Miscellanea, Reviews

The Dylanologists by David Kinney

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.

No food pairing. “We asked Mr. Dylan’s representatives what he eats for breakfast. Their response: “Next question.”

* I received a review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

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  • http://annabelsmith.tumblr.com/ Annabel Smith

    Bahahaha, love that quote. I totally didn’t get the whole Dylan thing; I always felt that he wrote great songs and then ruined them with his singing. But at some point, much to my husband’s delight, something clicked, and there I was in my car, singing along with Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. I think liking Dylan is something to do with emotional maturity. If you’ve never experienced the raw emotions his voice invokes then you can’t dig it.

    • http://fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory

      I think that’s exactly it. It’s not the quality of his voice, it’s what he can convey – and his range is incredible.

  • http://www.rivercityreading.com Shannon @ River City Reading

    Yes, yes, yes. I can’t wait to read this. I fall more toward the casual fan side (so I’m glad to see it still works), but I do love the man AND his singing. Ever since I saw that scene in No Direction Home with him reading the sign about clipping and bathing his dog like 20 different ways, I knew he was a genius.

    • http://fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory

      He is, indeed.

      I am a super fan of his music, but I’ve never gotten much into the personal lives of singers…unless it affects their singing.

  • http://www.lovelybookshelf.com Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    I just want to say, when the title of this review appeared on my Feedly page, I KNEW it was going to be yours. hahaha 🙂

    • http://fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory

      That is the best thing I’ve heard all week!

  • http://www.thebookwheelblog.com Allison @ The Book Wheel

    I fall on the side of someone who would be looking for a casual book about the mania. I appreciate Dylan but am not a big fan. Like Monka, I saw the title and knew it was going to be you!

    • http://fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory

      It’s good to be know for something as fabulous as Bob Dylan-fandom.

  • http://booksspeakvolumes.com Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    Okay, I need to read this! That quote is amazing and so true!

    • http://fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory

      Isn’t it? It’s fairly short and so worth it.

  • http://wordsforworms.com Words for Worms

    This is the perfect Rory book! Since it also appeals to the more casual fan, I may have to give it a go!

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