Quick Reads: “The Dylanologists” by David Kinney


The Dylanologists

The Dylanologists

By David Kinney

SIMON & SCHUSTER

It seems like everybody and their dog has a book about Bob Dylan, but The Dylanologists turns the spotlight on his most obsessive fans instead. Journalist David Kinney takes us into a world of zealous collectors who will snap up anything the great man has touched, nerds who obsessively trade and catalog bootleg recordings, and code breakers who pore over every quote and lyric for meaning. We learn about the travails of dedicating one’s life to an inaccessible hero and the emotional toll of having that hero regularly reinvent our favorite parts of himself. Through it all runs a tension between the Dylanologist’s compulsion to understand the “real” Bob and the artist’s steadfast desire to remain an enigma.

This review originally appeared in our May/June 2014 issue of Mother Jones.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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