Read Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus Online


Greil Marcus saw Bob Dylan for the first time in a New Jersey field in 1963. He didn't know the name of the scruffy singer who had a bit part in a Joan Baez concert, but he knew his performance was unique. So began a dedicated and enduring relationship between America's finest critic of popular music— "simply peerless," in Nick Hornby's words, "not only as a rock writer buGreil Marcus saw Bob Dylan for the first time in a New Jersey field in 1963. He didn't know the name of the scruffy singer who had a bit part in a Joan Baez concert, but he knew his performance was unique. So began a dedicated and enduring relationship between America's finest critic of popular music— "simply peerless," in Nick Hornby's words, "not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian"— and Bob Dylan, who in 2016 won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In Like A Rolling Stone Marcus locates Dylan's six-minute masterwork in its richest, fullest context, capturing the heady atmosphere of the recording studio in 1965 as musicians and technicians clustered around the mercurial genius from Minnesota, the young Bob Dylan at the height of his powers. But Marcus shows how, far from being a song only of 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" is rooted in faraway American places and times, drawing on timeless cultural impulses that make the song as challenging, disruptive, and restless today as it ever was, capable of reinvention by artists as disparate as the comedian Richard Belzer and the Italian hip-hop duo Articolo 31. "Like a Rolling Stone" never loses its essential quality, which is directly to challenge the listener: it remains a call to arms and a demand for a better world. Forty years later it is still revolutionary as will and idea, as an attack and an embrace. How Does it Feel? In this unique, burningly intense book, Marcus tells you, and much more besides....

Title : Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads
Author :
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ISBN : 9781586483821
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads Reviews

  • Graham
    2019-07-09 10:55

    Sure, it's pretentious as all hell. Sure, there isn't a central thesis. I don't much care.John Updike once said of Vladimir Nabokov that "He writes prose the only way it should be written: ecstatically." The same adverb comes to mind when reading this book—Greil Marcus' attempt to grasp just what makes Bob Dylan in general, and "Like a Rolling Stone" in particular, so great. Marcus may be an esteemed literary and musical critic, but he is before all else a Bob Dylan fan, and this enthusiasm shows forth on every page. His prose reaches near-rhapsodic highs as he seeks to describe the essence of "Like a Rolling Stone", what it has meant both to him and to the rest of Dylan's audience, and why it is indeed The Greatest Song Ever Written. If you're already convinced of the song's status, you find yourself exhilarated by the rush of Marcus' powerful mutual affection, even obsession; if you're not, the sheer force of his conviction makes you believe in what he says without question. Very few people can write about music in a way that is musical; Marcus does so in a way that seems effortless, the power behind his words causing them to transcend the page and become their own kind of notes floating through the air.Of course, if the book were solely about "Like a Rolling Stone" it would quickly peter out; no single song, even The Greatest Song Ever Written, can sustain a 250 page tome by itself. Fortunately, much of the book is less about the song and more about the subtitle, describing not only Dylan but all of America at the crossroads. Marcus weaves seamlessly back and forth between analysis of "Like a Rolling Stone" itself and reflections on what it represented for Dylan's artistic career, and from those reflections to further reflections on what Dylan's music represented for the entire culture of the 60s. In Marcus' view, the song is the lynchpin upon which that entire decade's culture hung, and if this isn't strictly true, it feels true, which for Marcus and for music in general is far more important than mere fact.Marcus is frequently accused of pretentiousness, and this is an accusation with which I won't argue—it's the height of artistic pretentiousness to insist, without irony or artifice, that a single song can really represent the turning point for an entire culture. However, this pretentiousness does nothing to dilute the beauty, passion, and truth of his musings, and if anything only serves to render them more powerful and thrilling. By the time the book reaches its final chapter, a description of the numerous failed takes, and the single successful one, of "Like a Rolling Stone" on the day of its recording—a point to which Marcus has been building, but from which he has steadily held back, for the entire book—you're near breathless. Dylan the man is sick of his legend, and it's understandable—no one really wants to be considered the voice of their generation. But what a legend it is.

