14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
roll on two and three,
This review is from: Chronicles: Volume One (Hardcover)
I guess like everybody else here, I should declare an interest - I really like Bob Dylan and while sometimes I am a little disappointed by his musical outpourings, I don't regret a purchase and basically think pretty much all of it has something going for it. This is probably true for most of these reviewers...
When it came to Chronicles, I was worried - Dylan has the potential of course to tell a fantastic story, but also to make a terrible mess of telling the story. In this case I would have liked to rate the book with four and a half stars, because while it is without doubt the best book on Dylan I've read (and I've read a few), there are points where some editing would not have gone amiss.
I've gone with five stars because the first section, on Dylan's early hears in New York, is simply wonderful, as is the bit on the Woodstock years - I could read another five hundred pages on that lot quite happily. However, the middle section on the recording of Oh Mercy, is a bit on the long side, and I was not quite sure why it was included in such depth. Sure the stuff on Dylan's "new vocal technique", which would allow him to sing for hours with no fatigue, is weirdly fascinating, but also kind of aimless; a shorter section on this would have worked much better. We close up back in New York, with fame and success crowning the horizon, and of course, Bob doesn't let you down...
Dylan's writing style is his own of course, he's conversational and very definitely has his own voice, which you probably know very well indeed by now, and he has a few tricks up his sleeve, his favourite is a kind of cinematic flash-back which is a rather crude device, but executed with a touching naivety, and like most everything else in Chronicles, it fits.
If you have any interest in Dylan at all, you obviously want this book. Let's have two and three nice and quickly please Bob.