Start reading Who Is That Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Who Is That Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan [Kindle Edition]

David Dalton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £17.82
Kindle Price: £16.92 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £0.90 (5%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.49  
Kindle Edition, 1 Jun. 2012 £16.92  
Hardcover £17.81  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Product Description

Product Description

Bestselling author David Dalton goes in seach of the real Bob Dylan in an electrifying biography that puts all the others in the shade.

As an artist Bob Dylan has been a major force for half a century. As a musical influence he is without equal. Yet as a man he has always acted like an outlaw on the run, constantly seeking to cover his tracks by confounding investigators with a dizzying array of aliases, impersonations, tall tales and downright lies.

David Dalton presents Dylan's extraordinary life in such a way that his subject's techniques for hiding in full sight are gradually exposed for what they are, Despite the changing images, the spiritual body swerves, the manipulative nature and the occasionally baffling lurches between making sublime music and self-indulgent whimsy, the real Bob Dylan has never been more visible.

Among the eyewitnesses cited are Marianne Faithful, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Larry 'Ratso' Sloman, Nat Hentoff, Suze Rotolo and many more. Yet in the end it is Dalton's impressive ability to find revealing patterns in Dylan's multiple disguises that reveals more than we ever expected to learn about the real man behind the Dylan legend.

About the Author

David Dalton is a founding editor of Rolling Stone, recipient of the Columbia School of Journalism Award, and winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Best Rock Book of the Year award for Faithfull. He has written twelve books, including biographies of James Dean, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious and the Rolling Stones. He is the screenwriter for an upcoming Janis Joplin biopic. He Lives in New York.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1893 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00885XSGM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #486,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another Dylan book 9 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As far back as 1991 Patrick Humphries and John Bauldie, aware of the numerous Dylan titles already in print, called their offering "Oh No! Not Another Bob Dylan Book". So it's hardly surprising that 21 years on a new Dylan biography hasn't (until now) received a single review from Amazon UK customers. Understandable, but a pity, because this is one of the finest Dylan books yet. Veteran author David Dalton, doesn't waste our time and money with a fact heavy chronology -- there are several good ones out there already. According to the publisher's blurb he goes in search of the "real" Bob Dylan. Well, up to a point. Dalton is far from uncritical, but ultimately he concludes that the constant shape shifting, the masks and the myths are integral, not a facade to peel back to find the "real" Dylan, if such a creature exists. Music history, social history, and insights galore, this densely written book is at times reminiscent of Dylan's own "Chronicles". Yes, that good!
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Eye of the Beholder 9 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is packed full of Dylaneralia so from that point of view really good. The problem with the author is that he was, sort of, 'there' at the time and cannot seem to jump out of the lens of that era and the way Dylan was percieved. Most Dylan freaks have trouble separating the fantasy figures Dylan created from the prosaic man who wanted adulation and celebrity then like many since, realised the price. He also wanted what everybody else wants - family life, privacy, and to grow and develop. But the fan-monster he created just won't let him alone. Dalton cannot decide whether to worship or tear down the idol. I was 'there' too, and as a professional therapist I can see now with the distance of time and my own wisdom the reality of a lot of what is told about Dylan. I always thought then that no one really asked him the right questions. I suppose then, he was a mystical phenomenon, but now at least we have the Chronicles as a bit of a guideline, although his refusal to separate image from reality himself kind of pollutes that work too. I really enjoyed the book overall, but it also partially falls into the trap I've experienced in many rock n roll biographies when the Uber Fan who is writing it (and they always are) falls into the geek trap and after a few juicy chapters trying to define and report the persona it descends into a dreary, nerdy discography.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must 30 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a great book! I am not normally a fan of biography that is "flashy", prefeering a simple journalistic language - but this has proved an exception: Dalton writes like a dream, in a very unconventional and "liteary" way about a subject he clearly knows a great deal about and has a mountain of respect for. It is a warm book, full of love for one of our time's greatest artist. It gives a lot - everything from fascinating Dylan gossip to insightful analysis of his lyrics, and also provides important contextual information for the songs. Don't expect a "warts and all" study of Dylan, but do expect a fascinating, funny, insightful, rollercoaster of a journey into a brilliant artist.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 19 Nov. 2012
Being a Dylan geek, I have read 60 or more books on Dylan! As an attempt to analyse the man, with reference to the evolving music, this has to be one of the best. Insightful, very funny at times and beautifully written. Highly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterfully Done 25 July 2012
By W. Murray - Published on
If you are a fan of Dylan, rock history, or social change this book is a great read. Dylan the man has long been better at telling us about ourselves and our society than at revealing himself - only periodically offering glimpses of who he may be, revelations that he quickly denies. Even his "autobiography volume 1" was more of a collage and a tease than any true chronicle.

With "Who Is That Man..." Dalton has written a masterful book. He places Dylan in the midst of a changing musical scene and a changing society, which he deconstructs to reveal how Dylan connected to underlying elements, primarily in the world of music.

