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April 11, 2005

{     Bob Dylan- Chronicles Vol.1     }    

Dylan.jpg I guess it should really come as no big surprise that Bob Dylan�s new memoir (much like his music) is riveting and full of insight and depth. Chronicles Vol.1 begins with Dylan�s move from Minnesota to Greenwich Village circa 1960 and brings to life all the influential books he discovered, the establishments he frequented and the people he met. Greenwich Village comes alive through the pages as Dylan reflects on poignant moments in his life and encounters with people whom he found inspiration in (i.e. Thelonious Monk, Gorgeous George, Jack Dempsey, and Frank Sinatra Jr.). Something else worth mentioning is the rustic lingo he uses, phrases like �scallywag�, �roustabout�, and �phoney baloney� are the sort of down home style Bob writes in. Dylan comments on the sorry state of radio (...some things never change). �I still kept turning the radio on. probably more out of mindless habit than anything else. Sadly whatever it played reflected nothing but milk and sugar and not the real Jekyll and Hyde themes of the times. The 'On The Road', 'Howl', and 'Gasoline' street ideologies that were signaling a new type of human existence weren�t there, but how could you have expected it to be? 45 records were incapable of it.� You also get a real sense of his love for written word- �There was a letter from Archibald MacLeish waiting for me on the table. MacLeish, Poet Laureate of America-one of them. Carl Sandburg, poet of the prairie and the city, and Robert Frost, the poet of dark meditations were others. MacLeish was the poet of the night stones and the quick earth. These three were the Yeats, Browning, and Shelley of the new world,were gigantic figures, had defined the landscape of twentieth-century America. They put everything in perspective. Even if you didn�t know their poems, you knew their names.� He even slams the door on truth- �Truth was the last thing on my mind, and even if there was such a thing, I didn�t want it in my house. Oedipus went looking for the truth and when he found it, it ruined him. It was a cruel horror of a joke. So much for the truth. I was gonna talk out of both sides of my mouth and what you heard depended on which side you were standing. If I ever did stumble on any truth, I was gonna sit on it and keep it down.� Chronicles explores critical junctures in the early years of his rise to stardom and works it�s way unto what would be called the later stages of his career. Simply put this memoir is a literary must for Dylan fans as well as those less enthusiastic to his music. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at

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i can second this recommendation..
like what was said above "I guess it should really come as no big surprise.." dylan has written some of the greatest songs ever written, and although many people may not be fans of his music, it is impossible to doubt his ability as a writer. the book has great rhythm and style and demands a read!
anybody know when volume 2 is due?

Posted by: mat at April 11, 2005 11:13 AM
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