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A Restless Hungry Feeling: The Double Life of Bob Dylan Vol. 1: 1941-1966 Reviews

A Restless Hungry Feeling: The Double Life of Bob Dylan Vol. 1: 1941-1966 by Clinton Heylin

A Restless Hungry Feeling: The Double Life of Bob Dylan Vol. 1: 1941-1966

Clinton Heylin

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: The Bodley Head Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 8 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781847925886

The definitive biography of one contemporary culture's most iconic and mysterious figures - musical revolutionary, Nobel Prize-winner, chart-topping recording artist In 2016 it was announced that Bob Dylan had sold his personal archive to the George Kaiser Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reportedly for $22 million.

3 stars out of 5
Andrew Motion
10 Apr 2021

"his style is easy-going conversational"

Technically speaking, Heylin’s approach hasn’t changed much in the 30 years since his last outing: his method is mostly chronological (with backward glances where the call of the past becomes irresistible, and the odd scurry where rock and roll history disappears in a cloud of smoke); and his style is easy-going conversational, with periodic lurches into alliteration (‘the Hibbing hustler’ etc) for intensifying effect. It works well; a more academic tone would have created a rupture between the book and its subject (Dylan has always had an anti-intellectual streak, as Heylin himself acknowledges), and anything more laid-back would seem like a subversion of biographical duty.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Will Hodgkinson
27 Mar 2021

"This is an impressive, obsessive biography that digs up the facts beneath the legend"

“I’d like to think my access to the vast archive... has produced a cohesive portrait akin to when some Renaissance masterpiece is restored to its truer self,” Heylin says in the introduction. It took me a while to realise that the Renaissance masterpiece he meant was his own Behind the Shades, which he also proclaims to be the most “factually reliable of all Dylan biographies”.

I can’t share Heylin’s astoundingly high regard for his own work, but if you do want to strip away the mystery and get a logbook on Dylan’s inescapable reality in time for his 80th birthday in May, this is the one for you.