Early in his career, during the folk/protest years, Dylan was characterized as a spokesperson for his generation - a label that he began to deny almost immediately. Far from being an idol, there is sadly a growing collection of biographies that paint an unflattering portrait of Dylan in many ways, revealing a character that seems to be at odds with the idealism and romance of his body of work. For example, although he's not generally associated with wanton drug use - having escaped the fate of Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix, and others - Dalton writes that Dylan was a heavy user of speed, and introduced John Lennon to heroin. Dalton tells how Dylan consistently and consciously used others to advance his career, how his personality had a deep and wide cruel streak that he intentionally adopted, and how he was a rival of other hipsters of his day, Warhol, the Beatles, the Stones. This book can be added to that list of unflinching scrutiny as people interviewed by the author take Dylan to task for his associations, his behavior, and his acid pen.

But at the same time none of this detracts from Dalton's admiration of Dylan's brilliance - of Dylan's ability to sniff the air and catch the scent of a moment, a scene, a relationship, and render it with just enough ambiguity such that millions of fans hear him speaking to them personally. Dylan once said that "songs just came to him" - in the sense that they already existed, that they floated through the air, and that he just channeled what was there like a scribe, putting poem-pictures to paper. Dalton does his best to take us into that mind, into how that perspective may have come to Dylan, and succeeds in doing so, to the extent we can ever understand how anyone thinks, let alone a great artist.

Dylan is now 71 years old, and it is unlikely that we'll be seeing anything like a true, traditional autobiography emerge, leaving it to others to decipher his mystery and talent, and to opine about his legacy. Dalton has done an admirable job with this task, producing a book that is artfully written and enjoyable to read, and respectful and admiring of its subject, even if it reveals some uncomfortable truths. In the end, though, it all seems just about right - Dylan has spent his life dissembling, criticizing society, politicians and business people while growing rich from his fans to whom he's often been indifferent. That he too eventually is revealed to the very fanbase that has made him what he is seems like fitting subject matter for a Dylan song, one that is perhaps already floating through the air, a song in which Dylan tears into his biographer, and if you listen closely perhaps you can hear Dylan trying it out, his sharp nasal rasp flinging out the words...
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballad In Plain Dalton 3 Jun. 2012
By Michael Simmons - Published on
Having read all 917 and 1/2 books about Bob Dylan, David Dalton's Who Is That Man? is the tops. Like a good biographer and historian, Dalton knows the facts. Like the fine writer he's shown himself to be over and again, he's part-poet, part-stand-up comedian, part-psychoanalyst, part-screenwriter. For example, his literate and witty exegesis of Dylan's novel Tarantula is a classic of Creative Bobology. Bravo!

And Young Matt, if you're going to call out the author for an error, you ought to be a bit more careful yourself. It's called a "chapter," not a "chaper."
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Dylan biographies ever written 3 Jun. 2012
By John W. Whitehead - Published on
"Who Is that Man?" is one of the best Dylan biographies ever written. This is one of David Dalton's best efforts since his "James Dean: The Mutant King." What makes this book so relevant is David's unique perspective on Dylan's music. Dylan's influence has been immense and his mythology will continue to haunt the cultural landscape long after he bites the dust. That influence--quirks and all--is brought to vivid life by Dalton.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST DYLAN BIO EVER- WHO IS THAT MAN? 2 Jun. 2012
By sassin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nothing written about Bob Dylan comes close to David Dalton's WHO IS THAT MAN? It's intelligent, funny, insightful, caustic, revealing and driven by Dalton's completely original voice. Having read all available bios, this is the only one that creates a work of art about the artist while still telling the facts as they are known. Dalton brings the various stages and disguises of Dylan's life alive with an energy that is breathtaking. The bio is brilliant rocknroll prose that never shies away from the truth(s) while shining a light on the deceptions and lies that accompany any individual's growth as an artist- especially one as mercurial as Dylan. Dalton sees somebody naked and searches for reality among the costumes, masks and make-up that cover Dylan in evermore translucent transformations over his seventy-one years on this earth. Reading this bio is like hearing HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED for the first time- whatever you feel about it, you won't forget it. Finally, a book about rocknroll that IS rocknroll! Read it and get busy being born....
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and argumentative 6 Jun. 2012
By Vincent - Published on
Dalton writes with wonderful flair and feeling and shows no hesitation about voicing opinions on Dylan's long and varied career. The photographs are excellent as well. While I admire this book, it does not quite rank with the works of Heylin, Williams, or Gray. Particularly unsatisfying is the compressed final section of the book, where Dalton paints an opinionated and overly generalized picture of Dylan's "dismal" performance art of the late 1980's and early 1990's. Of course, the 1991 Stuttgart show is one of the worst displays by any performing artist and the brief Grateful Dead collaboration didn't work at all, but anyone who attended or has collected the concerts of late 1987 through 1990 (and the last part of 1991) will take issue with Dalton's blanket condemnation. Many if not most of those performances rank as some of the finest in Dylan's career. Moreover, Dalton's claim that the band was indifferent and had numerous replacement parts is simply inaccurate. G.E. Smith, Tony Garnier, and Christopher Parker were mainstays during most of that period. While Dylan himself may have had various issues, the concerts themselves were quite brilliant. I was at quite a few. Nevertheless, the first three-quarters of Dalton's book is absolutely solid, and the overall rating would be five stars, were it not for the seriously flawed finale.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category