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Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob Dylan
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Jan 22, 2009

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bookshelves: biography-autobiography-or-memoir, skim-read-til-the-end
Read in November, 2005

One of my friends gave me this saying, "Hated it, hated it, hated it". I had just seen the wonderful documentary on Bob Dylan, and wanted to give it a try. Equal parts fascination and exasperation were my reaction. didn't go for Volume II. I had no idea Dylan so totally remade himself.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else."

So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles, Volume I, his remarkable, book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities - smokey, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles, Volume I is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times.

By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles, Volume I into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

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