• Chronicles

  • Volume One
  • By: Bob Dylan
  • Narrated by: Sean Penn
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 14-10-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (72 ratings)

Editor reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Sean Penn reading Bob Dylan's memoirs. It doesn't get any better than this. Dylan mixes his life with his music, his thoughts with his lyrics, and Sean Penn puts us right inside his head. Dylan and Penn are a perfect combination, spanning two generations of celebrity, making us feel the weight and breadth of life for Dylan and the people who have hung on his every word and note. — Chris Doheny
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Summary

Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One explores the critical junctions in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities: smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times. Revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful, and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.
©2004 Bob Dylan (P)2004 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Volume 1 of Dylan's memoirs was pretty cool to begin with. But to have it read by Sean Penn on audio takes it to a new level: the most talented songwriter of all time as performed by the most talented actor of his generation. Mr. Penn clearly has a blast inhabiting the role and navigating Dylan's jagged, impressionistic prose." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Will Bale on 14-05-18

One of my favourite artists. Great read / listen

Enjoyed throughout. Not a dull moment. Surprised not longer but less is usually if not always more. Will there be a volume II? Doesn't matter. still searching for Traveling Wilburys volume II after all these years :-)

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5 out of 5 stars
By J. Wong on 11-09-17

Surprisingly helpful

I did not know what I was going to expect when I purchased it. If you're a fellow songwriter then this is a book for you to check out. The inspirations Dylan experienced helped make him wonder what he could achieve with his own sound and identity. It's not really a book that talks about his whole life, feels like he wanted to express more how he developed during that early period in his life. He's been pretty adamant that he's not a folk singer and I agree. The number of genres during that time was not as developed as it is now and drawing in the knowledge he could get was important. The identity of his country with his own sound feels to be part of his goals . Hope that helps with no spoilers!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Debra on 28-12-05

Fascinating Book, Lousy Abridgement

This is a really fine autobiography, with plenty of fascinating insights into what has made Dylan tick. It's great as a companion to the new Martin Scorsese documentary picture No Direction Home, providing more detail, background and color on much of the same material. For my taste, Sean Penn's reading is good, certainly very listenable (even if he doesn't know how to pronounce Don Juan). Unfortunately, the abridgement seems to be terrible, leaving out huge chunks and ruining any sense of continuity. I don't mind the jumping back and forth, but completely excising a whole decade and suddenly Bob has a wife and 5 kids - it doesn't work. Still worth 4 stars for what remains.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Gerry A. Brown on 25-01-05

Positively 4th Street

It's a warm summer's day in the interlude between summer school and fall quarter in the late 60's. We're all on the front porch of the adobe looking out over the valley. The big event of the day is that eventually the train will ramble by the back fence. The music is Dylan. Some say that if you can remember the 60s, you weren't there. I say that if you can't remember the words to your favorite Dylan tune, you weren't there.

There is a reason that Dylan is considered the poet laureate of the Twentieth Century. And now he's back. Add to that the amazing reading by Sean Penn. Occaisonally you hear in his voice the sing-song verse of Dylan's early work. Occaisonally Penn sounds just like him.

A definite read if you were there (and maybe styill are).

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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