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Tarantula [Paperback]

Bob Dylan
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Oct 2005

Written in 1966, ‘Tarantula’ is a collection of poems and prose that evokes the turbulence of the times in which it was written, and gives a unique insight into Dylan’s creative evolution.

‘The good samaritan coming in with the words “round & round we go” tattoed on his cheek / he tells the senator to stop insulting the lawyer.’

‘Tarantula’ captures Bob Dylan’s preoccupations at a crucial juncture in his artistic development, showcasing the antic imagination of a folk poet laureate who was able to combine the humanity and compassion of his country roots with the playful surrealism of modern art. Angry, funny and strange, the poems and prose in this collection reflect the concerns we find in Dylan’s most seminal music: a sense of protest, a verbal playfulness and spontaneity, and a belief in the artistic legitimacy of chronicling everyday life and eccentricity on the street.

‘Tarantula’ never made its publication date in Autumn 1966. To the delays added by Dylan’s constant revisions was added the greater complication of his motorcyle accident – which left him with still undisclosed injuries and kept the book from publication until 1971. In the interim, it became a cult phenomenon, with ‘bookleg’ editions photocopied from reviewer proofs circulating throughout the musical and literary demi-mondes. Reissued to coincide with the paperback release of ‘Chronicles Volume 1’, ‘Tarantula’ will finally find the wider audience it deserves.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (3 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007215045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007215041
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for Chronicles Volume 1:

‘Takes its place next to “On The Road “…as an essential record of an American artist’s manifest destiny.’ Observer

'Like discovering the lost diaries of Shakespeare… Maybe the most extraordinarily intimate autobiography by a 20th-century legend.' Daily Telegraph

'There are enough bizarre and entertaining snippets of information sprinkled throughout to fascinate the most jaded Dylan obsessive.' Independent

'Entertaining and surprisingly deprecating…“Chronicles Volume ” is tautly written, vividly cinematic, and funny'. Financial Times

About the Author

Born in 1941, Bob Dylan is widely revered as America’s greatest living popular songwriter. Throughout of a career that has spanned over 40 years, he has acted as voice-piece and chronicler to several generations, and was one of the first to channel public feeling about racial discrimination and the Vietnam war into popular protest songs. Combining an acute awareness of the zeitgeist with absurdist humour, Dylan struck a chord with millions. In 2004, Bob Dylan published the first volume of his autobiography, Chronicles Volume 1.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beyond rationalisation 6 Sep 2009
By jonny
its probably safe to say that only a dylan fan would enjoy this experimental work. very interesting. A glimpse into the unconcious mind of a genius. filled with seemingly random metaphors in the stream of conciousness writing style typical of dylan, showing similarities to songs such as, Bob Dylans 115th Dream and Tombstone Blues. Certain sentences that i really liked, often humorous or insightful. dylan fans must get this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for die-hard Dylan freaks 13 Mar 2012
By sam0986
I am pretty obsessed with Bob Dylan and his work. He is one of my favourite writers and i cannot get enough of him, which is why i felt compelled, after re-reading his first volume of memoirs for the second time, to pick up his only other non-lyric publication. Some of the word play is quite funny but this is not a novel, nor is it really poetry. It seems, as i have heard rumoured, that Dylan found himself contracted to write a book and knocked off Tarantula without much thought to get out of the contract. I doubt Dylan himself considers this a serious work of literature and i doesn't seem like one to me. Its cut-up and stream of consciousness style doesn't work in the way that the work of William Burroughs (this book is perhaps comparable to something like The Soft Machine) often does. Unless you're a Dylan completist i would give this a miss, there isn't much in the text that anything but an obsessive would find satisfying.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I'm 17 and I've listened to Dylan for about 5 years. Over this period of time I've grown more and more impressed with Dylan's poetic genius. His songs are undoubtedely his claim to fame but I feel that "Tarantula" is the key to understanding his writing. "Tarantula" proves that Dylan was and still is a modern blend of Whitman, Rimbaud, Genet, Ginsberg, Guthrie, and Picasso. "Tarantula's" cut up style has been called "a muddled stream of self conciousness" but I beg to differ. If there has been any writer in our time that has captured the language of our times and helped us examine the world we live in I think it is Dylan. I hope he eventually receives the Nobel Prize for literature that he truly deserves. He is living proof that poetry can touch "the masses", he defies the narrow definition of a poet that ivory tower intellectuals have forced on people for years. The language of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, albums that changed the way people perceived songs, reaches new heights in "Tarantula".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan – Tarantula | Review 23 April 2014
Bob Dylan, a poet – who knew? The people’s folk singer has been described as a poet by literally thousands of different people across the years, but this exciting piece of work is much more experimental than the simple rhythm of his lyrics. You can sense the influence of Allen Ginsberg and his fellow beat authors, as well as what I can only assume was a sizable handful of hallucinogenics.

In all honesty, if I’d read this without knowing it was Dylan, I would’ve enjoyed it. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re already in to poetry and you’re a fan of Dylan’s music then you’d be mad to pass on this. Enjoy the insight in to his mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Dylan 26 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Difficult to read due to Dylan's style of not using standard metres in hi poetry, but once you have made the leap to blank verse the writing is rich and thought provoking
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