A companion piece to Martin Scorsese's PBS documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, this book is a feast of information and reproductions of important documents pertaining to the musician's early career. The concise text by Robert Santelli of the Experience Music Project in Seattle focuses on the musician's formative years and explains how Dylan evolved from a derivative "junior Woody Guthrie" to a truly unique and compelling songwriter. Santelli knows when to step back and let Dylan speak for himself, especially when it comes to key moments, such as his prolific songwriting during the early sixties, an era that produced "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." "Those early songs were like almost magically written..." Dylan says. "There's a magic to that, and it's not a Siegfried and Roy kind of magic; it's a different kind of penetrating magic." But it's the inserts and reproductions that will garner the most oohs and ahs from fans. An engineering and design feat unto itself, the book is a trove of gatefold pages, pull-out reproductions of handwritten lyrics for songs like "Blowin in the Wind," an early press kit, newspaper clippings and even a promotional counter display for record stores. A CD with excerpts from Dylan's first radio interview and clips from the Scorsese documentary is also included. The result is an interactive book that is experienced rather than consumed, much like Dylan's music.
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