Born to Run
"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.
'Memoirs usually rearrange events to suit the author and downplay their shortcomings. Springsteen doesn't spare himself.' Sunday Times Magazine 'By the standards of most rock star autobiographies, Born to Run is neither sensational nor self-serving... Springsteen has delivered his story with quiet dignity. Give thanks that we can't get rid of him.' Guardian 'I can't think of a more honest or revealing memoir by any rock musician: in comparison, it makes the efforts of Patti Smith, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan seem strangely commonplace.' Mail On Sunday 'Astonishing.' Vanity Fair 'An utterly unique, endlessly exhilarating, last-chance-power-drive of a memoir.' Rolling Stone 'Frank and gripping.' Atlantic 'Intensely satisfying...Born to Run is, like his finest songs, closely observed from end to end. His story is intimate and personal, but he has an interest in other people and a gift for sizing them up...' New York Times 'Springsteen can write-not just life--imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margic...And like a fabled Springsteen concert-always notable for its deck-clearing thoroughness -Born to Run achieves the sensation that all the relevant questions have been answered by the time the lights are turned out. He delivers the story of Bruce-in digestibly short chapters-via an informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak that's worked and deftly detailed and intimate with its readers-cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence-sometimes rather pleasingly subsiding into the syntax and rhythms of a Bruce Springsteen song.' New York Times Book Review 'There's a great book inside this book, and it isn't hiding. It's there to be read and it's wonderful.' -- Roddy Doyle Irish Times 'For the Springsteen fan, this book is the definitive commentary on every note he has played. For the rest of us, it is a road trip into the American soul.' The Times '... a heartfelt memoir... there is a fearlessness to his prose, a willingness to engage with his past, that chimes with his songwriter's desire to give voice to the people around him.' Sunday Times 'The musician's memoir is as generous and open as his marathon live shows... Rock's premier action hero has written a brave and engrossing memoir.' Financial Times '[He] pulls us into his life with the panache of a thriller writer... Springsteen writes humbly, personally, as though he and the reader are the last two people in the bar and neither are ready to put the cork back in the whiskey just yet. His writing, like his music, is a simple pleasure' Independent 'The origin of poetry, thought William Wordsworth, was emotion recollected in tranquillity. That motto describes both Mr Springsteen's memoir and the appeal of his songs' Economist 'The best stories happen to those who are best equipped to tell them... Born to Run is the most accomplished of the recent cavalcade of autobiographies by retirement-age rockstars... he has the storyteller's knack for turning experience into narrative' New Statesman