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Born to Run

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  41,480 ratings  ·  4,949 reviews
“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to w
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Mo Definitely worth the read. I was riveted. Excellent prose. I loved it.
Kristina I've just reached the part in the book where he has his first alcoholic drink EVER and he's 23/24. He specifically says he never drank before because …moreI've just reached the part in the book where he has his first alcoholic drink EVER and he's 23/24. He specifically says he never drank before because of his father's alcoholism and alcohol-fueled rages. He wanted to be able to control the alcohol, not have the alcohol control him. As for drugs, he talks about them being around, but says he was never interested because for him it was all about music and becoming a successful musician and he saw too many of his buddies get messed up due to drug use.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  41,480 ratings  ·  4,949 reviews

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Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-ever
Bruce, I fucking love you. That was amazing.

"June 1, 1985, Slane Castle, Dublin, Ireland (Slane is NOT in Dublin, Bruce), our first stadium show ever ... Slane joined a rising number of our other performances to attain "legendary" status and, despite my distraction, turned out to be a solid show. On the streets of Dublin, it is often mentioned that if you were there, you were there. I was certainly there."

I was there too.
My first "rock concert"!
31 years ago. I have the tickets and the t-shirt
Miranda Reads
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Excuse me as I quietly fangirl over here.

Yes, I'm 20-30 years younger than most of this fanbase but this was the music I was raised on.

I literally didn't know of pop until middle school. That's right. My parents hid decades of music from me and I couldn't have had a happier childhood. I was a grouchy old woman by the time I hit middle school, "NSYC? Turn that boppy crap down. You all should be listening to music with soul."

As a symptom of this, I can sing to nearly every Classic Rock song on
Elyse  Walters
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
This review is dedicated to my local friend, Margie 🎧🎶📚💕

My friend, Margie told me to choose this Audiobook.
I did - because she also told me to listen to
“Grateful American”, by Gary Sinise. It was powerful amazing-addictive-and life affirmative for me!!

Margie is now retired so we have more time to spend together.
Our daughters - 2 for each of us - are both in their mid/late 30’s. We’ve been friends since our families were busy schlepping our kids to Hebrew twice a week, Sunday school once a week
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Your mission today, if you choose to accept to accept it Self, is to head to my nearest Barnes and Noble and make this masterpiece mine.


Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Yes, I’m a Springsteen fan but I am not always a fan of autobiographical books. I couldn’t put it down and actually finished in a day. So much I had no idea about his life and he was so open in this book. He was honest with his feelings and stayed true to himself in this book. He is not without fault or demons but if your a fan, you will stay a fan but I think the Boss gained some new ones along the way. It’s a gritty book and not often pretty but just like his music says “sho ...more
Cathrine ☯️
My husband (also a musician) does not share my enthusiasm for Springsteen’s music (yes, this has caused a few tense moments in our marriage) but admits that he is a great songwriter. When celebrities who are not authors write a memoir they undoubtedly get help from ghost writers so I did some searching and learned that he worked on his book alone for seven years before seeking out a publisher. I was pleased to discover that his songwriting chops crossed over intact to authoring and was engaged
Johann (jobis89)
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Writing about yourself is a funny business... but in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this."

And The Boss certainly delivered! Gah, I cannot compliment this book enough. Springsteen writes his autobiography like he writes his music, with an honest voice and in the most beautifully stunning way. He has a way with words. They reach inside you and open you up, heart and soul.

Reading about how Springsteen made it to t
Rae Meadows
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, so it would be hard for this not to be fun for me to read. I loved the stories of his childhood of near poverty, Catholicism, Freehold, NJ, his family, his awful father. Bruce's ambition, from the get-go, is fascinating. (As his desire for fame.) He is very honest and searching in this memoir--with thirty years of therapy to grease the wheels--and I found him to be quite articulate about his emotional landscape. He also takes a poignant look at depression and ge ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, audio
18 hours is a lot of Bruce. To be fair, it's a lot of anyone, but there is no better way to experience this than on audio with Bruce Springsteen expressively telling his story in his perfectly gravelly voice. The beginning chapters were especially touching as he nostalgically described in detail his day-to-day upbringing with his extended family, his deep love for them, and his sense of attachment and loyally to his family, his friends, and his neighborhood. It's difficult not to admire his abil ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I am not a Springsteen fan (nor detractor). Before listening to this, I could have named perhaps one of his songs, though I'm sure I would have known more if I were played them. Yet when I heard his Desert Island Discs interview I was mesmerised by his personality, his voice, and his honesty ( This man is not just a rock/pop/soul icon, he's interesting and has something to say. On top of all that, he has an incredibly warm, inviting tone, with a huskines ...more
Jay Gabler
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A rock memoir like none other, a strange and extraordinary book that just might be counted as one of his greatest achievements. No, really. ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
#wow. #honest. #straight-forward. #point-blank. #amazing.

