A valuable contribution to the record of Dylan’s legacy.



A portrait of the artist through his interviews.

The Dylan contained in this anthology is the ideal interview subject: insightful, playful, at times self-reflective, and rarely boring. This will come as no surprise to those who have followed Dylan closely or read the interviews previously collected in Jonathan Cott’s Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews (2017). What may come as a surprise is how fresh this volume reads. Burger—who has contributed to the publisher’s Musicians in Their Own Words series with portraits of John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Leonard Cohen—mostly fills in around Cott’s book (the two overlap in only a handful of cases). The author draws smartly from the scores of Dylan interviews to present the full arc of his subject’s career from before his debut album to his 2016 Nobel Prize speech. With his notes and insightful introductions, Burger provides the necessary connective tissue and creates the narrative’s ultimate effect as an autobiographical oral history told in close to real time. It works, then, as an introductory text covering the iconic moments of an iconic life but also as something more intimate. Reading Dylan—even his absurdist performance-art press conferences of the mid-1960s—readers may feel more receptive to his ideas than when watching footage of the same scene. At the heart of Dylan’s artistry is his abiding love for music. In 2015, he told Robert Love about lying in bed as a boy in Hibbing, Minnesota, and listening to the Staple Singers on the radio: “It was the most mysterious thing I’d ever heard….And that singer is pulling things out of my soul that I never knew were there.” It is the same thing Dylan’s own music has done for so many of his listeners, which is what makes Burger’s arrangement rewarding.

A valuable contribution to the record of Dylan’s legacy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-912777-42-9

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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