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Download The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait, by Daniel Mark Epstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (113 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Mark Epstein Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Ballad of Bob Dylan is a vivid, full-bodied portrait of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century—a man widely regarded as the most important lyricist America has ever produced.

Acclaimed poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein frames Dylan against the backdrop of four seminal concerts—all of which he attended: Lisner Auditorium, Washington, D.C., 1963; Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1974; Tanglewood, Massachusetts, 1997; Aberdeen, Maryland, 2009. Recreating each performance song by song, Epstein places them within the larger context of Dylan’s life, from his meteoric rise as a young folk singer through his reemergence in the 1990s and his role as the éminence grise of rock-and-roll today. He explores the star’s private side, including marriage and fatherhood, and his struggle to overcome substance abuse. Epstein also traces the influences that shaped Dylan’s career and offers a thoughtful analysis of his work and fresh interpretations of his lyrics. Here, too, are anecdotes and insights from those closest to the man, including D. A. Pennebaker, Allen Ginsberg, Nora Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and Dylan’s sidemen throughout the years. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If you like Keith Richards’ Life, then read The Ballad of Bob Dylan. Just in time for the musician’s 70th birthday, Daniel Mark Epstein’s biography offers a vivid portrait of the visionary artist.”

    US Weekly

  • “What sets Epstein’s book apart is its accessibility…Epstein is refreshingly direct and approachable, and while the author, also a folk musician, makes much of his extensive quotes from Dylan’s lyrics, it is his own clear, emotional enthusiasm that carries the tale.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Historian and poet Epstein structures his loose-jointed chronicle around exegeses of iconic Dylan concerts he attended, analyzing the songs and the shifting persona of the singer: in 1963, the visionary twenty-two-year-old folkie; in 1974, the bristling thirty-something rocker; in 2009, the hoarse old man growling at Fate…Epstein’s wallow in the master’s words and moods will entrance hardcore Dylanophiles.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kat Asharya | 2/14/2014

    " I like Dylan a lot but I'm not a huge superfan, but this book def. deepened my appreciation for him. Billed as more a "historiography" than a "biography," there's a lot of nice detail here about the conditions and influences that went into Dylan the artist, but generally I wasn't a fan of hearing so much about the author's life as much, though I appreciate knowing the personal connection he had to Dylan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mitch Pendleton | 12/20/2013

    " Though the author is far too fawning, this is an enjoyable read. And really, if you can't fawn over Bob Dylan, who can you fawn over? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jason | 11/27/2013

    " I've put off reading any bio about Dylan for a long time to keep him a mystery. Good book. Insightful about his childhood and the myth he created about himself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael | 10/14/2013

    " Smartly weaves in and out of Dylan's life, but still meanders and drags at times --just a little, just enough to shed a star from my review. "

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About the Author

Daniel Mark Epstein has written more than fifteen books of poetry, biography, and history, including Lincoln and Whitman, which received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, named one of the top ten books of 2008 by the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Baltimore.