David Kinney, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the new book, The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob, kicked off his book tour last night in New York City.
Kinney appeared at The Half King’s Monday night reading series. The Half King is a bar and restaurant owned by Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm.
In The Dylanologists, Kinney introduces readers to a vibrant underground: diggers searching for unheard tapes and lost manuscripts, researchers obsessing over the facts of Dylan's life and career, writers working to decode the unyieldingly mysterious songs, collectors snapping up prized artifacts (including Dylan's high chair and the house he grew up in), travelers caravanning from concert to concert.
It's an affectionate mania, but as far as Dylan is concerned, a mania nonetheless. Over the years, he has been frightened, annoyed and perplexed by fans who try to peel back his layers. Intensely private and fiercely combative, Dylan makes one thing plain: He does not wish to be known.
At the reading were several subjects from the book, as well as notable Dylan fans and experts. Clinton Heylin, the English author who has written extensively about popular music and the work of Bob Dylan, was there.
Heylin has published a full-length biography, Dylan: Behind the Shades (1991), a detailed analysis of every song by Dylan in two volumes: Revolution In The Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 1: 1957-73 (2009), and Still On The Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 2: 1974-2008 (2010).