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Who Is That Man?: In Search of the Real Bob Dylan

by David Dalton

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7217297,514 (3.35)7
"Drawing upon extensive interviews with Dylan's friends and fellow eyewitnesses--including Marianne Faithful, Steven Tyler and Allen Ginsberg--the founding editor of Rolling Stone presents a kaleidoscopic biography of the rock icon, providing a new perspective on the man, the myth and the musical legend."--Publishers description.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
More of an essay than a biography on Dylan, David Dalton a journalist type takes a look at the chameleon nature throughout his years primarily from a perspective of his music. No question of the iconic nature of this man but his aura of mystery and elusiveness is the focus here. Dalton looks at Dylan's seeming evolution but in reality his outright change, again and again. And that chord is what bogs the book down some, the non-stop repetition of trying to define both the man and that changeability.

Biographies often bring out what their subject is going through in their personal life, their triumphs and challenges. This is limited in the book as we don't much on his personal relationships and such things. They are there but Dalton does not explore them in depth. On the other hand the writing flows well and is on balance an entertaining read. We are left with some ideas as to Dylan's motives and peccadilloes, but this troubadour of his generation remains the enigma he seems to want to project. ( )
  knightlight777 | Sep 6, 2017 |
I know, Dalton is a great rock critic. I did learn a few things from it, but I did not like his writing style. Just listen to the music. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Interesting book, but then I'm always interested in anything about Mr. Zimmerman. Of course, everyone has their own theories on what makes Bob Dylan tick, what his music means, and how significant his work has been. It was fun to read David Dalton's take on those issues, but I don't imagine he's any more reliable than any other interpreter. I suppose the best thing to do if you're really looking to find out about Dylan and his music is just to listen to the recordings (and maybe read the autobiography he published a few years back). But this book is definitely worth a look, too. ( )
  jlshall | Jul 29, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was interested in this book as a long-time casual fan of Bob Dylan's music. I was worried that the book would be too technical or academic and was pleasantly surprised at what a joy it was to read. David Dalton has written a very accessible book about the music, the culture, and the man himself, in all of his various incarnations. He explores the mystique that is Dylan and how Dylan has perpetuated that mystique. The book brought back many memories and led me back to many songs that I had forgotten. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Dylan or his music.

(Review based on complimentary Advance Reader copy.) ( )
  wcath | Jul 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For almost half a century, Bob Dylan has been a primary catalyst in rock's shifting sensibilities. Few American artists are as important, beloved, and endlessly examined, yet he remains something of an enigma. Who, we ask, is the "real" Bob Dylan? Is he Bobby Zimmerman, yearning to escape Hibbing, Minnesota, or the Woody Guthrie wannabe playing Greenwich Village haunts? Folk Messiah, Born-Again Bob, Late-Elvis Dylan, Jack Fate, or Living National Treasure? In Who Is That Man?, David Dalton--cultural historian, journalist, screenwriter, and novelist--paints a revealing portrait of the rock icon, ingeniously exposing the three-card monte games he plays with his persona.

Guided by Dalton's cutting-edge insights and myth-debunking point of view, Who Is That Man? follows Dylan's imaginative life, integrating actual events with Dylan's words and those of the people who know him most intimately. Drawing upon Dylan's friends and fellow eyewitnesses--including Marianne Faithfull, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Stampfel , Larry "Ratso" Sloman, Eric Andersen, Nat Hentoff, Andrew Oldham, Nat Finkelstein, and others--this book will provide a new perspective on the man, the myth, and the musical era that forged them both.
  DuffDaddy | Jul 5, 2012 |
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"Drawing upon extensive interviews with Dylan's friends and fellow eyewitnesses--including Marianne Faithful, Steven Tyler and Allen Ginsberg--the founding editor of Rolling Stone presents a kaleidoscopic biography of the rock icon, providing a new perspective on the man, the myth and the musical legend."--Publishers description.

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