Bruce by Peter A Carlin


16 Critic Reviews

...Bruce provides a wide enough scope and deep enough examination of Springsteen to make it a work that should entice and educate any Springsteen fan.
-Blog Critics


Peter Ames Carlin’s New York Times bestselling biography of one America’s greatest musicians is the first in twenty-five years to be written with the cooperation of Bruce Springsteen himself; “Carlin gets across why Mr. Springsteen has meant so much, for so long, to so many people” (The New York Times).

In Bruce, acclaimed music writer Peter Ames Carlin presents a startlingly intimate and vivid portrait of a rock icon. For more than four decades, Bruce Springsteen has reflected the heart and soul of America with a career that includes twenty Grammy Awards, more than 120 million albums sold, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. Peter Ames Carlin masterfully encompasses the breadth of Springsteen’s astonishing career and explores the inner workings of a man who managed to redefine generations of music.

A must read for fans, Bruce is a meticulously researched, compulsively readable biography of a man laden with family tragedy, a tremendous dedication to his artistry, and an all-consuming passion for fame and influence.

About Peter A Carlin

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Peter Ames Carlin has been a senior writer for People, a TV critic for The Oregonian newspaper, and is the author of Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney: A Life. Carlin lives with his wife and three children in Portland, Oregon. Visit
Published October 30, 2012 by Touchstone. 514 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Nov 18 2012
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Bruce
All: 16 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 2


on Oct 01 2012

If you want to understand the magic and majesty that is The Boss, the best way is though his music. However, Carlin...successfully fills in some of the gaps Springsteen has left behind in his lifelong journey...

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Nov 06 2012

Mr. Carlin strains for bad jokes. There are too many hacky sentences...This book’s footnotes are whatever the opposite of scholarly is, many of them completely daft.

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Publishers Weekly

on Sep 24 2012

Carlin gives Springsteen the definitive treatment, and this is by far the best of the many books about the rock and roller, capturing his many moods...and his deep passion for pleasing audiences with rollicking, energetic shows.

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Blog Critics

Reviewed by Tim Gebhart on Nov 01 2012

...Bruce provides a wide enough scope and deep enough examination of Springsteen to make it a work that should entice and educate any Springsteen fan.

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Reviewed by Jane Murphy on Nov 05 2012

...Carlin’s book “Bruce” deals more with Springsteen’s reality than the well-known myth and legend, and illuminates his path of passion with depth readers will appreciate.

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Globe and Mail

Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Oct 26 2012

Bruce Springsteen is one of the most significant artistic and cultural forces of the past four decades: Carlin’s insightful, powerful biography is for anyone who wonders why.

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Entertainment Weekly

Reviewed by Kyle Anderson on Oct 26 2012

Carlin portrays Springsteen as moody and surprisingly lacking in empathy...Those details make the rocker's tale all the more engaging, as beneath his gravelly-voiced demigod exterior lurks a flawed and talented human being.

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The Telegraph

Reviewed by Sarfraz Manzoor on Nov 16 2012

...a wonderfully insightful and richly detailed biography, one that can justifiably claim to be both impartial and definitive.

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USA Today

Reviewed by Elysa Gardner on Oct 29 2012 astute, engaging account of the singer/songwriter's life and career — neither as presumptuous nor as grandiose as Marc Dolan's Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll...

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The Boston Globe

Reviewed by Ian Crouch on Nov 06 2012

In the Church of Bruce...the rock ’n’ roll messiah has lived to sing his own gospel

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San Francisco Chronicle

Reviewed by Will Hermes on Dec 18 2012

Carlin deserves applause for the most complete Bruce bio to date. But Springsteen is still on fire at age 63; his story, clearly, isn't over yet.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Reviewed by Peter McKay on Dec 02 2012's a little like having the curtain pulled back on the Great and Powerful Oz and finding a regular guy...But thanks to Mr. Carlin's book, the regular guy is just as, if not more, interesting than the larger-than-life public personae.

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Chicago Tribune

Reviewed by Jake Austen on Dec 28 2012

...Carlin is able to convince readers that Springsteen's uncompromised devotion to his music is such an important aspect of the artist that even if you only know him through ..."The Ghost of Tom Joad," maybe that's enough.

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Cape Ann Beacon

Reviewed by Peter Chianca on Oct 30 2012

...a stunning last chapter that slows down the pace with intimate details, including conversations with relatives that are so personal and touching they make you feel like you’re in the kitchen during Springsteen’s song about his mother, “The Wish.”

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Toledo Blade

Below average
Reviewed by ROD LOCKWOOD on Nov 04 2012 much time is spent on the early years that recent events are compressed and treated in a clipped fashion.

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Long Island Press

Above average
Reviewed by Spencer Rumsey on Nov 21 2012

Bruce may not be as wild as Keith Richards’ recent memoir, but it can really take you for a great ride.

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