Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan

Howard Sounes

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan didn’t make many friends during his calculated rise to international stardom. But he did create brilliant songs (and still does), appropriating past influences with skill and vision. A finalist for the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, this book entertainingly details both the genius and self-absorbed nature of the reclusive star (without his cooperation, of course). The origins of songs are illuminated thanks to exhaustive research and interviews with over 250 key people from Dylan’s well-guarded private life. Bassist T. Bone Burnett may have said it best when, after one memorable late-night session, he called Dylan a shapeshifter: “One moment he looked like a 15-year-old kid, the next like an 80-year-old man.” Great reading for Dylan fans or anyone interested in the elusive nature of songwriting genius.