overview of the song "Masters of War." Some of the shorter pieces are forgettable and Marcus's prose is often too precious for my liking. But finally this is a book filled with interesting bits of history and some fascinating insights.
Not so good, 2.0. I was expecting w biography and the book is mainly in-depth analysis of Dylan's music over the decades with much reproduction of Marcus's writing on the topic over the years. Interesting at times but I was disappointed and actually just skimmed a lot the the last third of the book.
Marcus compiled years of material on he had written on Dylan for this book. The pieces crossing the decades offer wonderful samplings of the impact of Dylan and the things that impacted him. Thoughtful and insightful reviews that delve into the music, the culture, and the history that influences Dylan.
I'm drawn to Marcus' work despite the fact that he has mined Dylan and Harry Smith's Anthology to the max. I admit that his passion for the music of Dylan and anything else that he likes is contagious. He also visualizes songs as vignettes in a larger story. He can make the mundane sound good.
Gareth Murphy
It's a great compendium of articles which is somewhat appropriate to his subject, rather than a monograph which can become overkill. He tends to get very ornate very quickly so the editing is really helpful.
Conor Searl
Conor Searl marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2014
Jake Last
Jake Last marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2014
Jeffrey is currently reading it
Nov 22, 2014
Anurag marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2014
Goran Remborg
Goran Remborg marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Mark is currently reading it
Nov 15, 2014
Mark marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2014
David marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bob Dylan in America
  • Dylan's Visions of Sin
  • Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973
  • The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia
  • Lyrics: 1962-2001
  • A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks
  • The Ballad of Bob Dylan
  • On the Road with Bob Dylan
  • Rolling Thunder Logbook
  • No Direction Home: The Life And Music Of Bob Dylan
  • Bob Dylan: A Biography
  • The Secret Parts of Fortune: Three Decades of Intense Investigations and Edgy Enthusiasms
  • The Bob Dylan Scrapbook: 1956-1966
  • Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña
  • Highway 61 Revisited
  • Studies in Classic American Literature
  • The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob
  • The Heart Of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made
Greil Marcus is the author of Mystery Train (1975), Lipstick Traces (1989), The Shape of Things to Come (2006), When that Rough God Goes Riding and Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus (both 2010), and other books. With Werner Sollors he is the editor of A New Literary History of America (2009). In recent years he has taught at Berkeley, Princeton, Minnesota, NYU, and the New School in New York. He lives in ...more
More about Greil Marcus...
Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads Ranters and Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »