Chronicles: Volume One
By Bob Dylan

When Bob Dylan's memoir came out, I had a feeling similar to the one I had with Mockingbird, because I knew if I wasn't careful, I'd read the whole thing at once. So I was like a drug addict—I would put it away, ration my supply, read ten or 15 pages, and then just stop. Here's this guy who's taking you through a history of pop culture and rock 'n' roll, giving you little glimpses into what it felt like to be looking from the inside out. As an extended piece of poetry, it's wonderful. The book is an anti-narrative autobiography. It's like one of his songs: a stream-of-consciousness bit of grace. The images and the memories seem to wash over you. Dylan said he was okay with being an icon but when people tried to turn him into a messiah, that was no good—I thought that was pretty great. He describes his creative process, what he was trying to do, and the things that moved him. I don't have his genius, but I share the same impulses to search for things.


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