  • Rick
    2019-07-05 02:40

    Pomposity reigns and if there are a set of Rock Criticism rules akin to the literary rules that James Fenimore Cooper violated so blithely to Mark Twain's delight, Marcus violates them all. Instead of research, he remembers. Instead of logic and measured insights, he flushes clichés, random associations, second person generalizations, and just plain old fashioned bullshit. “Dylan singing like William and Versey Smith chanting their version of the Titantic on the street in Chicago in 1927 and everyone agreeing that, yes, it sure was sad when that great ship went down, but everyone grinning, too, because it was such a great ship, and it went down, and they didn’t.” “The song was never the same after England, neither was Bob Dylan, and neither was his audience.” He compares the song to other songs, to movies, to books, to highways, rivers, oceans, to everything that, not just comes to mind because that would imply at least a cursory thoughtfulness, but everything that comes into his line of vision, sits on his bookshelf, has either the words "rolling" or "stone" in them, was littered on Highway 61, or, at his most painful, that he thinks might impress someone somewhere if he mentioned it. Blurbs from Nick Hornby, Jonathan Lethem, and Luc Sante suggest that either Marcus has written other books that aren’t drivel or that Blurb Whoredom, unlike rock criticism, has no rules to break.

  • Ted Burke
    2019-06-29 03:47

    Greil Marcus has made his name as rock critic by insisting that the tide of History is directly mirrored by the pop music of the period. This can make for exhilarating reading, because Marcus is, if nothing else, an elegant stylist given to lyric evocation, but it is the same elegance that disguises the fact that he comes across a middling Hegelian; the author, amid the declarations about Dylan, The Stones, The Band and their importance to the spontaneous mass revolts of the Sixties, never solidifies his points. He has argued , with occasional lucidity, that the intuitive arrived at metaphors of the artist/poet/musician diagnose the ills of the culture better than any bus full of sociologists or philosophers, and has intimated further that history is a progression toward a greater day. But what has been aggravating with Marcus since he left the employ of Rolling Stone and began writing full length books and essays for cultural journals is that he chokes when there's a point to be made--he defers, he sidesteps, he distracts, he rather gracelessly changes the subject. Again, this can be enthralling, especially in a book like his massive Lipstick Traces The Secret History of the 20th Century" where he assumes some of Guy DeBord's assertions in Society of the Spectacle and situates rock and roll musicians in a counter-tradition of groups that spontaneously develop in resistance to a society's centralized ossification and mounts an attack, through art, on the perceptual filters that blind the masses to their latent genius.He never quite comes to the part where he satisfyingly resolves all the mounting, swelling, grandly played generalizations that link Elvis, The Sex Pistols and Cabaret Voltaire as sources of insight geared to undermine an oppressive regime, but the reader has fun along the way. Marcus wants to be a combination of Marcuse and Harold Bloom, and he rarely accomplishes anything the singular criticism either of them produced in their respective disciplines, political philosophy and literary criticism, but he does hit the mark often enough to make him a thinker worth coming back to.One would wonder about the value of coming back to this man's store front, though, if his bookLike a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads. Marcus is one who has written so much about Dylan, or has absorbed so much material about him, that he can produce a reed-thin on one song and pretends that it is much, much more than what it really is. The problem is a lack of thesis, a conceit Marcus at least pretend to have with his prior volumes; depending entirely on third-hand anecdotes, half-recollected memories and a flurry of details gleaned from any one of the several hundred books about Dylan published in the last 30 years, this amounts to little more than what you'd have if you transcribed a recording of the singer's more intense fans speaking wildly, broadly, intensely amongst themselves, by passing coherence for Sturm and Drang. For the rest of us with a saner appreciation of Dylan's importance , Like A Rolling Stone is messily assembled jumble of notes, press clips and over-told stories; Marcus , obvious enough, attempts an impressionist take on the song, but the smell of rehash doesn't recede, ever.

