Born to Run
By Bruce Springsteen
Read by: Bruce Springsteen
Simon & Schuster Audio
December 6, 2016
Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
Also from Simon & Schuster
eBook & Hardcover | 528 pages | ISBN 9781501141539 | September 2016
I voluntarily reviewed a publisher-provided, review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.
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.
Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.
Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.
BORN TO RUN, an autobiography by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, is astonishing, deep, honest and entertaining. I’m not a “music person:” I have no playlists for writing or painting, I don’t currently have music playing., I like to sing in the shower but cannot read music or play an instrument and I have been only to 3 or 4 “rock” concerts. However, since listening to this nice long audiobook I have been running around telling people to listen to it.
The guys in my dorm were MAD for THE BOSS!
I think listening in this particular instance is better because Bruce Springsteen reading this himself adds authenticiy and dimension. How did he mean us to take a particular line? Well by listening you will better understand because of his inflection, tone of voice. Plus, he’s about sound, usually music. I found the first few minutes a little slow but soon fell into step with his voice.
But this book filled me with respect and made me interested in Springsteen’s music. I respect him as a natural musician, performer and writer. I hadn’t really thought of rock musicians as writers before. This us well-written and doesn’t appear to have been ghostwritten, or “written with.”
With amazing, sometimes painful, honesty, Bruce Springsteen opens a vein and spills the heart and soul of his life from his very early days as a beloved and cossetted male baby, through autumn of this year. Not much could have been left out; it goes from his parents’ devoted but difficult relationship, to his and his father’s issues with mental illness.
He talks about how the band traveled across the country on a shoestring. He discusses, with humility and honesty the people who helped him in his life, career and band. Again, with humility so unlike that one would expect from an iconic musician, he talks about his own mistakes.
The family was poor; at times they lived in a house without hot water. Perhaps this early lack of material things helped him weather the absolute impoverishment of the early days in his career.
I loved how Springsteen spoke about his family and his children (reverentially), his early marriage (with apology) and his current marriage (reverent again but also joyful at finding the right person).
I even loved the way he writes: he is eloquent, and has obviously worked very hard on making what could have been a boring list of concerts and people entertaining and visceral.
The book is everything an autobiography should be, including hitting the right chords with my own life to make it relevant for me.
Basically, I loved this book, it affected me deeply, and I consider it a must read/listen.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SITE: http://brucespringsteen.net/