This latest book concerning Dylan has the subtitle “all that’s left to know about the song and dance man", giving a good enough reason for publication. Those of us who have worshipped at the throne of Bob throughout his reign and probably have read most of the many tomes published and leafed through numerous Dylan “special edition” magazines might wonder if a further exploration of Dylan is surely necessary.

Dylan’s heritage and history span six decades; truth, myth and legend intertwine. Even Dylan himself seems to propagate the mystery of himself.

Backbeat Books, however, have a reputation for producing interesting and informative reading. Their recent Steely Dan publication was excellent, so how would “award winning” music journalist Bruce Pollock fare taking on Bob Dylan?

The first noticeable sense the reader encounters is the pace of the writing. Long time fan or newcomer you find yourself on board that “freight train bound for glory” and you do not want to get off such is the compelling take on the subject. Pollock has done his homework. Chapters are short and to the point. Quotes from numerous sources back up historical moments. References to influences and locations make you turn the pages like a fast moving novel as Pollock skillfully paints a picture of probably the most intriguing character in the history of popular music.

Pollock puts Dylan’s history into context in the early chapters by giving an overview of life before he was Bob, concisely recalling his upbringing in Hibbing, Minnesota where Robert Zimmerman decided to mimic characters from 'Cannery Row' and the legend was born. From then on the biography is a rollercoaster ride of history, analysis and factual accounts pertaining to America’s premier folk/rock performer.

The author has magically crammed the 400 pages to overflowing as he investigates and condenses the many and varied periods of Bob Dylan’s life. Black and white photography, playlists, discography and a lovely closing chapter referring to the “new Dylans'” and Bob’s overriding influences on new generations of poets and songwriters make the book a fascinating read

'FAQ' is certainly not the last word on Dylan. Other books do that job but I found Pollock’s book really enjoyable and easy to digest. An added bonus is that the format of the book allows the reader to “pick and mix” times and events at random as the chapters stand as articles in their own right.

An excellent addition to your library.







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