Format Hardcover
Publication Date 10/16/13
ISBN 9781605984810
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 592

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Once Upon a Time

The Lives of Bob Dylan

Ian Bell

Written with an intelligence and verve rarely found in rock biography, the mysterious artist that is Bob Dylan is illuminated through the cultural history of his time.

Half a century ago, a youth appeared from the American hinterland and began a cultural revolution. The world is still coming to terms with what Bob Dylan accomplished in his artistic explosion upon popular culture. In Once Upon a Time, award-winning author Ian Bell draws together the tangled strands of the many lives of Bob Dylan in all their contradictory brilliance. For the first time, the laureate of modern America is set in his entire context: musical, historical, literary, political, and personal.        Full of new insights into the legendary singer, his songs, his life, and his era, the artist who invented himself in order to reinvent America is discovered anew.  Once Upon a Time is a lively investigation of a mysterious personality that has splintered and reformed, time after time, in a country forever trying to understand itself. Now that mystery is explained.

Born, raised and educated in Edinburgh, Ian Bell is a past holder of the George Orwell Prize for Political Journalism and the award-winning author of Dreams of Exile, a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson. Formerly the editor of The Observer, he is a columnist with the Herald and the Sunday Herald.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Bell writes beautifully, in rhythmic, incantatory, prose. An imagined reliving of an already imaginary life, and a book to sit alongside Richard Ellmann on Wilde, John Richardson on Picasso, and Peter Ackroyd on Dickens. This is the best Dylan biography yet.” The Financial Times
“Exceptional. Bell writes about Dylan's America with a cultural perception that is profound.  Intelligent, challenging, and altogether worthy of its enigmatic subject.” The Herald (London)
“Ambitious. Bell handles Dylan brilliantly.” The Spectator