Synopses & Reviews
This sweeping biography of one of America's greatest musicians is the first in twenty-five years to be written with the cooperation of Bruce Springsteen himself. With unfettered access to the artist, his family, and band members — including Clarence Clemons in his last major interview — 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. He has also become an influential voice in American culture and politics, inspiring President Barack Obama to admit: "I'm the president, but he's the Boss."
Built from years of research and unparalleled access to its subject and his inner circle, Bruce presents the most revealing account yet of a man laden with family tragedy, a tremendous dedication to his artistry, and an all-consuming passion for fame and influence. With this book, the E Street Band members finally bare their feelings about their abrupt dismissal in 1989, and how Springsteen's ambivalence nearly capsized their 1999 reunion. Carlin deftly traces Springsteen's often harrowing personal life: from his lower working-class childhood in Freehold, New Jersey, through his stubborn climb to fame and tangled romantic life, and finally to his quest to conquer the demons that nearly destroyed his father.
In Bruce, Carlin 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 for fans, Bruce is a meticulously researched, compulsively readable biography of one of the most complex and fascinating artists in American music.
"Rock biographer (Paul McCartney) delivers a straight-on, rockin' and rollin' life of the Jersey youngster who sold his soul to rock and roll the night he saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957. Drawing on exclusive interviews with members of the E Street Band, including Clarence Clemons's final interview, and unrestricted conversations with Springsteen's family, friends, manager Jon Landau, and Springsteen himself, Carlin takes us on a fascinating journey through Springsteen's childhood, youth, and his rise to fame out of his early years playing in bands such as the Castiles, Earth, and Child to his most recent concerts in support of his Wrecking Ball album. Carlin energetically drives through the streets of Asbury Park, the bars and arenas around the world where Springsteen continues to work his magic. 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, his desire to retain his privacy, but his secret craving for superstardom, and, above all, his consummate musicianship and his deep passion for pleasing audiences with rollicking, energetic shows. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"For all those of us who grew up on the Jersey Shore, chasing Bruce and the band every weekend: the chase is over. It’s all here. Everything we didn't know then — we're surprised to learn now. It's close, it's intimate — the master of introspection allows some full-on inspection of his life." Brian Williams, NBC News
"There are many things I could and should be doing right now, but I am not... I am reading and rereading this book. Why did you do this to me?" Jon Stewart
"An epic look at the man and his music." Kirkus Reviews
"Springsteen is biographical big game: majestic, fugitive, offering the unwary chronicler the possibility that he might get trampled. But Carlin has brought him down, with empathy and shrewdness. Here is Bruce, stylishly captured in all his Brucedom; the everyman, the unknowable; the anointed one, the loner; stadium swagger and dull, private pain. Are these contradictions, or just the span of a man's soul? Read Bruce and find out." James Parker, The Atlantic
"Bruce Springsteen has been a muscular American icon for so long it's hard to remember that he was once a scrawny kid from Nowhere, New Jersey, struggling to find his way. Peter Ames Carlin not only brings that kid into sharp focus, he connects the dots between the small-town boy and the superstar he became, in all his memorable incarnations — boardwalk poet, working-class hero, middle-aged philosopher, rock and roll evangelist, political activist. This is the big, expansive biography Bruce's fans have been waiting for." Tom Perrotta
"This is a Bruce bio like no other. Carlin's dogged research, tough-minded prose, and above all, ability to draw out the previously private thoughts of almost everyone involved in this remarkable story combine to transform much of what we thought we knew about Bruce. Carlin's recounting of Springsteen's personal and professional struggles, and those of the members of the mighty E Street Band, make this a quintessential American story and one that will resonate, and inspire, as long as the music itself does." Eric Alterman, author of It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen
This sweeping biography of Bruce Springsteen features in-depth interviews with family, band members, childhood friends, ex-girlfriends, and a poignant retrospective from the Boss himself. It's Bruce as his many fans haven't before seen him — the man behind the myth, describing his life and work in intimate, vivid detail.
For close to four decades, Bruce Springsteen has reflected the heart and soul of America in a career that encompasses twenty Grammy Awards, more than 120 million albums sold, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.
In a groundbreaking biography that draws on unprecedented access to Springsteen and those closest to him, acclaimed music critic Peter Ames Carlin presents the most revealing account yet of New Jersey's favorite son. With contributions from band members past and present, including the last interview given by legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, Bruce encompasses the breadth of Springsteen's astonishing career and explores the inner workings of an American icon right up through his most recent sold-out tour and #1 album, Wrecking Ball.
A must for fans, Bruce is a meticulously researched, compulsively readable biography of one of the most complex and fascinating artists in American music.
About the Author
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 and Paul McCartney: A Life. Carlin lives in Portland, Oregon.