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The Shelton book is stronger on Dylan's early career, with lots of interesting behind the scenes anecdotes from the rock critic who was a early Dylan fan and supporter. Great coverage of Dylan's early coffee-house days, performing at Gerdes Folk City and The Gaslight, through the now-legendary 1966 Tour with The Hawks. This is the biography I find myself referring back to when I have a question about Dylan's 1960's era career. This book is weaker in it's coverage of the 70's and 80's.
The performing artist books are valuable for fans of live Dylan music whether through attending concerts or collecting bootlegs. They are written from the (slightly over-worshipful, IMO) perspective of an unmitigated Dylan fan. I read these when I was in the process of collecting Dylan bootlegs, and enjoyed comparing Williams' reaction to Dylan's performance at different concerts to my own. Since the release of the Performing Artist books, much of the music discussed has been released on the various volumes of The Bootleg Series, and is therefore much more accessible even to those who don't collect bootlegs.
The Heylin book is a good overall biography of Dylan through the beginning of the never-ending tour in the late 80's, with balanced coverage of all three decades of his career to that point. I have not read the recent updated edition of this biography, which probably fills in much of Dylan's career in the past two decades.
So what Dylan biographies have others read? Can anyone recommend more recent biographies that do a good job of covering his entire career so far?
I am enjoying the recent crop of books but I am behind in my reading!
I know there have been a plethora of books about Dylan released in the past few years (i.e. Sounes, Christopher Ricks, etc). I haven't picked any of them up.... yet. I do need to catch up on the past two decades of Dylan's career.