Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus
Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus
PublicAffairs, Hardcover, 9781586488314, 512pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Together the dozens of pieces collected here comprise a portrait of how, throughout his career, Bob Dylan has drawn upon and reinvented the landscape of traditional American song, its myths and choruses, heroes and villains. They are the result of a more than forty-year engagement between an unparalleled singer and a uniquely acute listener.
Rolling Stone, October, 2010
“As a critic, Greil Marcus is a tough crowd—his bullshit detector should get some kind of Nobel Prize. No writer has followed Bob Dylan as closely or as passionately as Marcus, who makes the man's whole career seem like one wild American adventure. And nobody has ever written about Dylan with so much savage wit…. In this essential anthology, Marcus chronicles Dylan's ups and downs…. The collection reads like the journal of a 40-year love story…. Through it all, Marcus' words are restless and probing—a true match for Dylan's voice."
Book Page, December 2010
“No one else has anatomized Bob Dylan, his music and his personality as relentlessly or as minutely as Greil Marcus. Witness now the culmination of that obsession in Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus…. But this is more than a study of Dylan—it’s a jagged portrait of the age.”
“No cultural critic has contemplated the meaning of Dylan’s music and career more thoroughly than Greil Marcus…. What makes this collection of writings so welcome is that Marcus’s career as a critic began just after those profound and turbulent times; over half the book covers Dylan’s career since 1990…. Reading some 40 years of Marcus’s criticism on Bob Dylan allows us to appreciate more fully than we have before the long arc of the musician’s career. It also displays the development of the critic’s vision of America.” San Francisco Chronicle, November 28, 2010
“Why read anyone else's work on Dylan? Through previous tomes like Invisible Republic and Like a Rolling Stone, the Berkeley-based Marcus has done more to build the Dylan myth than the curmudgeonly man himself.” Boston Globe, November 26, 2010
“If anyone is worthy of an entire collection of critiques of Bob Dylan, it’s Marcus. The rock critic and cultural commentator has astutely chronicled Dylan’s trajectory for more than four decades through record reviews, essays, and books.” The Forward, November 22, 2010
“So how best to understand Bob Dylan? Miles Davis, another modern master of American music, once said, ‘Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.’ Playing what’s there and what’s not there as a critic — a mode familiar to Dylan playing out his influences as an artist, as well — Marcus allows Dylan’s work to be heard thicker, stranger, more boldly and with more imagination than we could hear it on our own.”
Minneapolis Start Tribune, Best Nonfiction of 2010
“A wondrous pairing of one of the greatest musicians in American history and one of our greatest music journalists.... These pieces create a vivid, fascinating portrait of how, through his long and trailblazing career, Dylan has drawn from and utterly reinvented the landscape of traditional American song. Marcus' collected celebrations (and occasional disappointed criticisms) of Dylan are must-reading for Dylan devotees everywhere.”
Robert Loss , Bookslut, December 6, 2010
“Eccentric, volatile, persuasive: Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010 reads like the free adventure offered by its subject…. A clutch of dispatches from a correspondent grown skeptical but still capable of being surprised -- who in fact wants to be surprised…. Marcus is simply one of the few in his field who can match Dylan on a subject they both find fascinating: America.”