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  1. Chronicles is great representation of Bob Dylan’s creativity and unique voice. While he is well known as a singer, this book allows him to express his prose voice, letting readers understand a different side of Dylan. Dylan helps to explain the intimate details of his life, filling in many of the gaps that left so many wondering.

    As a songwriter of many powerful lyrics, it is obvious that Dylan knows how to write, but it is his transformation to prose writing that showed the depth of his writing talent. I think his writing talent shocked many, as he was so well known as a musical person, not a prose writer. He perfectly articulates his personality throughout this book. He writes with his true voice, bringing a conversational tone to the book. It is his blatant honesty that allows his memories to be understood by all.

    He is commonly referred to as a genius, and this book certainly gives a glimpse into the mind of a genius. Unlike his lyrics, which are sometimes complex and hard to understand, Dylan writes clearly, expressing his opinions and stories about his life, proving just how well rounded he really is. It is almost as though his writing allows you to see how he thinks and feel his experiences as he did. Just like his songs, the words he uses captivate his audience.

    The vagueness of Dylan’s speech to most reporters leave many wondering about what he truly thinks or what actually happened in his life. Know for his gift of storytelling and expressiveness in his music, this book is a great reflection on the specific shaping influences in Dylan’s life—many of which were unknown until this book was published. Dylan’s personal writing style expresses his thoughts and influences wonderfully.

    As mentioned before, his writing style is casual. He gives the details of his life in bursts. It almost seems as though he is rambling—similar to some criticism about his music. The difference is this: the story is never incomplete in this book. In his music, his lyrics may be confusing or seemingly unfinished, but this book covers all of the bases, beautifully portraying Dylan’s life.

    Sometimes the book is repetitious, but this is common of Dylan. He uses this technique in his music too. Perhaps he thinks the repetition will help his listeners or reader to interpret his message.

    Perhaps the element of the book that is most noticeable is his acute attention to detail. He uses unbelievable precision to express the details of his life. Yes, he does write in bursts, but this style still does not allow any details to be never left out. For example, Dylan expresses the appearance of one man: “Ray had flowing, wavy, blond hair like Jerry Lee Lewis or Billy Graham, the evangelist—the kind of hair that preachers had. The kind that the early rock-and-roll singers used to imitate and want to look like. The kind that could create a cult.”

    This description encompasses so much of Dylan’s attention to detail. He not only precisely notes a description of a man, but he furthers it with inferences about the guy’s hair, showing his observations about life. He references other men, giving the audience a further idea of the man. Dylan makes sure that his audience has no question about anything with his descriptions.

    Overall, Chronicles is a great expression of Dylan’s life and true voice. His conversational prose writing style allows a great look into the mysterious singer’s life.


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