Reviews

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

spacebee's review against another edition

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emotional funny informative reflective medium-paced

3.0

mittland's review against another edition

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5.0

in early 2019 I got a recommendation for the song "tougher than the rest" from a friend. I listened to it. not a bad song. I got in the shower and listened to it again. hm. I put it on repeat. I sat down in the shower. by the fourth play I was crying.
thus began a slow descent/ascent. by summer I was deep in it, and I found this book for free in a public book trading space. it was a sign. the book found me (not really. by then I just had Bruce-vision).
on a long train ride I started listening to all the albums in order, and I only let myself read a book chapter after I'd heard the album described.
I bought every CD, DVD and LP related to Bruce in my local vintage music store. the man behind the counter started to ask: "Springsteen?" when I entered the store.
I felt like this music was made for me, I felt like Bruce was talking to me!

with all that said... I'm totally unbiased here. this book is great. it's funny, heartwarming, inspirational. you can tell that Bruce wrote it, he has a very... ENTHUSIASTIC style!! <-- this is an example. I'll probably return to this book in a sort of religious manner.

martenalan's review against another edition

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informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.5

elcapu's review against another edition

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inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.0

mcloonejack's review against another edition

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5.0

There’s lots that can be said about this book, but the first I’ll say is that I understand why the audiobook of this is so popular (besides the fact that Springsteen himself reads it): it reads like transcription of Springsteen speaking, not him writing (though he claims he wrote it longhand).

That style of writing could be incredibly jarring—and it sometimes gets to be a bit much here, too—but it largely works because it so well captures the familiar Boss storytelling pattern. Tangents, pauses (oh my god there were so many ellipses), volume for emphasis. It’s all there.

The storytelling itself is just want you’d want and expect. It’s an incredibly intimate look inside a larger-than-life musician for many that tells, ultimately a very small story. There’s the right amount of name-dropping you want (including some surprising appearances, my favorite being a random Against Me! cameo), plus the behind-the-scenes intricacies of the E Street Band’s dynamic.

Springsteen doesn’t pull the punches on himself, but he also doesn’t apologize. He lambasts himself the occasional tyrant, a young and dumb kid, a lovelorn youth, etc etc etc. But he also acknowledges that all of it made him, and his music, what they are.

That said, if all you’re expecting is tales of the road and how he writes his songs, you’re reading the wrong book. A lot of this story is wrapped up in Springsteen’s family dynamic and, later, his long and ongoing battle with depression, both of which he handles in stark and, for a figure of his size and perceived machismo, refreshing, honesty. It feels as though, as the book goes on, you’re reading him figuring out his own complicated past.

Of my few critiques, the largest actually maps to his career output: as we get into more modern days, the book starts to lag. Stories are more disjointed, parts that should be longer are shorter and Vice versa, he re-trods the same ground more than once. The organization as a whole is sometimes confusing. For example, he doesn’t talk at all about his singing voice, one of the things that makes him so distinctive as a musician, until the last pages.

But all told, it’s very Springsteen: it’s rambling but all works together, it’s in-your-face and ambitious but intimate, and it’s singular. As good as advertised.

matthews44's review against another edition

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informative inspiring reflective relaxing medium-paced

5.0

mar_etc's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny informative inspiring reflective sad medium-paced

5.0

staasiaa's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced

5.0

starrfishandcoffee's review against another edition

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Will pick this one back up at a later time

mmajer's review against another edition

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3.0

The Bruce Springsteen concert I went to a few years ago was the best concert I've ever seen- an incredibly bold statement since (being a Beatlemaniac) seeing Paul McCartney live was everything to me. Bruce is just such a performer, such an entertainer, and he sounded great. This book had a lot of interesting stories, I just could not get on board with the writing style. I still love you Bruce, but I never need to see another ellipses again...