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Born to Run

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  17,391 Ratings  ·  2,652 Reviews

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 write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor,
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Tim I would argue it is worth reading even if you are not a huge fan of Springsteen. It is just a great memoir that taps into very many fundamental themes…moreI would argue it is worth reading even if you are not a huge fan of Springsteen. It is just a great memoir that taps into very many fundamental themes about life, pain, love, and passion.(less)
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)

Community Reviews

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Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
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Bruce Springsteen. The Boss. One of the world's most iconic musicians whose career spanned four decades.

He brought us so many great songs - Dancing In The Dark, The River, Radio Nowhere, Streets of Philadelphia, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Sad Eyes, Secret Garden, Death To My Hometown, Born In The USA, to name a few. He won an Academy Award for the song Streets of Philadelphia. He owns twenty grammys. He's such a freaking overachiever.

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I've been waiting to get my hands on this book for so lo
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Val ⚓️ ShamelessBitchySKANKY ⚓️ Steamy Reads
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.


Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
I listened to this from read by Bruce Springsteen.

Back in the 70s in very blue collared Cleveland, Ohio I first heard Bruce Springsteen. Darkness on the Edge of Town was the first vinyl LP I owned. I owned plenty of 8-tracks but albums were things you kept recorded to cassettes. Springsteen, although a New Jersey native, was the patron saint of my hometown. With the regularity of Big Ben ringing the hour, every Friday at 5:00 pm WMMS would blast Born to Run with every single one of
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
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: audio, memoirs
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
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.
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
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
Erik 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
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
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
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!

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
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.
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
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
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
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
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, usa, biography
Li este livro pelo enorme respeito e fascínio que tenho por este homem, enquanto artista e enquanto ser humano. Acompanhei sempre de (muito) longe a sua carreira mas fui sempre fã da música e da forma genuína como lida com o seu público. Pareceu-me sempre "o verdadeiro artista".

Gostei muito de ler este livro e fortaleci a minha convicção de que Bruce Springsteen será sempre um ícone global ... apesar das suas vulnerabilidades.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, memoir-bio
writing about yourself is a funny business. at the end of the day it's just another story, the story you've chosen from the events of your life. i haven't told you "all" about myself. discretion and the feelings of others don't allow it. 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 that.
and do that he did. legions of devoted fans have spent decades teasing out the biographical details of bruce springsteen's life from
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
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.
I've always liked Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band but was never a die hard fan. However, I do love a good memoir, which I heard this was, so I borrowed the audiobook. I'm very glad I did. Springsteen is not only gifted in storytelling through music, but also through traditional pen to paper. I'm always humbled and somewhat fascinated by those who can let others into the darkest, challenging, and most difficult parts of their life, leaving them vulnerable. I won't give anything away for t ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bottom Line: Bruce is honest, barebones, raw. It can't get any better than that. We all feel like he's our brother, especially if you're from New Jersey, and close to his age. But in this book, you'll discover, we didn't know everything, but we love him just the same.

Ah, the family snapshots, not professional pictures, are priceless. Thanks Patti and Bruce.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down. Not only is Bruce Springsteen a master storyteller - he has things to say.

I was a huge fan girl of his music and now I know why. He cares about the same things I care about. He thinks about the same things I think about. His family of origin story, complete with Catholic guilt and mentally ill relatives resonated with me, as did his tales of being on his own since age 19. His struggles with money and relationships (including his first marriage) are all there.

He rarely
Pedro Varanda
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excecional e absolutamente surpreendente este livro. Surpreendente pela honestidade incrível com que se desnuda perante o leitor. Assume a sua luta de toda a vida contra a depressão, a catartese que a música e arte lhe trouxeram, e por fim a salvação que a família lhe trouxe. Depois deste livro passei sinceramente a admirar o homem por detrás da Pop Star mundial. Recomendo.
 Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ
Born to Run is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, breathtaking, magnificent story about bravery, courage, passion, heroism, and (a real one) music of THE BOSS.

Read it, and you'll never need another self-help book or pop-psychologist-motivator after. It has all you need and look for.

...We gotta get out while we're young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
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Play Book Tag: Born to Run/Springsteen - 3 stars 7 33 Jan 23, 2017 05:09AM  
So New Jersey! 2 28 Jan 22, 2017 04:01AM  
Play Book Tag: Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen - 4 stars 2 18 Oct 24, 2016 05:28PM  
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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“We honor our parents by carrying their best forward and laying the rest down. By fighting and taming the demons that laid them low and now reside in us.” 22 likes
“When it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets our town with the smell of damp coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafé factory at the town’s eastern edge. I don’t like coffee but I like that smell. It’s comforting; it unites the town in a common sensory experience; it’s good industry, like the roaring rug mill that fills our ears, brings work and signals our town’s vitality. There is a place here—you can hear it, smell it—where people make lives, suffer pain, enjoy small pleasures, play baseball, die, make love, have kids, drink themselves drunk on spring nights and do their best to hold off the demons that seek to destroy us, our homes, our families, our town.” 18 likes
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