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Chronicles Audiobook

Chronicles: Volume One

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Sean Penn reading Bob Dylan's memoirs. It doesn't get any better than this. Dylan mixes his life with his music, his thoughts with his lyrics, and Sean Penn puts us right inside his head. Dylan and Penn are a perfect combination, spanning two generations of celebrity, making us feel the weight and breadth of life for Dylan and the people who have hung on his every word and note. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One explores the critical junctions in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities: smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Biography/Memoir, 2005
  • 2005 Quill Award Nominee
  • Grammy Award Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album, 2005

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (518 )
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4.0 (217 )
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4.2 (211 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 02-28-06
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 02-28-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tell us more, Bob!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross 11-21-05
    Ross 11-21-05
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    "Good listen -even for non-Dylan fans"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Charlevoix, MI, USA 01-07-05
    Don Charlevoix, MI, USA 01-07-05
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    "Chronicles: Volume One"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elan Montreal, Quebec, Canada 02-02-12
    Elan Montreal, Quebec, Canada 02-02-12
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    "very good"
    What did you love best about Chronicles?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Penn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Bloomingdale, NJ, United States 11-14-10
    Tracy Bloomingdale, NJ, United States 11-14-10
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    "ok..."

    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....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-09-08
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-09-08

    Narrative makes the world go round.

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    "OK, but poor prose"

    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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Poughkeepsie, NY, USA 10-17-05
    Lawrence Poughkeepsie, NY, USA 10-17-05
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    "Information good Narration Horrible"

    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

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 02-03-05
    Marius Irene, South Africa 02-03-05 Member Since 2016
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    "Chill"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Harrisburg, IL, USA 10-09-08
    Justin Harrisburg, IL, USA 10-09-08
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    "Abridgement ruins it"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • C I H
    Bath, United Kingdom
    4/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Puts Dylan into perspective"

    This is like having the man in your company a great listen bring on the next volume .the real deal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gregory
    United Kingdom
    5/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent...when will Vol.2 be pubished?"
    If you could sum up Chronicles in three words, what would they be?

    Artists will enjoy.


    What other book might you compare Chronicles to, and why?

    Dont usually read music bios.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    All worthwhile...desriptions of the creative process I enjoyed very much.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Descriptions of the creative process.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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