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Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan
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Grove Atlantic 2011
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The acclaimed biography—now updated and revised. “Many writers have tried to probe [Dylan’s] life, but never has it been done so well, so captivatingly” (The Boston Globe).
 
Howard Sounes’s Down the Highway broke news about Dylan’s fiercely guarded personal life and set the standard as the most comprehensive and riveting biography on Bob Dylan. Now this edition continues to document the iconic songwriter’s life through new interviews and reporting, covering the release of Dylan’s first #1 album since the seventies, recognition from the Pulitzer Prize jury for his influence on popular culture, and the publication of his bestselling memoir, giving full appreciation to his artistic achievements and profound significance.
 
Candid and refreshing, Down the Highway is a sincere tribute to Dylan’s seminal place in postwar American cultural history, and remains an essential book for the millions of people who have enjoyed Dylan’s music over the years.
 
“Irresistible . . . Finally puts Dylan the human being in the rocket’s red glare.” —Detroit Free Press

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/24/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802195456
ASIN:
B0081KZL7S

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APA Citation (style guide)

Howard Sounes. (2011). Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Howard Sounes. 2011. Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Howard Sounes, Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. Grove Atlantic, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Howard Sounes. Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. Grove Atlantic, 2011.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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      • bioText: Howard Sounes (b. 1965) who was born in Welling, a suburb of South East London, was working as a news reporter for the Sunday Mirror in 1994 when he broke the first major stories in the case of Frederick and Rosemary West. Sounes went on to cover the West story extensively for the Sunday Mirror, then the Daily Mirror, up to and including Rose West's trial in the autumn of 1995. Fred & Rose was first published shortly after Mrs. West's conviction on ten counts of murder. A bestseller at the time, it has remained in print ever since, becoming one of the most widely read true crime books.
        Shortly after Fred & Rose was published, Sounes resigned from the Daily Mirror to pursue a career as a full-time author. His subsequent books have included a biography of American writer Charles Bukowski (Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life); biographies of musicians Bob Dylan (Down the Highway), Paul McCartney (Fab), and Lou Reed (Notes from the Velvet Underground); a book about Amy Winehouse and other musicians who died at the age of twenty-seven (Amy, 27); a history of the arts in the 1970s (Seventies); and Heist: The True Story of the World's Biggest Cash Robbery.
        For more information visit www.howardsounes.com.
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The acclaimed biography—now updated and revised. “Many writers have tried to probe [Dylan’s] life, but never has it been done so well, so captivatingly” (The Boston Globe).
 
Howard Sounes’s Down the Highway broke news about Dylan’s fiercely guarded personal life and set the standard as the most comprehensive and riveting biography on Bob Dylan. Now this edition continues to document the iconic songwriter’s life through new interviews and reporting, covering the release of Dylan’s first #1 album since the seventies, recognition from the Pulitzer Prize jury for his influence on popular culture, and the publication of his bestselling memoir, giving full appreciation to his artistic achievements and profound significance.
 
Candid and refreshing, Down the Highway is a sincere tribute to Dylan’s seminal place in postwar American cultural history, and remains an essential book for the millions of people who have enjoyed Dylan’s music over the years.
 
