Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan

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9780802116864: Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan

Featuring a wealth of new information, Down the Highway is likely to be hailed as the definitive biography of Bob Dylan. Acclaimed biographer Howard Sounes has spent three years researching the book and has interviewed more than 250 people important in Dylan's life -- many of whom have never before given interviews -- and sifted through documentary evidence unavailable to previous biographers. With this unprecedented access, Sounes dispels many myths, reveals major discoveries, and uncovers the secret life of the mysterious singer, while giving a full appreciation of Dylan's artistic achievements and significance to American culture. Sounes's prodigious research has led to many significant revelations about every aspect of Dylan's life. For years there has been speculation about Dylan's marital life and children, and Sounes has uncovered the complete, fascinating story of his family life, which will completely change the public's perception of the singer. Sounes has interviewed a key witness to Dylan's 1966 motorcycle accident, a turning point in his career. The witness has never before spoken publicly, and Sounes provides the clearest picture yet of the accident and the subsequent "lost years" in Woodstock, New York. He also gives inside accounts of the important recording sessions and concert tours, the creation of every album and the most celebrated songs, Dylan's labyrinthine love life, his heart illness in 1997, and much more. These inside accounts come directly from Sounes's extensive interviews of girlfriends, family members, former personal assistants, fellow music stars and friends, members of touring and session bands, producers, club owners and concert promoters, and many others. Candid and refreshing, Down the Highway is also a sincere appreciation of Dylan's seminal place in postwar American cultural history and an essential book for the millions of people who have enjoyed Dylan's music over the years.

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About the Author:

Howard Sounes is the author of Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life (1999) and of Fred & Rose(1995), the bestselling account of the lives and crimes of Fred and Rosemary West which enabled him to leave his job as a journalist with the Mirror to become a full-time writer.

Review:

Praise for Down the Highway

“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.”— The New Republic

“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.”— The Nation

“[Sounes] offers information that, in sheer quantity, supersedes prior accounts.”— The New York Times Book Review

“Sounes’ book has the definite virtue of being the last one you’ll ever need to read about Dylan.”— Salon

“With little sensationalism, the inscrutable and intensely private Dylan is dissected, measured, and categorized.”— Esquire

“[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.”— Washington Post Book World

“Irresistible . . . finally puts Dylan the human being in the rocket’s red glare.”— Detroit Free Press

“[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.”— The Boston Globe

Praise for Charles Bukowski

“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.”— Los Angeles Times

“Engaging . . . adroit . . . revealing.”— The New York Times Book Review

“Howard Sounes does an admirable job of re-creating Bukowski’s journey through the underground passages of the American literary landscape.”— Sarasota Herald-Tribune

“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.”— The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Excellent. . . . A fast-paced narrative and a great read.”— Minneapolis City Pages

“Howard Sounes writes with wit and compassion about this irascible wild man of American letters.”—Judith Wynn, Boston Herald

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.”—John Martin, Black Sparrow Press (Bukowski’s editor)

“With no shortage of anecdotes, pictures or big names, this [biography] is so thorough and sharp that it may as well be the last.”—Graham Caveney, Arena

“A remarkable account of the poet laureate of Skid Row’s bedeviled sojourn on planet Earth.”—Iain S. Bruce, The Glasgow Herald

“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.”—Nick Wyke, The Times (London)

“Wonderful . . . the first such serious and thorough Bukowski biography. . . . An excellent book about a remarkable man.”—Ross Fortune, Time Out

“A fine storyteller, descriptive and visual, Sounes sticks with the stuff that made Bukowski a legend.”—Tulsa Kinney, LA Weekly

“A lively portrait of American literature’s ‘Dirty Old Man.’”—William Gargan, Library Journal

“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.”—Guy Mannes-Abbott, The Independent

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