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This is the first spellbinding volume of the autobiography of a musical and political icon. Circa 1965, arguably the high point of his creative genius, Bob Dylan writes on the beginnings of his music career, his loves - including his very first date - and offers a very personal, anecdotal view of this time of great creativity, innovation and music history. Bob Dylan's autobiography is a publishing and cultural event of the highest magnitude.
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'A delight. It's not quite an orthodox autobiography, looking back over a life from beginning to end but it is lucid, engaging and incredibly direct. Dylan has taken back his own story from his biographers...He has more real literature in him than a thousand professors'
David Sexton, Evening Standard 4/10
'A startling event... [Chronicles] shows Dylan's extraordinary command of language, married in the book to an uncanny recall of events and a masterly narrative sensibility'
'Dylan's writing never loses its richness, its sense of crystalline observation. He's unexpectedly frank about his own shortcomings - but not too frank. Throughout, a careful balance has been struck between elusiveness and revelation. Readers hoping to gain admittance to Dylan's inner sanctum may be surprised by how far in they are allowed to venture'
John Preston, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'Every line of CHRONICLES reverberates with the marrow-shaking snarl of the mesmerizing American voice that first signed up with Columbia records in New York City in 1961 . . . Then you realise why Dylan will always be part of the unofficial soundtrack of our lives. CHRONICLES takes its place next to ON THE ROAD and Guthrie's BOUND FOR GLORY as an essential record of an American artist's manifest destiny'
Robert McCrum, OBSERVER
'A book which measures up to -- and in many respects surpasses -- the highest hopes anyone could have had of it . . . The narrator of CHRONICLES VOLUME ONE turns out to be a superbly candid and engaging character, with a sharp descriptive eye . . . and a writing style pitched somewhere between Kurt Vonnegut at his most drily aphoristic ad a grown up Holden Caulfied . . . If you've always wondered how this man transformed the supposedly antique certainties of folk music into the soundtrack to the most self-consciously forward looking of decades, this book has the answer . . . Dylan's willingness . . . to be a man out of time . . . combined with a rare insight into the moment he was in . . . The power of that combination echoes down through the decades as clearly in these pages as in any song you might care to mention'
Ben Thompson, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'Riveting' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'An extremely good book indeed, actually a great one. If you are not weeping with gratitude by the end, then frankly, the age has passed you by . . . I cannot remember a book that has made me happier than this one'
Bryan Appleyard, SUNDAY TIMES
'This book is so exciting...Chronicles offers much more than a glimpse behind the mask. And it's a jolly good read. Well done, Bob'
Donovan, Observer Music Monthly 17/10
'With this rich intermittently preposterous, often tender work, Bob Dylan has delivered more than many of us dared hope for'
Mike Marqusee, GUARDIAN
'Surprisingly fresh and un-whiney, with all the added enjoyment of watching an iconoclast turning on his own icon'
Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘There are enough bizarre and entertaining snippets of information sprinkled throughout to fascinate the most jaded Dylan obsessive...An unexpectedly easy and entertaining read'
'Charming . . . Enthralling . . . One hears a lovely shyness in Dylan's acknowledging the unlikely distance he has travelled . . . It's the kind of moment that renders this a wholly engrossing and unaccountably touching memoir' Anthony Quinn, DAILY TELEGRAPH
'There is something on every page, in every paragraph, that demands attention... In rock and roll terms, this book is like discovering the lost diaries of Shakespeare. It may be the most extraordinarily intimate autobiography by a 20th-century legend'
Daily Telegraph 7/10
'This book is one of the most important in its genre, painting a colourful picture of a phenomenal singer and songwriter'
The Sun 8/10
'Entertaining and surprisingly deprecating... The book's structure is elegant...Chronicles is tautly written, vividly cinematic, and funny... a courageous little book'
Financial Times 8/10
'This absorbing read abandons the dry autobiography of fact for a more organic approach to personal history'
'It is a very good book . . . the quality of the prose is a delightful surprise. The book has an intense and intimate quality. It is alive with the sort of detail that guarantees authenticity. And it possesses a prose voice that is both compelling and unmistakably Dylan. At its very best, it reads like a novel . . . when he recalls his teenage passions he is beyond eloquent . . . What is startling about the book is a sense of a promise delivered . . . For Dylan obsessives, indeed, there are a ton of nuggets . . . he himself is luminous on the page . . . at its heart is a meditation on art, and a profound one' Ian Bell, SUNDAY HERALD
'According to our local bookseller, the first volume of Bob Dylan's memoirs, Chronicles, is "walking off the shelves"'
Sunday Herald 17/10