“Irresistible . . . Finally puts Dylan the human being in the rocket’s red glare.” —Detroit Free Press
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The New Republic
      • content: “Sounes [has] produced [a] fascinating and finely written account of Dylan's life and times, while managing at the same time to provide interesting evaluations of his music and cultural contribution."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Nation
      • content: “Sounes . . . pieces together testimony and circumstantial evidence into a fairly detailed account of Dylan's wreck. . . . It's the kind of thing Sounes does well, opening new angles on the enigmatic polyhedron that is Dylan."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: “[Sounes] offers information that, in sheer quantity, supersedes prior accounts."
      • premium: False
      • source: Salon
      • content: “Sounes' book has the definite virtue of being the last one you'll ever need to read about Dylan."
      • premium: False
      • source: Esquire
      • content: “With little sensationalism, the inscrutable and intensely private Dylan is dissected, measured, and categorized."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post Book World
      • content: “[Sounes] has scoured court documents and interviewed friends, family, lovers, band members and anyone else who had contact with the mercurial troubadour. . . . [He] appears to know every nuance of every track Dylan has ever recorded--and the inspirations for famous songs."
      • premium: False
      • source: Detroit Free Press
      • content: “Irresistible . . . finally puts Dylan the human being in the rocket's red glare."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe
      • content: “[A] lively, exhaustively researched book. . . . Sounes strikes a healthy balance, packing the book with musical details aimed at Dylan diehards without wallowing in the dirty laundry that will no doubt make headlines."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: “Bukowski is one of those writers people remember more for the legend than for the work . . . but, as Howard Sounes shows in this exhaustively researched biography, it wasn't the whole story."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: “Engaging . . . adroit . . . revealing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
      • content: “Howard Sounes does an admirable job of re-creating Bukowski's journey through the underground passages of the American literary landscape."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
      • content: “A must-read for anybody who is a fan of Bukowski's writing, Howard Sounes successfully conjures up the voice of this outrageous character and offers clear-eyed insight into his extraordinary life."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis City Pages
      • content: “Excellent. . . . A fast-paced narrative and a great read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Judith Wynn, Boston Herald
      • content: “Howard Sounes writes with wit and compassion about this irascible wild man of American letters."
      • premium: False
      • source: John Martin, Black Sparrow Press (Bukowski's editor)
      • content: Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life is a generous tribute to Bukowski's genius and it clearly and truthfully captures the essence of Bukowski both as writer and man."
      • premium: False
      • source: Graham Caveney, Arena
      • content: “With no shortage of anecdotes, pictures or big names, this [biography] is so thorough and sharp that it may as well be the last."
      • premium: False
      • source: Iain S. Bruce, The Glasgow Herald
      • content: “A remarkable account of the poet laureate of Skid Row's bedeviled sojourn on planet Earth."
      • premium: False
      • source: Nick Wyke, The Times (London)
      • content: “This is the first in-depth biography of Bukowski and succeeds by pulling into focus the hazy image of the apocryphal barfly anti-hero . . . a picaresque read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ross Fortune, Time Out
      • content: “Wonderful . . . the first such serious and thorough Bukowski biography. . . . An excellent book about a remarkable man."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tulsa Kinney, LA Weekly
      • content: “A fine storyteller, descriptive and visual, Sounes sticks with the stuff that made Bukowski a legend."
      • premium: False
      • source: William Gargan, Library Journal
      • content: “A lively portrait of American literature's 'Dirty Old Man.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: Guy Mannes-Abbott, The Independent
      • content: “The man who emerges from Sounes's work is one who shamelessly pursued his needs for beer, women and recognition--a man capable of tenderness, who always paid child support for his daughter and who resisted the seductions of belated, relished fame. This biography is an affectionate and thorough introduction that will not be rivaled for quite some time. Its effect is to revitalize rather than reduce Bukowski's work: poems and stories that help keep people alive."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 2, 2001
        Dylan was a pampered Midwestern teen who listened to African-American music on the radio. His father bought him a pink convertible and a Harley in the same year; his high school band appeared on television sporting mom-made cardigans emblazoned with the band name "Jokers." He dropped out of his first year of college to explore the Greenwich Village folk scene and meet his hero, Woody Guthrie, into whose hospital room young Dylan barged. "e instinctively played upon his baby-faced unworldly looks, and his considerable personal charm, to make friends would help him... giving him a place to stay or offering him a few dollars," attests Sounes (Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life) in this exhaustive, up-to-date biography. Though the writing is uneven, Sounes delivers a judicious portrait of Dylan's foibles and virtues. Dylan, he claims, used people variously—he mimicked his favorite performers and enjoyed of "the charity of kindhearted women." Much of the book traces his womanizing, from his relationship with Joan Baez to his eight years of marital bliss (before it unraveled) with Sara Lownds. Even his religious conversion was on account of the affections of his back-up singers, one of whom he had a child with and married, a little-known fact. Dylan has burned numerous bridges in his life, though many people remain loyal. Through extensive interviews Sounes aptly captures the contradictory facets of an American folk legend. (Apr.)Forecast:The 125,000-copy printing, bolstered by a $150,000 promotional budget, will sell well among Dylan's myriad fans, who will be celebrating his 60th birthday this year.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2001
        Sounes's Down the Highway challenges Clinton Heylin's revised edition of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades (LJ 10/1/00) for the coveted status of "definitive Dylan biography." British journalist Sounes (Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, LJ 3/1/99) was particularly successful in persuading a number of previously tight-lipped friends, lovers, and associates to speak candidly about the reticent star. As a result, the reader is treated to the most detailed account yet of Dylan's 1966 motorcycle accident and subsequent withdrawal from the public eye. Sounes also peels away layers of mystery surrounding Dylan's complex romantic life and surprisingly conventional approach to fatherhood. More so than Heylin, Sounes succeeds in portraying Dylan's human side; Heylin, on the other hand, offers far more insightful analysis of Dylan's work. Sounes, too, loses momentum as he goes, with the last couple of chapters seeming slight and poorly realized. Overall, Hey-lin's work is superior, but the two books together provide as complete a portrait of the enigmatic pop icon as there has ever been. [Heylin's Bob Dylan was originally slated for publication last October, but it is only being released this spring.--Ed.]--Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA

        Copyright 2001 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 20, 2000
        After three years and 250 interviews, Sounes has come up with what is claimed to be the definitive biography of a singer/songwriter whose words are still blowin' in the wind.

        Copyright 2000 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        March 15, 2001
        It seems of late that Dylan biographies are being cranked out as frequently as the man's own mediocre albums were in the '80s and '90s. Most of those records justified their existence with a gem or two amid the dross, and that is true of Sounes' documentation, once again, of Dylan's familiar career: the early days as a struggling folksinger, the rise to the forefront of the early-'60s folk scene, the controversial switch to rock, the motorcycle accident and the subsequent retreat from public view, and the latter-day de-emphasis of recording and concentration on the concert series known as the Never Ending Tour. Sounes somehow has uncovered some new information in that oft-scanned showbiz legend, mostly about Dylan's childhood and his jealously guarded family life. Some of it actually provides further insight into his songs, particularly those about his wife, Sara. Sounes also blows the lid off Dylan's heretofore unknown 1986 marriage to one of his backup singers. Such well-researched gossip will be fresh to all but the most committed Dylanologists. For overall thoroughness and critical analysis of Dylan's output, however, this book, for which the Big Push (coinciding with its subject's sixtieth birthday) is scheduled, is no match for Clinton Heylin's recent updating of "Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades" [BKL O 15 00]. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2001, American Library Association.)

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The acclaimed biography—now updated and revised. “Many writers have tried to probe [Dylan’s] life, but never has it been done so well, so captivatingly” (The Boston Globe).
 
Howard Sounes’s Down the Highway broke news about Dylan’s fiercely guarded personal life and set the standard as the most comprehensive and riveting biography on Bob Dylan. Now this edition continues to document the iconic songwriter’s life through new interviews and reporting, covering the release of Dylan’s first #1 album since the seventies, recognition from the Pulitzer Prize jury for his influence on popular culture, and the publication of his bestselling memoir, giving full appreciation to his artistic achievements and profound significance.
 
Candid and refreshing, Down the Highway is a sincere tribute to Dylan’s seminal place in postwar American cultural history, and remains an essential...
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