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Matteo Guarnaccia - Bob Dylan Play Book review

Dylan’s early years. In paper dolls and cartoons.

Dylanologists. Dylanalia. Bobsessives. Unarguably the most pored over musician of the 20th century, such is the extent of Bob Dylan’s magnetic appeal to the superfan, academic and armchair expert, he’s even got his own vernacular.

Noted Dylan scholar Greil Marcus once wrote an entire book on one song (the peerless Like A Rolling Stone). Joining this ocean of analysis and idolatry is perhaps the most curious addition to the bibliography: an adult cut-out-and-colour activity book charting the fashions, locations and early career of the man.

It’s tempting to dismiss it as a ghastly exercise in niche marketing on the coat tails of the current fad for mindfulness colouring-in books. Rather, what you have is a lovingly rendered and playful trawl through Dylan’s key moments in the rich countercultural tradition of Robert Crumb, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin et al. Far out.