I love Dylan. Read this book when it was first published. I did not realize when I purchased it that it was abridged. (What an insult to the writer! Why?) Indeed, the things I remembered as most fascinating were omitted. Why? Who decided which of Dylan's words were superfluous? Why? To abridge a book is to butcher it. Why?
uh . . . Bob Dylan! His conversation with Sun Pie was memorable. I loved the question, "What do you pray for?' Dylan: "I pray that I can be a kinder person." Works for me!
Bob Dylan's seeking voice is surprising different from his singing voice. I love both. Sean Penn is a suitable substitute.
He promised three volumes. Loved Volume One. All I really want to do . . is read volume Two! And three!! Where are they?!?! I've been waiting twelve years.
Dylan claims he's only ever voted in one election, saying that back in the day "[His] favorite politician was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater." I kept waiting to hear that, hoping I could believe my ears when I could not believe my eyes. But that got abridged. sigh
While I love Bob Dylan, this memoir was rambling and disjointed. I cannot believe Rolling Stone rated this as the best rock memoir ever written. If you are a deep fan you will enjoy it.
Nice to hear where his head was back in the day. I worked at KMET Radio in LA. At that time, most listeners' were looking to music for direction and messages. What they found or not didn't hurt them. Honest and harmless that was then. Pat"Paraquat"Kelley
I'm just not sure that it was written that well, or perhaps the abridged version made it seem that way. Perhaps a different reader may have made it more catching.
Perhaps not. I really had difficulty getting into this book.
His voice is very sexy but as a reader it was not very catching and had more the effect of a relaxation tape. I would end up just zoning right out.
Honestly i had a hard time remembering actually what went on in this book, since i pretty much fell asleep most times I listened to it.
Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.
Disclaimer: I am not the target demographic for this book. Before reading Chronicles, I had what can only be described as a passing acquaintance with Dylan's life, music and influence.
Dylan definitely assumes the reader will already know his "story", so offers instead a series of rambling, non-linear reminiscences. From my perspective, this was not an autobiography, but more like watching a shadow puppet version of a life story. I guess I can see how Dylan fans would find the timeline-free account and endless name-dropping appetizing, but I could only detect subtle wafts of interest. I’ve never read the unabridged text, but I fear this abridged version could be partially (or even totally) to blame for the confusing narrative.
About halfway through the book I decided to read the Wikipedia entry on Bob Dylan to get some context and grounding. Honestly, I found the Wikipedia entry more compelling than Chronicles.
Sure, it's poetic — some of the most lyrical lines I've read in a book. But that brings me to the plagiarism controversy. It's obvious Dylan pulled some of the books best phrases and ideas from other writers. But I don't have an inherent problem with that — Dylan even references the imitative and “borrowed” nature of his music in Chronicles. However, knowing this is a manuscript stitched together from found spare-parts, only confirmed my feeling that Chronicles really has much less to say than I was expecting. It does prove that Dylan is a talented bower bird.
Sean Penn gives a gruff and low performance, his voice dripping with burly apathy. I have to admit, Penn's celebrity does lend this recording an air of borrowed prestige. But if were judging the narration on quality alone, Penn’s performance is average at best. I’m afraid Sean’s indifferent style may have influenced my indifferent response to this reading.
On a positive note, the book did pique my interest in 1960's counterculture, and inspired me to learn more about the music, the politics and the issues of that time — three stars for whetting my appetite.
Dylan on Dylan! It's brilliant, enlightening and poetic. Unfortunately, this version is abridged; and that is a pity. Now I have to get the unabridged version. This is a document that cannot be read except in full. A life is in full, Dylan's life is fuller than most; and an abridgment is unexcusable. More so when read immaculately by Sean Penn.
Really enjoyed Volume One. Looking forward to Volume Two. Sean Penn does a great job of narration. Dylan's descriptions of his early days in New York City are enlightening as are the insights into the national treasure himself.