  • Cari
    2019-07-04 03:33

    Making up for what it lacks in clear narrative with an unabashed fanboy mentality, Like a Rolling Stone... is one of those books that you can pick up and put down at will. None of the segments are very long, and there's no overwhelming need to keep reading. It's light and spends a lot of time rambling and flailing with Dylan adoration, but there are some gems among the essays. Though the ability to put it down and walk away probably leads to a large portion of the readership never returning, this is not a book that should be read in one go. It'll make you nauseous with repetition otherwise.

  • Mateo
    2019-07-16 03:37

    One stroll through the music section of any bookstore immediately brings to mind one question: Why are there so many freaking books on Bob Dylan? Why are there entire bookshelves devoted to this man and so few about other poets? Why are people not penning books about John Greenleaf Whittier?(One answer: because Bob Dylan, in addition to having written some of the most astonishing songs in pop history, is the most astute and relentless self-mythologizer since his friend and mentor Johnny Cash; by many accounts, Dylan is apparently something of a prick who has made "never apologize, never explain" an accessory as necessary to his legend as sunglasses and motorcycle boots.) Like many suburban teenagers, I spent years as a Dylan fanatic--listening to the same dozen or so albums (including bootlegs) over and over and over again, hundreds of times, thousands of times. I don't regret that too much, because that was great music, and, besides, Dylan was my doorway to Baudelaire and Ginsberg and Howling Wolf and Hank Williams. I was almost equally devoted to Greil Marcus's Mystery Train, a grand work of imagination and perception that was every bit as much of a doorway into poetry, history, and music. Over the years I've read a few other Marcus books, and while they've always had their flaws, they were always interesting, always worthwhile.Except for this one. This is the Greil Marcus book you were always afraid he might write. With Marcus, there was always the danger that his flights of allusion and imagination might lead him right off into the deep end of the pool, and that he'd wind up wandering around the back yard of rock and roll spewing long ribbons of verbiage about The Platters and the last Sex Pistols concert and Doris Day and Chester Alan Arthur and Elvis's penis. And it finally happened, because this is a book that, frankly, needs a tin-foil hat. It isn't criticism, it's a combination of hero-worship and gushing logorrhea that occasionally veers over the edge of incoherence. Marcus always had a tendency to fill his prose with helium, but his earlier books always had a thesis to serve as a tether (fun vs. puritanism in Mystery Train; influence of the Symbolistes on punk in Lipstick Traces, the links to old-time music in Invisible Republic, etc.), whereas this book seems to be Tiger Beat for the intellectual class; one can't help think that if Marcus had just spent 10 minutes in Bob Dylan's crotch, he could have saved the life of many a pulp tree.One of the main problems with this book is that if you don't already think that "Like a Rolling Stone" is the greatest song ever, you're not going to be convinced that it is. Rather, you're going to feel like there's a Monty Python fan in the room, nudging you in the arm and saying, "Oooh, oooh, this part is good, this part is good! Listen to this!" I mean, I've probably listened to "Like a Rolling Stone" hundreds of times, and I don't think it's even the best song, or one of the top four songs, on its own album, and nothing in this book made me think otherwise. Look, there's someone out there who feels the same way about Prince or Foghat or Squirrel Nut Zippers, and he could write a similar book, and the only difference would be that a book about a more recent song wouldn't feel like it was another gasp by Boomers telling each other how great the music was back then, man. You know, honestly, I would have preferred a book on Fountains of Wayne. Oh, and as a final comment: I was at Dylan's new-Christian 1980 Warfield concert that Marcus considers a triumphant, transcendent artistic experience. It wasn't, though. It was shitty, is what it was. So much so that it made me realize that Bob Dylan was just a very talented guy who'd written, years before, some damn fantastic songs, and it was time to move on to X and Black Flag and Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads and....

  • C.E.
    2019-07-05 04:51

    Greil Marcus returns to one of his favorite subjects, Bob Dylan.This time he takes on "Like a Rolling Stone," which he apparently considers as Dylan's masterstroke and probably the greatest song in Rock and Roll history.Those unitiated to Marcus' work are warned against expecting a straightforward narrative. This is NOT a book for those with a casual interest. Instead, Marcus, in keeping with his usual method, writes for PhD's who live in record stores, delivering a rambling metaphysical analysis of the song and its origins. In the process he makes connections between the song and all manner of cultural events throughout history, some obscure, some less so. Some of these connections make sense, others sound like b.s. and more yet are impenatrable to all but those with vast backlogs of arcane information. Still, that's part of the fun. For Marcus, pop music is more than music. Its some sort of key to the universe. For those who share his passion, his works are a whole lot of fun. For those who don't, its going to seem overcooked at best. Count me with the former.

