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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Look At Dylan's Career and Life
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...
Published on 22 May 2011 by B. Hirsch

versus
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hmm
a book about Daniel Mark Epstein and his soundtrack to his life, mr dylan. blow by blow accounts of all of the concerts that he has attended. to quote a recent open letter that dylan had posted on his website to his fans re: china which ends with this sidenote

"Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near...
Published on 13 July 2011 by Benjamin Burleigh


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Look At Dylan's Career and Life, 22 May 2011
By 
B. Hirsch "bert hirsch" (NYC and Buenos Aires) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (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. Knowing that an end is in site for his Never Ending tour: when a listener to his Theme Time Radio Hour calls in and says that Dylan can never stop playing Dylan responds: "well, you gotta get over that or else everything else in your life will be half finished". Bob Dylan is aware of his own mortality as he juggles his time dedicated to his family, music and art, he is the greatest!

Nora Guthrie, daughter of Dylan's artistic father (Woody) says it all: "there are people who have brought a new spirit to the world. They've really added a spiritual spice to the mix that changes everybody. Even if you don't know it you've been affected by these people; their essence trickles through the culture... [after he dies] once that flow stops that's when you'll realize that there's not that energy that's going to write those songs anymore...but once that energy stops, then you'll realize what you had in the time you had it".

If you love Bob Dylan, and he has changed your life this is a book you must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live music reveals the man..., 22 May 2011
By 
Linda Stevens (Salisbury, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, Great Subject, Great Book!, 22 May 2011
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan for the rest of us, 22 May 2011
By 
Light_Tweet "mygarten2" (Washington Crossing, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant Ballad, 3 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (Hardcover)
This book is very good. I bought it twice. First to read on kindle, then because I wanted the 'book'. It is very good. His review of Dylan's career is well told.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan Revisited, 2 July 2011
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (Hardcover)
Enjoyed going back in time to revisit Dylan's early years which made me remember how exciting it was to be part of the revolution in music.

Dylan comes over as an ordinary person he was who was talented at encapsulating the key issues of the day in words.

A good book to read if you want to get a feel for what it was like to live through those changing times.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hmm, 13 July 2011
By 
This review is from: The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait (Hardcover)
a book about Daniel Mark Epstein and his soundtrack to his life, mr dylan. blow by blow accounts of all of the concerts that he has attended. to quote a recent open letter that dylan had posted on his website to his fans re: china which ends with this sidenote

"Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them."

which about sums up this book. there are much better books about dylan. if you want to have an insider look at his early period then read Suze rotolo's memoir 'a freewheelin' time'

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Freewheelin-Time-Greenwich-Village-Sixties/dp/1845134435/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310544355&sr=8-1

or even better dylan's autobio vol 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chronicles-One-Bob-Dylan/dp/0743478649/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310544440&sr=1-1

there are much better books out there!
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The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait
The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait by Daniel Mark Epstein (Hardcover - 24 May 2011)
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