BOOK REVIEW: Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
Simon & Schuster Australia
September 2016 – rrp$49.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
In a time when every man and his dog are employing ghost writers to bash out half-arsed cobbled-together collections of fuzzily-remembered spin to show their anarchic career in a better light, Bruce Springsteen again shows why he is ‘The Boss’ by delivering a thoughtful tome full of self-deprecating honesty, dignity and grace.
Employing the same evocative lyricism and storytelling knack that makes his best songs so accessible, Springsteen is equally honest about his successes and his failures; his self-belief, self-doubt and selfishness; and brave enough to admit that he wouldn’t have had much of a story to tell without the help of his long-time psychologist.
Every step of the Springsteen’s way is detailed vividly, triumphs and failures and ego and mis-steps all discussed candidly and analysed objectively, making Born To Run so personal that reading it is almost a kind of invasion of privacy – were it not for Springsteen’s easy charm and endearing personality leaping from every page.
If there’s a complaint to be levelled, it’s that the lyrical nature of the prose makes it dense, and going can be slow in parts. Not from a lack of interest, but from needing time to soak up the scenes he paints with such startling clarity.
It seems clear that had rock and roll not called, Springsteen could have easily pursued a career driving his pen across a different kind of page, and Born To Run is a must for any fan of the man and his work.
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