Revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful, and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.
©2004 Bob Dylan; (P)2004 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Volume 1 of Dylan's memoirs was pretty cool to begin with. But to have it read by Sean Penn on audio takes it to a new level: the most talented songwriter of all time as performed by the most talented actor of his generation. Mr. Penn clearly has a blast inhabiting the role and navigating Dylan's jagged, impressionistic prose." (The New York Times)
I have idolized Bob Dylan since the first time I heard him. I looked forward to his book and now own both the printed and the audio versions. Too bad the audio is abridged, but Sean Penn did a great job. I almost thought it was Bob himself reading at times. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't go deep enough into what I imagine Bob's life to be like, or the thought process behind many of his songs. But I'll take what I can get and you can be sure I'll read volume 2!
I'm a seventies child and not a huge fan of Dylan (I actually like his more recent stuff over the sixties-era work) but I can recommend this audio-book to those with only a passing interest/knowledge of the man and his songs.
A few folks have complained about Sean Penn's 'monotone' narration, but I think it fits right in with Dylan's unstructured, loose writing style. I will definitely be buying Volume Two!
Bobbie Zimmerman tells his story free of drugs, sex, and rock and roll. He says he was just a folk singer and fans interfered with his life. As I listen to the audio, I had to check to see if I was listening to the discs in the right order. The book is revealing, but I did not like what it reveals. The Dylan I loved as a teen was not in this book. It was painful to this 50 year old former fan.
Any one who is interested in the life of the iconic Bob Dylan and who ever is interested in a glimpse of the life and mechanics of the music world in the 60's and beyond should listen to this book.
The delivery is fantastic particularly in view of the autobiographical nature of the narration. Some times you forget it is not Bob who is sitting there talking to you.
As a former rock music history fanatic (read many, many rock biographies in college) I was kinda excited to listen to this, but the monotone narrative did not keep my interest at all. I almost would have rather physically read the book than listened to this. No offense to Sean Penn, but maybe he should not do narratives anymore....
Narrative makes the world go round.
I thought the book provided some good insights into Dylan and the creative process, but I expected better prose from a poet, even in a draft. Perhaps he wrote the book for some of the same reasons he claims to have made some of his mediocre albums - to make a living or get others off his back.
I liked Penn's monotone. Perhaps Dylan's choice of detail would make more sense in the unabridged version in some cases.
Well if your looking for just the information than this may be the book for you. However, If your like me I wanted the information presented in a palatabel manner. Sean Pen's reading of Chronicles is as bland and monotone as I have ever heard. At some points I had to just turn it off to keep from falling asleep at the wheel. I am not sure if his monotone delivery was intentional or not but it does not go over well at all. If you listen to audio books while commuting as I suspect most of us do then steer clear of this one in terms of keeping you engaged and awake
Chill guys. Aint read it yet, but I love it already. Its not a book, its not a story, its a 5 star audio leopardskin pillbox hat. If you follow that, you dig. If you dont, have a try. Pity its abridged, but I suppose the vandals took the handles.
Maybe an unabridged version would have been better, but this version skips around a bit. Takes too much thinking to figure out where in his life the current narration is happening.
I also thought Dylan should have given song titles when he was describing how some of his songs came about.
All in all, it was an enjoyable short listening experience.
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