On a good day this is how we live. This is love. This is what life is. The possibility of finding root, safety and nurturing in a new season. ~ Bruce Springsteen

This must-read book is, of course, about music, but it is also all about LIFE.
It's about living a life of your choice and pursuing your dreams.
It's about not giving up.
It's about believing and trusting in LOVE and in family.
It's about overcoming obstacles.
And, more than anything e
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is hands down one of the greatest memoirs I've ever read. The 500 pages breeze by in no time at all and I was sad when it came to a close. Bruce opens up about his struggles in childhood and how those things came to effect his adult life in both his career and personal relationships. He also, of course, goes into great detail about his rise from wannabe rockstar to full fledged Rock n Roll icon. His chapter about his relationship with Clarence actually had me tearing up.

Bruce's honesty
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
40 favorite, ranked:

racing in the street
the river
thunder road
i’m on fire
something in the night
ghost of tom joad
wreck on the highway
because the night
death to my hometown
dancing in the dark
adam raised a cain
tenth avenue freeze-out
born to run
downbound train
johnny 99
point blank
sherry darling
promised land
this american land
human touch
brilliant disguise
atlantic city
independence day
4th of july, asbury park (sandy)
further on up the road
spirit in the night
for you
Taylor Reid
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I wasn't even a Bruce Springsteen person but ended up reading this book anyway and I am now a convert. I haven't stopped listening to Bruce Springsteen since the book ended. Great story, well told, with great lines (naturally) and a fascinating lens into fame and loneliness. Now I'm a fan for life. ...more
Erik Jay Weber
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Filled from start to end with at least as many Jersey Shore references, shout-outs, legends and myths as his albums, both with and without the E Street Band, this 500+ page tome, a Big Book for the Boss, is a joy to read for the hardcore fan to the casual hits listener. Written in a prose that can be described as Ray Bradbury by way of rock ‘n’ soul journeyman, “Bruuuuuuuuuuce” captures, recreates and spins the famous and infamous events and inner thoughts in the magic life of a man whose name i ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

I only had one opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. It was at the Spectrum in Philadelphia during "The River" tour. I had been a fan of "The Boss" thanks in large part due to Ed Sciaky at WMMR. The concert remains one of my all time favorites. The energy! The chemistry between Bruce and the E-Street Band. This was especially evident between Bruce and Clarence "The Big Man" Clemmons. And the chemistry between Bruce and his fans.

When I saw Bruce had written his memoir it was i
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The beauty of Born to Run isn’t that it’s a biography of Bruce Springsteen, the beauty is that it’s written by Bruce himself. His spirit, his style, his nuances and his voice: the same things that draw us so tightly to his music, that make us cling so strongly to his words and sing them so loudly when no one’s watching (or in my case, listening!) and that serve as the links that allow us to see ourselves in verse after verse of his songs, are what ultimately make this book so great.

A lot of us h
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Now there's tears on the pillow
darlin' where we slept
and you took my heart when you left.
Without your sweet kiss
my soul is lost, my friend
tell me how do I begin again?

My city's in ruins.
My city's in ruins.

Bruce Springsteen was forever on the periphery of my awareness. Until the night he wasn't.

There are moments in this life. All too infrequent instants that shatter the black ice covering the earth of this existence. There are lightning-quick seconds of deep needs met that part the veil and provi
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Bruce Springsteen thoughtfully tells his story. Along with his personal reflections there is a lot here for future biographers and chroniclers of this period in rock history. He writes of his family (most riveting for me), his bands and how he formed them, the genesis of his songs and albums and about performing.