  • Bruce Hatton
    2019-06-25 09:44

    Granted, Greil Marcus may not be the most objective or informative (in a facts and figures way) of rock writers, but I can't think of any other who writes with such passion and eloquence and can really get under the skin of the music in such a personal way. Only Marcus could pen a whole book dedicated to just one song - albeit a six-minute song which marked a definite milestone in the career of Bob Dylan and, along with the other songs on the album it starts, "Highway 61 Revisited", massively influenced the music scene overall; a listen to the subsequent Beatles' and Stones' albums - "Rubber Soul" and "Aftermath" respectively, will easily bear this out.One of the most alarming facts that Marcus unearths - bearing in mind Dylan's capricious recording methods (whole songs being abandoned if the sessions were not proceeding well) - is that there was a very good chance that "Like A Rolling Stone" would not have been released at all.

  • Matt
    2019-06-22 10:34

    I list this under biography because it's the biography of a song. Marcus does what he does best here- his usual style is to start from a moment or a text (a novel or a song or a film, etc) and to then weave outward, building contexts and insights, paradoxes and symbols and so forth until the first instance of interpretation is now encompassing so much more than what was begun. If this sounds like something which interests you, if you like the idea of art (using the word inclusively here) criticism as an art form in itself, and as a commentary- pop culture as subversive history- Marcus is brilliantly on point here. People like to make a big show out of how hard or pointless it is to write about music- I've never bought into such thinking and Marcus' succinct yet lyrical writing is an evocative poetics.

  • York
    2019-07-13 05:34

    Me compré la edición en español de este gran libro. Está hermoso, la traducción de Like a Rolling Stone apesta, pero el texto y el cuidado en el diseño de la edición vale cada centavo.19 de Marzo de 2012: Tras la noticia (que ahorita sigue siendo rumor) de que Dylan regresa a México para principios de mayo, me puse ass on fire y con la calentura me volví a aventar éste libro, en dos noches. Greil Marcus es probablemente el mejor cronista roquero ever.

  • Corey Preston
    2019-07-08 02:48

    Repetitive, over the top, meandering, thin, pompous--but despite all that, it just grew on me. I was more engaged in the end, the opposite of, say, Michael Gray's massive beaten dead horses...

  • Merenwen
    2019-06-24 04:49

    I'm not sure how to accurately review this book. Parts of it I enjoyed (especially the epilogue, which is basically an overview of the recording process for the song, take by take), but other parts felt rambling - and Marcus had a habit of jumping from one decade to the next. One minute you're in 1965, and the next you're in the 2000s, reading about a Dylan-themed radio contest and a movie Dylan did not long after. (And boy, does Marcus love his footnotes.)I guess what I mean to say is that is Marcus writes like this in every book, I'm not sure if I'll continue reading his work. But I did enjoy the more technical parts, and the historical moments going on when "Like a Rolling Stone" was hitting radio. I just wish it were more organized. Disorganized writing is why I often shy away from music biographies and lean more towards the memoirs.

  • Chelsea
    2019-07-11 03:40

    Even as a huge fan of both Dylan and music op eds, this book was way too all over the place for me!

