The Ballad of Bob Dylan by Daniel Mark Epstein

88%

8 Critic Reviews

This biography-cum-critical appreciation displays a special affection for the early, folk-singin’ Dylan and for the mad old-timer who emerged in 1997 with the album “Time Out of Mind.”
-NY Times

Synopsis

Drawing on revelatory interviews, a rich analysis oflyrics, and a lifelong study of one of the greatest songwriters of our time,Daniel Mark Epstein delivers a singular, nuanced, and insightful examination ofBob Dylan—the poet, the musician, and the man. Interweaving in-depthconversations with Dylan collaborators and contemporaries, including Eric Andersen,Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora Guthrie, Ramblin’Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger, Maria Muldaur, John P.Hammond, and many others, Epstein crafts a vivid and unforgettable portrait ofthe inimitable poet and performer. Readers of Christopher Ricks’ Dylan’s Visions of Sin, the Dylanautobiography, Chronicles, or Sean Wilentz’s Dylan inAmerica, as well as fans enthralled by expository musician stories, such asKeith Richards’ Life and PattiSmith’s Just Kids, will be captivatedby Epstein’s unprecedented and incisive look at Bob Dylan, music’s mostineffable creator.
 

About Daniel Mark Epstein

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Daniel Mark Epstein has written more than fifteen books of poetry, biography, and history, including Lincoln and Whitman, which received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, named one of the top ten books of 2008 by the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Baltimore.
 
Published May 3, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 539 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Ballad of Bob Dylan
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Feb 15 2011

Despite occasionally graceful writing and input from hitherto untapped expert witnesses, this is not top-shelf Dylanology.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by JIM WINDOLF on Jun 03 2011

This biography-cum-critical appreciation displays a special affection for the early, folk-singin’ Dylan and for the mad old-timer who emerged in 1997 with the album “Time Out of Mind.”

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by DAVID YEZZI on May 14 2011

Mr. Epstein, an accomplished poet and biographer, is one of the better stylists to tackle the Dylan story. Still, like many intellectuals who write about Mr. Dylan, he errs on the side of idolatry.

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Dave Moyer on May 03 2011

In...Epstein does what few have been able to do at all, much less this well: capture that spirit, and in so doing, somehow manage to get closer to the essence of an American icon.

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Richmond Times-Dispatch

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Astor on Jul 10 2011

"The Ballad of Bob Dylan" works best as an introduction to one of the 20th century's most famous musician-poets or as something for hardcore fans to pick over, but it may fall short for those in between.

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GQ magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Prince on May 23 2011

an engrossing, episodic overview that benefits from Epstein's forty-plus-year commitment to enjoying the great man's often uneven live performances,

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Houston Press

Excellent
Reviewed by Bob Ruggiero on Jun 24 2011

Epstein's masterful prose shows that Dylan's impromptu walkabouts at this stage in his life are simply an extension of his lifelong quest as a seeker of things and meaning.

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The Alternative

Good
Reviewed by The Alternative on Apr 04 2011

Simply put, I found The Ballad of Bob Dylan (A Portrait) unlike most personal accounts of Dylan’s life because it is written not by a commentator per se but by an obvious fan of both Dylan and the folk genre in general.

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Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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