Most autobiographers tell you their experience as a child, very few attempt to interpret their parents’ experience of the family. Springsteen does, particularly in the case of his mother
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

I'm a fan of Bruce Springsteen so I knew I had to read this one. This was wonderful and not just because I'm a fan and not just because I read a lot of autobiographies. This book was well done. It took more than a few years to write, and it shows. He took his time with this project. This felt honest and real. He didn't just show the the bright and shiny moments of his life. He opened up and let the reader in. I loved that. He was quite expressive and had an amazing way with words. I ha
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So, so beautifully written and incredibly honest. I could hear Bruce's voice on every page. He has honored us with sharing this gift, this 510 page song. ...more
Apr 01, 2016 marked it as to-read
I desperately need my hands on this book and learn everything from my idol. Powerful voice and breath taking lyrics to unforgettable songs. I need more iconic musicians to write their autobiography and showcase the way on how they became famous and the journey it took for them to get where they are at now. I want all the Bruce Springsteen I can get!

Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Born to Run is a weird book.

I don’t mean “weird” in any salacious sense - if Springsteen has ever indulged in much deviant behavior he doesn’t disclose it here. No, I mean that in a broader, more meta sense. The fact that Springsteen wrote this specific memoir just seems strange to me.

A big part of that is because Springsteen himself is probably an odd person. For example, his prose alternates between bombastic enthusiasm and matter of factness; when he’s trying to articulate an abstract idea (l
This is the best damn autobiography I've ever read or listened to, and I'm not even a Springsteen fan.

I am now, but not because of his music; it's because of his writing- his honesty, his humor, and his work ethic. His battles with depression and mental illness in his family must have been painful for him to admit, but it all rang true to me.

Don't get me wrong-I did have a few issues with him-most especially his reputation as a working man, or a rock and roller that represents the working man-
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was urged by GR friends to listen to the audiobook narrated by The Boss himself and am glad I did. This man opens himself up, exposes his vulnerabilities, his flaws, and his demons. My favorite part of the book was Part I where Springsteen describes growing up, and how he got into music. His development as a musician took a great deal of work with many ups and downs. Perhaps his parents move to California when he was just finishing high school, leaving him behind, was an important catalyst for ...more
Leo Walsh
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It may be impossible for me to review this book objectively, since Bruce has been my favorite rocker since 6th grade. I remember getting most of his albums as Christmas gifts, so his rise and career parallel my own life. What's more I've seen him almost a dozen times. AND, being Irish-Catholic from the Rust Belt, there is something in Bruce's Irish-Catholic music (with admixtures of Dutch and Italian) that speaks to me.

Further, save a contrarian sister, the rest of my siblings (3 brothers, 2 si
Michael Perkins
“When Springsteen meets a future girlfriend on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, he delivers this electric introduction: “She was Italian, funny, a beatific tomboy, with just the hint of a lazy eye, and wore a pair of glasses that made me think of the wonders of the library.”


This was an interesting book, although I am not the ideal reader as I don't know Springsteen's music that well.

I have a friend at the gym who, last count (and still going) had gone to 50 Springsteen concerts. It's a
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
“My music would be a music of identity, a search for meaning and the future.”

I have been listening to his music for 40+ years and I enjoy it as much now as I did back then. Bruce Springsteen is a masterful musician, songwriter, storyteller and all around cool human being. Born to Run was like going on a journey with The Boss, through all of his ups and downs, and I loved it! 4.5 stars rounded up.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story gracefully told. My first rock and roll autobiography. I'm pretty much an anti-celebrity kind of guy. All my life I've loved music but have never been much for the personal details. I remember when Bruce broke out with the dual cover stories in Time and Newsweek, that led me to the music and I was a faithful fan buying every album from Asbury Park to Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A. I was a more occasional fan after that, going through my jazz, classical and country period. Then ...more
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Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American songwriter, singer and guitarist. He has frequently recorded and toured with the E Street Band. Springsteen is most widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey. His eloquence in expressing ordinary, everyday problems has earned him numerous awards ...more

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