  • Jenny
    2019-06-28 05:47

    Jag läste nyligen en biografi om Dylans 1960-tal och tiden runt ”Like a Rolling Stone” (1965). Det var en enormt framgångsrik låt, och är fortfarande i dag nästan 50 år senare, som på många sätt formade Dylans karriär. Det var däremot en rätt så kontroversiell låt för sin tid som vi fortfarande i dag inte vet vad den e g e n t l i g e n handlar om. Då låten släpptes trodde många faktiskt att Dylan ville gå med i the Stones med tanke på titeln och att låten var en hyllning till bandet. I Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads, som biografin heter, tar författaren Greil Marcus med oss till USA på 1960-talet för att riktigt plocka isär det vi vet om låten och personerna bakom den för att på något vis. jag vet inte, förstå den. Eller, i alla fall börja förstå den.Jag älskar idén bakom boken. Det är en briljant sak att välja något, som en låt till exempel, för att sedan utforska personerna bakom, låtens uppkomst och dess arv. Jag skulle vilja läsa flera sådana böcker. Det känns på något vis som allmänbildande då man dyker ned i ett ämne hur litet eller stort det än är. Med detta sagt tycker jag däremot inte att Like a Rolling Stone är särskilt bra. Boken har förvisso ett tilltalande språk men det är för mycket repetition och för mycket fanboying för att berättandet ska flyta på så som jag hade önskat. Jag förstår att boken utgår från Marcus kärlek till Dylans musik men ibland upplevs det som lite väl påtagligt. Jag hade gärna sett att en mer objektiv författare hade skrivit boken. Jag gillar biografier där författare visar upp flera sidor av samma situation för att på så sätt ge plats åt diskussion. Det utrymmet finns inte riktigt i Like a Rolling Stone tyvärr.Jag upplevde mycket av Marcus analys, som ett resultat av ovan nämnda, som rätt så tunn. Jag hade gärna sett flera källor och en starkare röd tråd. Marcus hoppar lite för ofta mellan ämnen och låter ofta sina argument rinna ut ur sanden. Mike Marqusee skrev en intressant recension för The Guardian som tar upp något mycket intressant:When he composed ”Like a Rolling Stone”, Dylan certainly found himself at a ”crossroads” but Marcus doesn’t bother to locate it on any kind of map – political, cultural, musical or personal. The song’s historical background is crudely sketched with the kind of glancing invocations of civil rights, Vietnam and the counter-culture that appear whenever the word ”60s” is mentioned in TV news stories.In reality, the context is rich and complex. In 1965, the successes and frustrations of the African-American freedom struggle were giving birth to a new, militant black consciousness; sober moral witness against the threat of nuclear weaponry was being replaced by urgent protests against an escalating war in Vietnam; and a bohemian sub-culture began to take on the proportions (and contradictions) of a mass counter-culture. But instead of an exploration of these dynamic cross-currents, Marcus treats us to generalisations about an ill-defined Zeitgeist that seems to exist mainly in his head: ”There was a kind of common epiphany, a gathering of a collective unconscious: the song melted the mask of what was beginning to be called youth culture, and even more completely the mask of modern culture itself.”Marcus når liksom inte fram. Han har ett intressant upplägg för en bok och han är genuint intresserad av Dylans musik. Problemet är bara att han är f ö r intresserad…

  • Jake
    2019-07-11 06:53

    Marcus does something unique in 'Like a Rolling Stone'. He sets out to write the history of a song and its importance to a culture. For the most part it is a successful endevour. The factual history alone is fascinating. Using the studio tapes he does a terrific job in evoking the scene at the studio that resulting in the one-of-a-kind recording. He is less successful in discussing the cultural ramifications of the song. Mostly he comes off the rails when he compares it to other songs in terms of cultural significance. In particular it felt like a stretch to compare it to 'Go West' from the Pet Shop Boys. He spends a *lot* of time discussing both and it just never quite works. Both are rallying cries of sorts, but so different in their execution and intent that the comparison feels very forced. Mis-steps aside, this book does reinforce Greil Marcus's standing as a top music writer and historian. Worth the read for anyone interested in the 60's or anyone interested in seeing how sometimes things just come together perfectly.

