Christian's Reviews > Chronicles, Vol. 1

Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob Dylan
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's review
Oct 11, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: those who don't believe in Zimmerman
Read in October, 2007

Let me start off by saying is that I'm not a Dylan music fan; it's not that I dislike Dylan, but I've just never really listened to him. I think I own just two of his songs (Rainy Day Women and All Along the Watchtower, thanks BSG finale). So I'm not what you'd call a fan.

As a result I was kinda surprised by what this book is. It's not a biography per se, it's more of a summation of the inspirations and their effects on his life. There's enough other names thrown around in this book that one could probably write a concordance, but it's obvious Dylan does this for two reasons: one, it acts as basically an ongoing acknowledgements page throughout the book, and two, it shows that Dylan is more interested in people than anything else.

Dylan has deliberately stripped out the big events from his life that have been recounted endlessly: meeting the Beatles, plugging in at Newport (although he does obliquely reference it), even the Traveling Wilburys get little mention when I'm sure there's a wealth of anecdotes he could've provided. What this leaves you with are the people and music that shaped his musical life, not the events. It's a fascinating way to approach his story, and he pulls it off well.

Stylistically it comes off as an oral history, and I believe if I read it again I'll listen to the audiobook instead.
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