“fresh and exciting interpretation … expert and stirring critique” – Booklist

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The December 15, 2009, issue of Booklist magazine will contain a review of BOB DYLAN: Prophet, Mystic, Poet, as follows:

Bob Dylan’s masterful and indelible songs beg for analysis. What is the source of the gravitas of his lyrics? They are loaded with allusions, clues, riddles, and, according to Rogovoy, scripture, the hidden-in-plain-sight heart of Dylan’s transcendent oeuvre.

The author of The Essential Klezmer (2000), Rogovoy awoke to the primacy of biblical elements in Dylan’s songs not because he came to them with a deep knowledge of Jewish scripture and commentary, but because he was steeped in Dylan’s lyrics when he began studying Jewish texts as an adult and instantly recognized the bond.

Rogovoy pursues that revelation in this fresh and exciting interpretation of Dylan’s entire remarkable songbook, casting light on Dylan’s “prophetic impulse” and brilliant improvisations on the stories of Noah, David, Abraham and Isaac, and the books of the prophets.

Rogovoy supports his expert and stirring critique with an anecdotal biography that pinpoints Dylan’s theological and mystical inquiries, including his Christian interlude, and dispels any notion that Dylan ever denied his Jewish heritage, the wellspring of his art and conscience.