Dylan : Behind the Shades - Take Two

3.94 (1,168 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


This new edition of "Behind the Shades" has been completely rewritten and substantially enlarged to take account not only of the last decade, but of ten more years of original research by the author. The result is a fully comprehensive and highly illuminating biography. This text follows Bob Dylan along one of the most extraordinary paths taken by any artist in the 20th century: from his Jewish upbringing in Minnesota to the writing of his youthful "protest" masterpieces in New York; from the amazingly creative drug-fuelled mid-60s to the subsequent retreat to Woodstock with his family; from the break-up of his marriage (and the masterly "Blood on the Tracks" that came out of it) to the flirtation with fundamentalist Christianity; and finally to the recent restless years of endless touring. In virtually all areas of Dylan's life - his immigrant antecedents, his business dealings, his various addictions and his romantic attachments - Heylin is able to provide information about the man who changed the whole course of popular music in the 1960s and, over 30 years later, won three Grammys, including best album of 1997. As before, Heylin has given full weight to Dylan's own words and to those of his closest associates. Over 250 people are quoted in the book, and many of them were interviewed especially for this new edition. They help to provide an intricate portrait of a great and complex figure who, for too long has been the subject of myth-making rather than true biography.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 800 pages
  • 164 x 242 x 48mm | 1,304g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 16pp b&w photographs
  • 0670885061
  • 9780670885060

Review Text

There are countless books about Bob Dylan. Some Dylan enthusiasts clearly don't know the meaning of the phrase 'too much information' when it comes to their mysterious hero, and this doorstop, whilst being eminently readable and objective, is made for them. For the middling fan that only owns some of his albums, this is a daunting introduction to writing on Dylan. A wealth of anecdotes from most of his entourage past and present reveals a selfish emotionally flawed man caught in his won mythology, unsurprisingly like many of his superstar peers. The surprises come in the details - accounts of womanizing, alcoholism and childish pettiness, primarily from the fallow periods. However, unlike almost every other rock icon, Dylan has confounded the critics by re-gaining top form after creative stagnation on more than one occasion and this is part of his fascination, compounded by his elusiveness. His capacity to surprise keeps his fans - both obsessive and casual - coming back for more. Heylin has refrained from emphasizing accepted 'classic' periods and has much information on Dylan's 80s nadir as any other, frankly more interesting, times. This revised edition is a timely one, as Bob is on a creative high after the release of his latest album Time Out Of Mind, although Heylin stubbornly disagrees with most of the world on its greatness. This is a superior, if not definitive biography. One feels this will only be possible when Bob Dylan eventually dies and all the worms are removed from the can. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

1,168 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (346)
4 42% (494)
3 22% (260)
2 4% (51)
1 1% (17)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X