Should you read The Dylanologists? (The obvious answer is YES.)
For those who are on the fence, you should seriously consider picking up David Kinney’s new book if the following opening paragraph rings true:
“It starts with the voice. One day we hear its strange, broken glory, and before long everyone else in our lives would rather jam ice picks into their ears than listen to another Bob Dylan song. We know what you’re thinking. That the man cannot sing, that he yelps, grunts, and caterwauls, that he sounds like a suffering animal or a busted lawn mower, that his throat is a rumbling, grating cement mixer. How can we ever explain this so you will understand? Dylan’s voice, so reviled and ridiculed by you heathens, is a wonder of the world to us. It’s human, real, and above all expressive. It embodies rapture, heartbreak, rage, bitterness, disdain, boredom. It can be by turns biting, sarcastic, and deeply funny. It’s freighted with weirdly spellbinding magic. It’s what pulls us – the faithful – to the foot of the stage, and keeps us there for a lifetime.”
Yes? Read the book.
Conversely, if you’re not an obsessive Dylan fan, this is a good, casual book about the man and especially about the mania that surrounds him. It’s not simply a listing of Robert Zimmerman facts and trivia, nor is it designed only to be enjoyed by a serious fan, The Dylanologists is a great book for those interested in one of the most influential and talented musicians of our time. 5/5.
* I received a review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.