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The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait Hardcover – 24 May 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd (24 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285639005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285639003
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 4.9 x 14.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Epstein is refrshingly direct and approachable... it is his own clear, emotional enthusiasm that carries the tale. --Daily Telegraph

Epstein offers a portrait that explodes the semi-hostile cliché of much unauthorised biography. New interviews and photographs add depth to an account distinguished by a fine sensitivity to all aspects of Dylan s art, from the personal to the music s history, but Epstein also manages to put across a significant amount of biographical detail. --The Sunday Times

About the Author

Daniel Mark Epstein is a poet and biographer, who has previously written critically acclaimed biographies of Nat King Cole, Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman. He is a folk and blues guitarist who performed at coffee houses during the folk revival of the 1960 s and he continues to perform, and write music, today.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Hirsch on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Ballad of Bob Dylan by Daniel Mark Epstein

If I could give this book 6 stars I would!

This is a totally engrossing, personal and intimate recounting of Dylan's career and life.

Told through the eyes of the author, his own reaction and relationship to Dylan's career form 1963 to 2009. Epstein tracks Dylan's life in music and his more private moments. Drawing on his own knowledge of music and how Dylan affected his own life and how Epstein shared this love with his sister and son.

Bob Dylan is the poet of our lifetime and much, much more. We learn about him as father, a grandfather, a painter, bandleader, radio dj, recluse and philosopher. Humble and great all at once this book captures so many aspects of Dylan from his childhood beginnings to his performances with the Never Ending Tour Band with whom he has continuously toured since 1997.

Epstein uses 4 concerts as touch stones through which he describes the arc of Dylan's career and life. From the 1963 Lisner Auditorium in Washington DC, 1974 Madison Square Garden (after having disappeared for several years) to Tanglewood in 1997 accompanied by his son to Aberdeen MD when he chooses to go alone Epstein shares his own perspective. In addition the exhaustive research through a wealth of source materials Epstein has offered us a unique and thorough summation of Dylan at this stage of his life.

Dylan's inspirations from Woody Guthrie to Allen Ginsberg, Dave Von Ronk, Muddy Waters, Jerry Garcia and Norman Raeben (his painting teacher and the son of the great Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem) the depth and sources of his art is appreciated anew.

As he enters his 7th decade Dylan is still vibrant and miraculous.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Stevens on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Most of us weren't around when Bob Dylan was somebody nobody knew, so it's interesting to hear from one of those lucky people who was in on the magic from Day One. Daniel Mark Epstein peels the onion of Dylan's ever-changing persona bit by bit, gradually unveiling the whole in a way nobody's ever really done before. It's no coincidence that Dylan chose to change from folk to rock during a concert, an ambush of sorts: probably most performers know it's the live stuff that counts most. I was fascinated, following Epstein the ticket-holder through Dylan's life and, interestingly, his own. I'd thought there was nothing left to say about about Bob Dylan, but -- guess what! -- there is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nakasero on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I picked up The Ballad of Bob Dylan because I was so impressed by Daniel Mark Epstein's dissection of Abraham and Mary Lincoln's marriage. You always wonder if a biographer can do as well with a living subject as he does with one who's very much gone, but I knew at least the writing would be good, so I gave this one a try. Good move! I'm just about Bob Dylan's age, but "Blowin' in the Wind" was generally the sum total of my knowledge of his work until I read this book. I was glad to find good solid research, revealing interviews, and downright fascinating recollections and insights rather than the fanzine sort of thing that might have been on offer from a less talented writer. Yes, it's clear that Epstein is a fan, but there is a poet-to-poet communication that's obvious between the two men, even though they've never met. Maybe, actually, it's better that way. An actual meeting with Dylan might have clouded Epstein's thoughts, which are clear and meaningful and a great addition to what we can hope to know about this very complicated, talented man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Light_Tweet on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Ballad of Bob Dylan is written by a lifelong fan who is also an American poet, biographer and amateur folk guitarist. Through four concerts between 1963 and 2009, Daniel Mark Epstein views Dylan's performances, touring life, bands, home life, musical process and the poetry of Dylan's lyrics. In so doing, he cuts through the hype and provides a portrait of Bob Dylan that most of us can read and enjoy.

It is a good 'first' book on Bob Dylan. It is a good 'followon' to one of the lengthy and detail-packed biographies of Dylan. It is a good book for guitarists and musicians of all kinds. It is the Bob Dylan book for the rest of us.
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