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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2012
Just finished this well written and researched biography of Bruce Springsteen,and in my opinion
is the best biography of Bruce Springsteen written so far.
It offers up new information into the motivations and writing of Bruce Springsteen the artist,
while also offering up new revelations to what drove Bruce the individual to succeed in the world of rock n roll.
As a Springsteen fan the other thing I like about the book is that Carlin has not written another fan worship biography
(as so many biographies seem to be these days)but a well rounded, interesting and exciting read.
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on 16 November 2012
Before I start - I hold my hands up here - I'm the UK editor for this book. But check me out, I've not written an amazon review for many years, that was on a book I hadn't worked on, and I'm writing one now, not because I'm an editor, but because I'm a fan. Springsteen fans, and music fans in general, are notorious for trumpeting to the world the details of their obsession. I am no different. I first listened to Thunder Road, off the live album, when I was 14/15 years old. My friends were listening to The Thompson Twins, Deacon Blue, Simple Minds and Morrissey. I got hooked on Springsteen. Since then I've listened to everything he's ever produced, watched all the films, been to many concerts, hooked my own kids on him, and read everything there's been to read - and I just need to say that this is the best, most interesting and exciting book that's ever been written about him. Its detailed, yes, but never at the expense of telling a good and meaningful story. Its full of stories, anecdotes, memories that I'd never read about Springsteen before, and not surprisingly given that the author was given, by Springsteen himself, such great access to management, the band members (Carlin had the last interview with Clarence Clemons before he died) friends, girlfriends, and most importantly, family. The photos of Springsteen, the author found on his travels and through his interviews are unique and superb. The era Springsteen grew up in, his own obsession with music, his struggle to break through and then the rise to become perhaps America's foremost musical chronicler of his generation, are beautifully and vividly written about. As with all the best biographies, whoever the subject, at the end of the book I felt I knew the subject so much better. Its a great book, and I'm not just saying that...
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on 4 August 2013
This is simple to review. If you love Bruce Springsteen's music and your adult life is intertwined with his songs, you have to read this comprehensive biography of the man. For added effect I decided to listen to the music I was reading about him making , which further enriched the experience. Also, understanding better what was on his mind at the time of his recordings opened up new avenues of my appreciation of the songs. Peter Carlin does a brilliant job and his writing is excellent. Bruce fans...this is essential reading!
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on 1 August 2013
I have read many Springsteen biographies, especially the Dave Marsh brace. This is a different kettle of fish completely - Bruce is painted here as a meticulous control freak with little respect for his E Street bandmates or his romantic ex-partners. The music comes first, second and third in this warts n' all biography, which pulls no punches.

To my mind, I would prefer some balance in the good things he has done, rather than dwelling on just the bad. Also, for a 436 page book, it spends around 200 pages covering up to and including the "Born to Run" era. This means that the book is terribly lopsided in its focus - the early years are covered exhaustively, but it leaves less than 236 pages to cover the remainder of his career (around 38 years!)

This gives the book a bit of a rushed feel, which is a shame because a biography that took the same care as the early years would be a) multi-part and b) the most indepth biography ever written.

Don't get me wrong, the book almost reads itself, it is so good and it has a lot of anecdotes which are revelatory.

I bought it at its original price and it was well worth the money. At £4.99, it is a steal. Get it quick before they put the price back up!
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on 7 December 2012
Biographies by fans can sometimes be overly gushing, and it's pretty obvious that Peter Carlin is a fan, but he manages to avoid falling into the "fan trap" too much. Having enjoyed Springsteen's music for almost 40 years, this is my first time reading a biography about him.

I enjoyed the history itself; the names and backgrounds of the people involved in the early days in particular. The book provided a useful insight into what makes Bruce Springsteen "tick", and how his relationships with those around him have evolved. He doesn't always come across as the most likeable of people, but a hugely interesting one just the same. Glad I bought it.
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I have books on Springsteen by Marsh (clearly a fan and not objective), Heylin ((E Street Shuffles- more of a track listing of various performances than a biography), Outerman (its ok), Sandford (Point Blank - hard going!) and various others and all are ok but lack something. All the books I have read on Springsteen have left me feeling less than satisified and thinking THE book has not yet been written. This book has changed that feeling. It is well researched. It has insight from the many interviews. It is well written. it is informative. It is a very good read. It is the best book and the best written book on Bruce I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to have seen a discography and some details on chart success but that is a minor point as that informaiton is available elsewhere. if you want a good book and a very good read on Springsteen this is the one. Highly recommended.
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on 4 July 2016
I like Bruce Springsteen a lot and had hoped to learn more about him in this book. Sadly, it seems to be written more for musicians than ordinary people. I do not understand the terms musicians use, and the book is full of names of heads of record companies and others in the music industry which mean nothing to me. I am struggling less than half way through as it is so repetitive; travelling around America in old vehicles, hiring and firing members of the band who worked hard to make the future good, gave up their old jobs to follow Bruce, then he would change his mind and do something else, go off to make a new different band and leave them behind.
It does not, so far paint a good picture of Mr Springsteen and I would not have condoned this book if I were him.
I will continue to look for more meaningful books about him, but this is just about people in the industry.
Also I cannot stand American terms and phrases, so most of them are meaningless in UK English. I haven't a clue what they are saying, only a born American could work it out.
NOW Later: I have finished the book.having stuck with it to find out more about Bruce. Comparing the choices of books available about the MAN and E street Band I have not found any that promise to do better so downloaded a couple of samples to see. Mr Carlin has worked hard and obtained a great deal of information but I still wish the same Album Titles were not repeated so often, there is name dropping on most pages, and I cannot blame an American writing in American English. A translation would have been good though to be able to understand quite a lot of it.
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on 23 March 2013
What appears to be a thoroughly researched and honest review. Like all biographies, the author likes his subject and therefore judges him more kindly than others might. However it seems to get behind the driving forces of the subject and gives interesting perspectives - about him, his contacts and previous biographies. It has been well worth reading. Not a book to gobble up in one sitting but one to savour over a number of days. A must for fans
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on 1 December 2012
Excellent insight in to early Bruce years I have read many books on springsteen I thought there was nothing left to know
This book I discovered more about the boss
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on 19 October 2013
This is a very detailed and comprehensive book. Personally I found it a bit slow and a bit too-detailed for my liking. I have enjoyed Bruce Springsteen's music for over 30 years and have all his Albums. I love his music but unless you are really into the man as well as the music I would not really recommendate this one. Obsessives will love it though!
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