'If you want a magisterial portrait of the invention of a great artist, you will be mesmerised . . . a gorgeous, lyrical account of his arrival in snowbound New York . . .This memoir, like his songs, is an indispensable map to the light and darkness of our age'
'This book recaptures its author's first stirrings of creativity with amazing urgency . . . CHRONICLES is hardly tame. It is lucid without being linear, swirling through time without losing its strong storytelling thread' Janet Maslin, THE SCOTSMAN
'A series of insightful, surprising and sometimes funny observations . . . He peers out of this wonderful, flawed, picturesquely rambling account as a shy, taciturn man, fuelled by four-star ambition' Hugh MacDonald, THE HERALD (GLASGOW)
'Straight-forward revelation, though gratifying, would go against the grain, and sure enough he gives us something fierce and strange' METRO LONDON
'This book should, by the end, have you weeping with gratitude' SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
'All of which makes CHRONICLES: VOLUME ONE a double delight: besides being a treasure trove for Dylan fans, it is also sparklingly well-written . . . the shock and the joy of CHRONICLES lie in its unexpected accessibility and the relish its author brings to deflating his mythical status . . . As you would expect from such a respected wordsmith, Dylan also offers up a multitude of striking images . . . There is a directness and candour to CHRONICLES that suggests the absence of a ghost at this feast . . . CHRONICLES is warmly readable, offering a series of vignettes rewarding even for those who haven't hung on the man's every utterance for the past five decades. Slowly and deftly, CHRONICLES peels away some of the enigma that still swirls around Bob Dylan, and leaves you hungrier than ever for Volume Two.' Patrick Humphries, SUNDAY EXPRESS
'The first volume of CHRONICLES certainly rewards those persuaded by such fragments that, against all the odds, Dylan might turn out to be his own most illuminating critic and biographer . . . 80,000 words of taut, atmospheric prose encompassing six decades of life and work and demonstrating a sure grasp of what he did, why he did it and how he felt while it was being done . . . moving . . . Dylan writes mostly with a firmness and a lean, striding rythmn that make the words sing in the ear . . . a stream of surprises . . . CHRONICLES is good enough to bring even the most disillusioned stray back into the fold' Richard Williams, TLS
'A humble book . . . it demystifies the man . . . a pleasure to read' THE ECONOMIST
'[Dylan] has decided to tell his story, and it is as riveting, poetic, poignant and funny as some of his best songs . . . It sizzles with biting one-liners and radiates honesty' Shusha Guppy, DAILY MAIL
'Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan. It is the best of books, it is the worst of books' ECONOMIST
'Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One are written in the way he talks, the way he sings: he tells it his way, noth the way of the world. And Lyrics 1962 - 2001 is a hnadsome new edition of the lines'
'Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One was, in an absolute sense, a book of the year. Lucid and witty at first reading, it deepens in the imagination'
'Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One is a wonderfully evocative patchwork affair that hops round key moments in his career from early 1960's Greenwich Village to late 1980s New Orleans. It's vivid, romantic and far more revealing than anyone dared hope'
Griff Rhys Jones
'Brilliant, fascinating and gobbled up in one sitting, but I didn't find Bob Dylan's authobiography Chronicles: Volume One half as straightforward as everybody else seemed to. At last, the truth? Up to a point. His songs are crazy with candour and anger and burning aggression - "You're an idiot, babe!" - but the book? Dylan masterfully hides behind that well-known, late-middle-aged celebrity trait: "It's just a job, man." He was, so it would seem, merely a humble balladeer (rather like Bobby Darin, apparently) trying to make it in Tin-Pan Alley. It's folksy story-weaving, as finely wrought as any of the faux 1860s ballads of genius, but it's still the book of the year for me'
'Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One...smart, energetic, artfully discursive...exceptionally good'
'How Bob Dylan manages to be both lucid about his work and to write so beautifully about it at the same time is the glory of his book, Chronicles: Volume One. Like the best of his songs, the writing goes right through you. His New York in the Sixties has the black-and-white luminosity of a Cassavetes film. Dylan writes like he sings like he lives'
'Bob Dylan's writing voice in Chronicles: Volume One is almost as magnificent as his singing voice'
The Book No One Thought Would Ever See The Light Of Day
'Chronicles by Bob Dylan. In which Dylan diverges without divulging (much) and riffs without revealing (all). But what did anyone expect? The first of three mooted volumes, Chrnoic
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941, Bob Dylan is without question one of the most influential figures in the history of popular music. He not only revolutionised popular music by incorporating poetry in his folk and rock compositions, he also helped create a more inclusive and progressive consciousness in American culture.
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