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No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylanby Robert Shelton
Synopses & Reviews
Robert Shelton met Bob Dylan when the young singer first arrived in New York. He became Dylan's friend, champion, and critic. This book, first published in 1986, was hailed as the definitive unauthorized biography of this moody, passionate genius and his world. Dylan gave Shelton access to his parents, Abe and Beatty Zimmerman - whom no other journalist has ever interviewed in depth; to his brother, David; to childhood friends from Hibbing; to fellow students and friends from Minneapolis; and to Suze Rotolo, the muse immortalized on the cover of Freewheelin', among others. No Direction Home took 20 years to complete and received widespread critical acclaim. Two decades on, Dylan's standing is higher than at any time since the 1960s and Shelton's book is now seen as a classic of the genre. Today, everything Bob Dylan does guarantees saturation media coverage, and a new edition of No Direction Home is long overdue. This new edition, published to coincide with Dylan's 70th birthday on May 24, 2011, restores significant parts of Shelton's original manuscript and also includes key images of Dylan throughout his incredible, enduring career, alongside updated footnotes and bibliography, and a new selective discography, making it a must for all Dylan aficionados.
"Hailed by many as the definitive biography but surprisingly out-of-print for over a decade, Shelton's volume is back in a new edition including an additional 20,000 words from the original manuscript, giving fans greater insight into Dylan's formative years and creative process up to 1978. Shelton traces the singer-songwriter's evolution from small town to big city, and chronicles his battles with stardom, the press, and public opinion. Interviews with childhood friends, college roommates, and Dylan's first encounter with Woody Guthrie create an intimate portrait and portray the many sides of Dylan without romance or cliché. Shelton's unfettered access (Shelton's relationship with his subject blurred the line between reporter, friend, and even employee) provides an illuminating perspective on key periods in Dylan's career. An often combative interview subject, the Dylan who interacts with Shelton is thoughtful, sensitive, and fun-loving, far from the curmudgeon that appeared in many articles. The writer's ability to observe and comment, juxtaposed with his personal conversations with Dylan, make for a biography of remarkable depth and insight. Though Shelton's occasional musings on Dylan's place as a philosopher and artist can stretch the point at times, this is an excellent record of Dylan's early years, and a sterling example of how personal a biography can be. "
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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