Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, 2005 - Music - 283 pages
41 Reviews
Greil Marcus saw Bob Dylan for the first time in a New Jersey field in 1963. He didn’t know the name of the scruffy singer who had a bit part in a Joan Baez concert, but he knew his performance was unique. So began a dedicated and enduring relationship between America’s finest critic of popular music 'simply peerless', in Nick Hornby’s words, 'not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian' - and Bob Dylan. In 'Like A Rolling Stone' Marcus locates Dylan’s six-minute masterwork in its richest, fullest context, capturing the heady atmosphere of the recording studio in 1965 as musicians and technicians clustered around the mercurial genius from Minnesota, the young Bob Dylan at the height of his powers. But Marcus shows how, far from being a song only of 1965, 'Like a Rolling Stone' is rooted in faraway American places and times, drawing on timeless cultural impulses that make the song as challenging, disruptive, and restless today as it ever was, capable of reinvention by artists as disparate as the comedian Richard Belzer and the Italian hip-hop duo Articolo 31. 'Like a Rolling Stone' never loses its essential quality, which is directly to challenge the listener - it remains a call to arms and a demand for a better world. Forty years later it is still revolutionary as will and idea, as an attack and an embrace. How Does it Feel? In this unique, burningly intense book, Marcus tells you, and much more besides.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads

User Review  - Graham - Goodreads

Sure, it's pretentious as all hell. Sure, there isn't a central thesis. I don't much care. John Updike once said of Vladimir Nabokov that "He writes prose the only way it should be written ... Read full review

Review: Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

Marcus is a classic rock writer, and "Like A Rolling Stone" is a classic of rock music. But perhaps an entire book is just too much to expect these two classics. Some of this book is thoughtful and ... Read full review

All 21 reviews »

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Greil Marcus is the author of "Invisible Republic," "Dead Elvis," "Lipstick Traces," & "Mystery Train." His pieces have appeared in a wide range of publications, including "Artforum," "Interview," "The New Yorker," "The New York Times," & "Esquire." He will be teaching at Princeton & Berkeley in fall 2000.

Bibliographic information