  • Frank
    2019-07-09 09:46

    Well this book was not quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be a biography of Dylan but instead it was a somewhat pretentious narrative of how "Like a Rolling Stone" came to be and how it is probably the greatest rock song ever! Not sure if I totally agree with that even though I do like the song and Bob Dylan's work. The book doesn't go into hardly any details of Dylan's life but it does have some good background on Dylan influences such as Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. It also talks about Mike Bloomfield who was the guitarist on "Stone" and his downward spiral because of drugs. But overall, I wouldn't recommend this one - I think Marcus tries to make too much out of a great song and how it was perceived at the time. I was especially disappointed after recently reading "Life" by Keith Richards of the Stones which I loved -- this one really got into the life of Keith and the Rolling Stones.

  • Matt
    2019-07-13 10:54

    I read this book in a couple of hours. I never tire of Marcus, or reading about Dylan, so it was a treat. It's easy to forget these days just what a departure "Like a Rolling Stone" was for its time. Even as a Dylan fan, I don't really feel the need to play the song that much, but this outstanding analysis of every single aspect of the song urged me to listen with new ears. Marcus is a great rock writer in that he urges the reader to listen with his same level of enthusiasm and engagement. His wild flights and imaginative criticism are second to none. Between this book and Invisible Republic alone he's added some of the most virile work yet to the flabby canon that is Dylan writing. Marcus sees good music as a challenge to live a different kind of life, and the demands, as he hears them, made my "Like a Rolling Stone" are among the grandest ever made my a hit single. This book is every bit as inspiring as the song itself was the day it came out.

  • Wendy
    2019-06-22 09:35

    One of the few subjects less interesting to me than the history of rock and roll would be the history of one particular rock and roll song. The fact that I found this book engrossing is testament to Marcus’ skill. Being the pop culture illiterate that I am, I’d never before read even an essay by him before picking up this book. Boy, does this guy how knows how to turn a sentence, even one with a clause in the middle of it that contains its own sentence, or two: "Singing in a voice as clear as water, rich and expansive – “It as the tone of his voice,” Rod Stewart once said. “Not the phrasing or whatever: just the tone: – bending syllables like staircases in a dream, disappearing under your feet as you try to climb them, stretching out the word “long” until it became what it before only signified, Cooke looked the country in the face."

  • Drew Martin
    2019-07-08 10:39

    I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan. Like anyone else, I enjoy his work from the 1960s the most. This period is the basis for not only my affection, but millions of others. I don’t get into the albums from his religious phases or the 1980s and early 1990s that tarnish his legacy. Bob Dylan is one of my key inspirations in writing poetry. He can say what he means, say nothing at all, and do both at the same time. I like to learn about the people who influence me, and there are many books about this enigmatic figure. This was on a shelf at my local library and I thought it would help me in discovering more. I’m sure some of those books about Dylan could help me, but this isn’t one of them...To read the rest of this review go to

  • Katy
    2019-07-09 03:44

    If you want a straightforward thesis or narrative, you will be disappointed. But if you want a book that reminds you of being in the middle of rambling music discussions with your similarly music-obsessed friends, you're in luck. Is Bobby Gregg's snare drum open the greatest open in music history? Is the "someone left the cake out in the rain" lyric from MacArthur Park a homage to this song? Was Allan Ginsburg the Mystery Tramp, or was it Philip Roth? Did Bob Dylan influence Leonard Cohen more or vice versa? Is the song ultimately a fairy tale allegory with its "once upon a time" opening lyric and the colorful characters (chrome horse, the diplomat, the mystery tramp, the siamese cat, Napoleon in rags)? Who knows, but if you love this kind of stuff, this book is definitely a fun read.

  • Josh
    2019-06-20 02:51

    In truth, I would be pretty fascinated by nearly anything written about Bob Dylan-- but the extent to which this rambling book is really ABOUT Bob Dylan is questionable. Look, I know Greil Marcus is one of the most renowned music critics of all time, but I just find his meandering style to be insufferable sometimes, and I feel like this book is less an exploration of the various cultural connections to "Like a Rolling Stone" than a sort of personal flight of intellectual fancy. There are plenty of interesting anecdotes and insights here, but you have to read through a fair amount of drivel to get to them.

