“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.
I am not a life long Springsteen fan, for no other reason than there was so much music available that I just never came around to his work. It wasn’t until recently that I read some fiction loosely titled The Austin Trilogy (specifically, The Return), that brought Springsteen to my attention front-and-center. Simultaneously, I read an article about his release of Western Stars, his broadway show and this autobiography, so I figured I’d better check him out. I am thrilled to report that Born to Run is spectacular. Immediately readable, the author is generous to a fault. I still don’t know if I’m a fan of his music, but I am definitely a fan of the man as Artist.55
Was really honest .Went a lot deeper than I thought he was going to. It’s hard for someone with mental illness to open up about it. Thanks for letting your fans get to know you a little better55
I understand rock stars have to be narsasistic, but this was over the top. This is one of those books that you get into and just don’t like, but you feel you need to finish. His writing is horrible, he feels he has to use 22 big words to describe something to tell the world even though I barley got through high school, but I am smart. His cheap shots at deceased band member was the worst. Move on, there are much better reads out there.15
I must say that I never new the whole story of what made Bruce Springsteen, and I'm glad he told it. And told it he did! What an incredible writer and story teller. You may know every song word for word as well as note for note but this brings everything to life. To listen to one of the most humble people tell a tale of beginning in a world so many unfortunately know and to fight to become one of the greatest musicians the world believes in is simply inspiring. Mr.Springsteen (I say Mr. Springsteen because he deserves it) had me from the first page to the last. If you want to feel good and incredibly inspired while learning about an incredible life, buy this book and you will not want to put it down until the last page is read and your heart filled. And no this review was not written by the publisher or a super fan. Just a normal man who happened upon the life story of a sound that I grew up with and love.55
I was really looking forward to reading this and it did not disappoint! The Boss portrays himself as an imperfect human (aren't we all!). His struggles with and through depression definitely helped this Georgia girl. He has been and remains one of my musical and social heroes.55
I just could not get into it. It never got me interested. After 50 pages I quit15
Beautifully written, every fan should read! Excellent and hard to put down, wonderful memories revived, feel like I know the story behind the music! Intimate, revealing, inspirational!55
He can do it all.55
I've been a Bruce Springsteen fan for a long, long time, and I've read at least a couple of biographies—as well as I don't know how many articles and interviews over the years. Still, reading the Boss' account of his life and experiences is a revelation. His voice is clear throughout the book, and his perspective on his albums and tours is invaluably informative.55
Because you cannot write! Slogging through this mishmash of self congratulatory clap-trap was akin to staying till the end of a Molly Cyrus concert!15