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Who Is That Man? In Search of The Real Bob Dylan Hardcover – 14 May 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 01 edition (14 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780385463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780385464
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 797,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Mr. Dalton, a founding editor of "Rolling Stone," dates back so far in Dylan watching that he was all but present at the creation. He writes not just about Mr. Dylan but about what it's like to have lived in close psychic and musical proximity to him for so long." "Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"""

"All David Dalton's books are wonderful, but "Who Is That Man?" is especially insightful, funny, and beautifully written." "Marianne Faithfull""

"Mr. Dalton, a founding editor of Rolling Stone, dates back so far in Dylan watching that he was all but present at the creation. He writes not just about Mr. Dylan but about what it's like to have lived in close psychic and musical proximity to him for so long." Janet Maslin, The New York Times"

"[Dalton's] attempts at exposing, debunking, and celebrating the essence of Robert Zimmerman's Dylanness, and vice versa, make for an intriguing, often amusing, vision quest. Dylan's quirks, kinks, and inscrutability are fascinating fodder for endless interpretations. Dalton is entitled to his, and they're the opposite of dull." Robin Finn, The New York Times Book Review"

"For all of the shelf-busting Dylan literature that's out there, it's rare that you find a book in which the music is discussed as adroitly as any aspect of the life... Dalton is a penetrating critic." Colin Fleming, Washington Post"

"Addictive reading... This approach would have crumbled in lesser hands, but Dalton does a stunningly good job." Publishers Weekly, starred review"

"The mysteries of Bob Dylan captured in even-handed, never-boring fashion... This lively and literate attempt to read a half-century's worth of brain scans from a literal living legend strikes the right balance between admiration and skepticism." Kirkus Reviews"

"All David Dalton's books are wonderful, but Who Is That Man? is especially insightful, funny, and beautifully written." Marianne Faithfull"

"Dalton's crazy poetic prose first caught my eye in Rolling Stone back in the day. Have loved his writing ever since. Oh yeaah!" Steven Tyler"

"The first truly hip analysis of the ultimate hipster." Lenny Kaye"

"This is the best Dylan biography that I have ever read, and it kicks most of the others into a cocked hat." Gonzo Daily" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Our fascination with Bob Dylan never ends. Timed for his 75th birthday in May 2016, and with a new Foreword, WHO IS THAT MAN? comes to paperback --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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!
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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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is that Man: Best of the Dylan Bio's 30 Mar. 2013
By Pamela J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been studying Dylan six hours a day since the release of his Christmas album. I wanted to understand him. I've read about fifteen biographies and Dylan's autobiography three times. I've read Joan Baez's autobiography and Suze Rotolos. None of them came close to giving me the insights this book provides. In the 1965 Press Conference interview with Dylan he tells us that we all know Mr. Jones. He says he is a real person and we all know him, but Mr. Jones is not his real name. Toward the beginning of the last third of Chronicles, Dylan's autobiography, Dylan says that after touring with Tom Petty and the Dead, he decided to start to try to write songs that did not feature him prominently. Wow. Now I think I know who Mr. Jones is. All these years I never guessed. This is a must read written by one of the original founders of Rolling Stone magaizine. This author solves all the mysteries including who is the Diplomat in "You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat, who carries on his shoulder a Siamese cat. Ain't t hard when you discover that he isn't really where it's at. After he took from you everything he could steal" from Like a Rolling Stone. I think I know who was riding on that Chrome horse. (It wasn't Dylan and the woman in the song was used by this diplomat in movies that degraded her.) I highly recommend this book and now think I'd rather meet this author than Dylan. That is a shocker.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something is happening here... 4 Jan. 2014
By John Doherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dalton's book is ferociously readable for Dylanistas, a nice adjunct to the movie "I'm Not There" as a feast for the believers. Starting with his own odd little audience with Dylan and his circle back in the day, and continuing into the modern era of the Never Ending Tour, Dalton provides witty, insightful analysis of the man and his work. At times his style echoes Bob's beat influenced work. His description of Dylan's latter day reinvention is a great taste of his style: "...a character who just walked out of an Edgar Allan Poe story, the villain from a silent movie, a riverboat gambler. Who is this dude? It's the most unexpected and spooky incarnation of Dylan yet....this wizened, wily old coot--straight out of American folklore--". He details both the frustrations and satisfactions of attending his shows these days. But it's his take on the golden era of Bob that was the most fun.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are even thinking of reading this book, do it. 7 Aug. 2012
By Gerald S. Samson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much of the information in this yummy book can be found in other places, but Dalton's telling and his interpretation make it the best Dylan book I've read.
Dalton's descriptions of the mind of a Dylan fan ring very close to home. Dylan may not want to be stared at, but I'll keep watching him through my binoculars.

When Dalton compared Dylan to Schrodinger's cat, I realized that Dalton is the "Dylan" of rock writers.

Betty Ann Samson
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST DYLAN BIO EVER- WHO IS THAT MAN? 2 Jun. 2012
By Sebastian - Published on Amazon.com
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....
5.0 out of 5 stars As a big Dylan fan I enjoyed reading the detailed backstories of Dylan's life and songwriting 18 July 2016
By Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, thoroughly researched and documented this book was very interesting. As a big Dylan fan I enjoyed reading the detailed backstories of Dylan's life and songwriting. David Daulton did a great job of describing over 50 years of Dylan and the American life.
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