  • James G.
    2019-06-26 03:48

    I really like Greil Marcus' writing and i think it is really important that we find room in our society now to have long-play books at are derived singularly from one song, that can unfold it's composition, recording, playing and legacy across chapters that begin and end feeling like a going in and out of sleep. One of my main take aways is how sloppy Dylan's mini-symphonies were in their conception. Marcus describes studio sessions that feel like they are constantly falling apart, and I am not sure I had realized how tenuous the music feels, how it is actually the precarious nature, the highlights that force the listener to make it whole in their mind, holy.

  • Ronn
    2019-07-07 10:57

    It's not that Greil Marcus isnt a fine writer; he certainly is. And it's not like I dont care for the subject matter. But it has occurred to me that most of what I've read by Mr Marcus has been either magazine articles, or books that were collections of article length pieces. So either Mr Marcus should perhaps stick to writing article length pieces, or I should stick to reading Mr Marcus' article length pieces. But his style of writing for a single-subject book was a little too much for me. I dont think I want to do that again.

  • Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
    2019-07-04 08:36

    I love the song and hoped to learn some more about its backstory. Unfortunately the author just goes on and on on how great the song is. And not even in a very convincing or interesting way (if the choir isn't convinced by your preaching you most certainly are doing it wrong...). If you want to learn more about Like a Rolling Stone go the Wikipedia which contains like 99% of all the facts given in the book. If you want to learn why the song is awesome: Just wait, some preachy fan will probably tell you all about it for free.

  • Derek Ambrose
    2019-07-07 06:54

    Read this one Sunday afternoon. The book is, as Marcus defines the song itself, a flash in the pan of fortunate chaos. If you're expecting a bar by bar analysis or an exhaustive review of each take look elsewhere. Instead Marcus talks about the genesis, development, release and death of the song. Along the way he relates stories from early Dylan up to Time Out of Mind (calling Highlands the only song close in ideal to LaRS). If you liked Marcus's previous books you will love this.

  • Duncan
    2019-06-29 07:33

    An entire book about one song. If any song deserves it, "Like A Rolling Stone" is the one.I liked how Frank Zappa said that when he heard the song, he was sure that the country would be turned upside-down by it. Although the song has been a tremendous popular and critical success by any measure (Rolling Stone magazine's #1 song of all time), the real, revolutionary shakeup that Zappa foresaw actually never, quite, happened.

  • Guillermo Carvajal
    2019-07-01 08:59

    Te guste o no Greil Marcus, el libro es como una metafora poetica, y como tal debe ser leido. En momentos agobiante por la intensidad de las palabras, dificil por las imagenes que compone, pero siempre delicioso, igual que saborear un poema de Rimbaud.Pero si no eres fan acérrimo de Dylan es posible que te aburra bastante. Sobre todo recomiendo escuchar atentamente, antes de leer el libro, el Highway 61 Revisited y el Bringing it all back home completos, por lo menos.

  • Dominick
    2019-07-10 04:34

    This study of the importance of Dylan's signature tune has potential, somewhat realized when Marcus talks about the song in a music-history and contemporary context, but alas, he also goes off on long tangents (a venial sin) and engages in extended hyperbolic rhapsodies (not mortal, perhaps, but irritating).

  • Daniel
    2019-06-27 09:32

    Marcus is a classic rock writer, and "Like A Rolling Stone" is a classic of rock music. But perhaps an entire book is just too much to expect these two classics. Some of this book is thoughtful and insightful; a whole lot of it is overblown stretching. Proof? He compares the song to a Pet Shop Boys' cover of a Village People song.

  • Nick H
    2019-07-13 04:47

    A 200 page book about Greil's feelings on one song. There are a lot of other characters (songs) that come up as pieces of the puzzle that is "Like a Rolling Stone." I think I got the most out of the Epilogue, which was a play-by-play of the sessions that led up to the released version. Very interesting, but not mandatory reading for Dylan fans.

  • Neill Goltz
    2019-07-10 08:57

    Still reading and digesting in small doses, as other reviewers have suggested is the best approach. Glad to be in the middle of Marcus' book now in our new and reversionary Time of Trump, who's Inaugural was 2 days ago (as I write this, and so many of us still think we are in a nightmare from which we can't wake up). Definitely a return to 1965, or something else?