A painstakingly traced chronicle of the remarkable career of powerhouse proletarian rocker Bruce Springsteen.
If you want to understand the magic and majesty that is The Boss, the best way is though his music. However, Carlin (Paul McCartney: A Life, 2009, etc.) successfully fills in some of the gaps Springsteen has left behind in his lifelong journey—at least the gaps New Jersey’s favorite son now appears willing to address. As one of the most celebrated lyricists in the history of popular music, Springsteen remains a man of few words. In fact, many of the quotes attributed to him have already been published elsewhere. Like a lyric sheet, they often don’t say much absent the spark of music. Carlin’s own expressiveness, however, is another story and will no doubt have readers reaching for their favorite electronic music delivery system in an attempt to immediately corroborate his take on specific Springsteen tracks and performances. The author presents his subject as a supremely gifted musician and truly heroic figure, albeit one with a lot on his troubled mind. That darkness, attributed to bad genes and a childhood spent in the shadow of his parents’ gloom following a tragic death in the family, at times reduces the working-class icon to a moody, self-centered and callous taskmaster. Surprisingly, none of these observations—taken in part or as a whole—is particularly damning. On the contrary, they might even serve to ground the ubiquitous superstar, allowing him to become more human and, ultimately, more understandable.
An epic look at the man and his music.