Mikey's Reviews > Chronicles, Vol. 1

Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob Dylan
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's review
Jul 23, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended for: everyone
Read in July, 2007

Bob Dylan's Chronicles Volume One is a bizarre masterpiece, an autobiography of deliberately misremembered facts that puts the reader directly in the mind of one of the greatest artists of...all time, really. Dylan's (and not Robert Zimmerman's; there's a distinction here, and it's why the book is best categorized as fiction) voice comes through loud and clear here and presents an incredible picture of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 60s, the rock scene of the 80s, the intellectuals who dominated the American artistic landscape of the second half of the twentieth century, and nearly anything else that he feels like talking about in a profoundly intelligent but oddly simplistic voice. His methods of presenting his ideas are awesome: in one passage, Dylan discusses the meanings of various poems and songs with Archibald MacLeish. Did Dylan actually meet MacLeish? Probably not, but the dramatization is extraordinarily effective. Of no less interest are Dylan's Proustian wanderings into all kinds of topics, ramblings that give this book the feel of one of his longer songs. The conclusion he reaches at the end of this volume, involving Robert Johnson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and various others, puts everything that came before into perspective like nothing else. This is an awesome, awesome book.
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