Quick Reads: “The Dylanologists” by David Kinney

The Dylanologists

The Dylanologists

By David Kinney


It seems like everybody and their dog has a book about Bob Dylan, but The Dylanologists turns the spotlight on his most obsessive fans instead. Journalist David Kinney takes us into a world of zealous collectors who will snap up anything the great man has touched, nerds who obsessively trade and catalog bootleg recordings, and code breakers who pore over every quote and lyric for meaning. We learn about the travails of dedicating one’s life to an inaccessible hero and the emotional toll of having that hero regularly reinvent our favorite parts of himself. Through it all runs a tension between the Dylanologist’s compulsion to understand the “real” Bob and the artist’s steadfast desire to remain an enigma.

This review originally appeared in our May/June 2014 issue of Mother Jones.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend