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Born to Run: The Autobiography

por Bruce Springsteen (Author & Narrator)

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1,3155611,148 (4.13)50
Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Let me throw out two things, right off the top. The first is, I am, at best, a very, very mild Springsteen fan, at best, and personally, I haven't had much interest in anything of his since Tunnel of Love. The second is, I goddamned loved this book.

There's a whole bunch of reasons for that.

The first is—and let's be real, it's a well-known fact that most famous people's biographies are ghostwritten by someone with some talent, not the famous person—but this book was stunningly well-written. If it was a ghostwritten, then bravo to that nameless soul. But, this is one I could see Bruce taking on himself. Either way, the level of craftmanship with the actual writing is way, way up there.

Second is the actual subject matter. I tend to groan when I start a biography, simply because I know I'll have to suffer through the subject's childhood and awkward adolescence, blah blah blah. With this one, I was flat out riveted from the first page, and wanted to hear more and more about ten-year-old Bruce's life. Yeah, it's that good.

Now, that's not to say that it's perfect when it comes to covering everything in Bruce's life. He tends to stick directly to himself, where I would have loved to have heard his thoughts on things like Manfred Mann's two big covers from his first album. He covered Spirits in the Night and, even bigger, the phenomenal Blinded By The Light. Nothing. He also never mentions Patti Scialfa's album. His own wife? Come on!

There are also times where you can actually feel him tiptoeing around some dicey topics involving his E Street Band members, and some other personalities, but I get that he's also not out to burn anyone.

Third, while still somewhat on the topic of subject matter, I'm impressed that he's both honest and open about his and his family's mental illness issues, and that he didn't write a "I fucked this person, then I fucked that person, then I played this concert..." He's much more inward-looking, introspective. I love that.

Fourth, he gives you lots of insight into the writing of certain key songs and albums, which I'm always fascinated in. Though, surprisingly, he also completely skips over some albums, not even mentioning Lucky Town, Human Touch, or Devils & Dust.

In the end, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this long book from the very first, to the very last page. Very likely the best biography I've ever read. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Update 12-04-2020 Happy to tell you the problem was ME, not the book. I will respectfully ask The Boss to forgive me as I wasn't in my right mind the day I tried to read it. My internet was out for the 10 millionth time and I lost a complete day of work.

This time around I loved the book. And I cried at least three times in the final chapters. My favorite parts were hearing about the cross country road trips and his experiences with the music business. I was still bored hearing about his rise through the local club circuit.

I'm still not a big music fan...I only like some of his hits. That being said, it's been A REALLY LONG TIME since I attempted to listen to a complete album of his, so maybe I will one of these days. I'll make sure I'm in a good head space and not rushing around trying to do 5 things at once.

I jotted down some of his book and movie recommendations and added them to my TBR/TBW lists. I always do that. I like to check out the inspiration for the inspiration.

Oh and I found the photos! The first time I skimmed through I was mad that there were no photos. You know how biographies and memoirs annoy you buy shoving photos in the middle of the book and you have to decide whether you want to stop and look at them and maybe see some spoilers or if you want to wait until you finish the book and go back to look at them? Well, Bruce was clever and put all the photos at the back of the book. Genius! That's where they should ALWAYS be.

Anyway, you do not have to be a Springsteen fan to enjoy this book. He's a very good writer and knows how to tell a tale. Anyone who enjoys a good memoir would like this one. I'm so happy to change my rating from no stars to 5 stars.
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Update 11-20-2020 Boring A.F. Had to bail on this one. Oh and he's 71 now and his oldest kid is 30. Not sure how that's possible.
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Just ordered a "like new" hardcover with dust jacket for seven bucks. Woo hoo! I've read some excerpts and Bruce sounds like a great writer, which makes sense since he's a great song writer, duh... Anyway, looking forward to reading this one! Can't believe he's 70! ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
I expected that this memoir would not live up to expectations but I was wrong. It was an interesting and honest book. Not surprisingly it had an extremely strong "voice", much as his songs have always had. There are parts that are moving, riotously funny, poignant, and some that are truly important dealing with Depression. A wonderfully entertaining and edifying read. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Huge Springsteen fan, really enjoyed the book, although couldn't give it a 5 as I felt he repeated some themes excessively. The prose was amazing though, just like his songs. I completely enjoyed reading about his relationships - I wish there was more of that. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
Fascinating account of his life, with great emphasis on his early life and career, and the psychological forces that shaped (sometimes scarred) him. He has clearly worked hard on writing skills and does a good job of conveying the fever and fervor of the rock-n-roll life. On the other hand, I may like him a teeny bit less than I did before seeing him as such a flawed human being. My idol has feet of clay after all! As he wrote "I was all I had. I had only one talent. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me--my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness--night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in." ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
You could say of course, and again you’d be right, that this is nothing very remote from a lot of lives. Mine. Yours. Mid­century American Gothic. A “crap heap of a hometown that I loved.” But therein lies at least a hint to the magic in the Springsteen mystery: the muscular rise to the small occasion, taking forceful dominion over your poky circumstance and championing your own responses to what would otherwise seem inevitable.
adicionada por melmore | editarNew York Times, Richard Ford (Sep 22, 2016)
 
For over 40 years, Springsteen has chronicled the lives of myriad American characters as they face life, love, economic hardship, and the search for community and home, and now he limns his own life story to create an exuberant, sprawling, double album of a memoir. Springsteen writes eloquently about his youth, family, and hometown while detailing his complicated relationship with his father and the singer's own quest to reconcile his past and explore the roots and meaning of what he does. Springsteen describes in abundant detail his musical coming of age with various bands, playing the clubs and bars of New Jersey as he finds his own voice, struggles with early success, and eventually records the 1975 masterpiece Born To Run with the E Street Band and reaches superstardom in the 1980s. Springsteen's prose ranges from honest and self-deprecating to poetic and deeply analytical as he writes about his life, his music, his place in the world, and his movingly deep ties to his family, his band, and his audience. Verdict Like a classic Springsteen and E Street Band show, the book takes readers on a rollicking ride from the glorious and the emotional to the fun and soaring; one of rock's finest and most memorable memoirs.-James Collins, Morristown-Morris Twp. P.L., NJ
adicionada por kthomp25 | editarLibrary Journal
 
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Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

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