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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, December 2016 - Having grown up in New Jersey, it's not too much of a stretch to say that Bruce Springsteen was something of a spiritual force. His voice is synonymous with a powerful sense of place, and it bears a rugged, scrappy idealism that can make you feel patriotic and subversive at the same time. That's what makes this autobiography, written and performed by The Boss himself, nothing less than magical. It's not simply a story of his path to success or a philosophy of greatness but a marathon concert tell-all wherein he confronts demons of mental illness, poverty, and familial strife. It is nostalgic for a simpler time but urgent in its display of discipline and individuality. Ultimately, Bruce delivers with this audiobook what he has done for nearly five decades with his music: a celebration of the commonplace and the struggles of American life with candor, imagination, and purpose. —Michael, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

 Winner of the 2018 Audie Award for Autobiography/Memoir

"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 audio 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 this audio 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. 

Author bio: Bruce Springsteen has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of 20 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He lives in New Jersey with his family. 

©2016 Bruce Springsteen (P)2016 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Born to Run

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Mostly great autobiography

As a huge Boss fan it was great to hear his story actually read by him.

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Fantastic.

The man can weave a tome as personal and beautiful as the lyrics he writes.

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Still the boss

Loved his honesty. Nice to have it read by the artist. Great storyteller, just like his song lyrics

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Great, intimate experience

This was great. It felt less like an audiobook, and more like Bruce Springsteen telling you his life story in his own words. Learned a lot about the Boss over the course of this book. Definitely recommend for any fan of music, or someone who wants an insight into the life of a hard working, professional musician.

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Incredible.

A truly phenomenal experience to have the Boss life story narrated by the man himself. Kind of felt like we were hanging out for 20 hours, really loved the book.

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I'm an even bigger fan than before.

Hearing Bruce tell this story in his own words is the only way to experience this book. He can come across a bit pretentious, with his constant use of imagery and run-on descriptions and I feel like he had to look up some of the vocabulary just to sound more eloquent than was necessary, but I love this book, nonetheless. I was a dedicated fan before hearing this book, but even more so, now. He admits his shortcomings and does his best not to offend any of the people who helped make him one of the most successful rock icons in history. We get insights into his entire life, self-destructive and self-loathing challenges and even his ongoing battle with depression. At the end of the book, I had more appreciation for every song and album he wrote and the creative process he utilized, as well as the various directions he took. This is a fascinating story and probably one of the best books I've experienced in a very, very long time. I immediately bought a hardcover copy, after completing the audio book. This is a definite jewel in my collection.

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Fantastic Book

I loved listening to this book. Of all the music bios I've heard, this is for sure one of the very best! Well written and interesting, and the narration is great.

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Amazing

A fantastic biography narrated by the Boss himself. Could not stop listening. Highly recommended.

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SOUL MAN

Most real & raw man, I will never have the honor to meet & shake hands with.

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Really liked it.

This is the first biography I actually finished listening to. Lots of interesting insights about life wrapped up in language that really paints a picture.

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  • Tim
  • 2016-12-21

The Boss demonstrates his strong work ethic and dedication to excellence as he tells his story.

I appreciated hearing Bruce tell his story on Audible. He shared deep personal details about his life and the creative process he used to entertain his fans throughout his career. I am a bigger fan now having heard him tell his story. I will listen to his music with fresh insights about the story being told and about Bruce and his band. Reading this book made me want to be a better father. I appreciated Bruce telling us about the positive impact mental healthcare and medicines had in the journey of his family. As a medicinal chemist that pours his heart into his craft to design best in class molecule with a purpose this made me smile. Bruce is the kind of friend I would enjoy sitting around with talking and having a beer. I hope he comes back to Indiana soon. We have a beautiful venue in Carmel called the Palladium and I know there are many that would enjoy an intimate evening with this Mega Rock Star!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Peg
  • 2016-12-29

Copper Beech Trees

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anyone. My own family has suffered through generations of serious mental illness and the self medicating addictions that often result. The course of Bruce's life exposed the contrasts of both his God given talent and his genetically inherited affliction. Fortunately for him, he was able to pour his experiences into his work and create something that was timely for many reasons. He was wise to develop relationships that were constructive to his limitations. His choices for bandmates and Patti helped to create the trust and brought him the self confidence to push him through his rough spots. Revealing such a challenging mental illness is a difficult thing. Choosing to seek professional help, and being vulnerable enough to share that with his fans, I hope will teach others to do the same. Love on top of all of this can keep the beech tree soul alive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Born to Run?

His descriptions of growing up in an Irish/Catholic family surrounded by the church and its influences. The fact that he had a good mother in his life was especially fortunate for him. Too many have 2 parents that are unavailable and they slip away unguided and unable to survive on their own.

Have you listened to any of Bruce Springsteen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet. I certainly plan on doing so. I am also very glad that he did this audiobook himself. It takes on a different life when done by the author that a narrator could never grasp. I appreciate that effort very much.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Of course, when his father came to see him before the birth of his first child. That was an incredible gift he gave to Bruce. So incredible that he could find it within himself to give that to Bruce. So many are not capable to give that to themselves much less to those they love.
The second moment that I laughed until I snorted was the fishing trip he went on with his father. His description of his fathers outfit was so hilarious I could picture my own dad in the same thing. Thank you for that.

Any additional comments?

I know it took Bruce 7 years to write this book. Every single day was worth it. It is not easy to expose yourself down to bedrock as he did. Brian Wilson said that music saved him and it is clear that music and the love of people close to him is saving Bruce. Every day is a gift. I hope he enjoys each one.

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  • Ellen O'Brien
  • 2016-12-12

Me Springsteen's book moved me beyond words...

I hung on every single word of this well told story, and finished up with tears streaming down my cheeks.
I foolishly never delved into Bruce's songs, (never mind took the time to decipher the complex lyrics), even as he was of my time. Sure I boogied to Born to Run & Tunnel of Love, but I feel like I missed the whole party. Until now, that is.
I'm so thankful that a man like this one exists in the world. Someone willing to go deep, do the hard work required in the development of an authentic self, and in this case, share his experience, and the resulting treasure, with the world. A determined soul, driven to make sense of his imperfect past, then face with courage the painful work of sorting it out for the betterment of his tribe. I want to send this book to every young male I know, in the hopes that it might inform their concept of what it is to be masculine - to be a man.
And FYI Mr Springsteen, your 'long and noisy prayer', has, indeed, rocked my very soul.
Forever grateful for your beautifully told story. You are a national treasure!

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  • Ralph's mother
  • 2016-12-29

Excellent writing and reading

Even if you are not a huge Springsteen fan, this book is so rich and filled with musical history as well as his own development as a professional that it should be read. The writing is as powerful as his music and the challenges he overcame to reach his level of professionalism is impressive. Read this book. Learn about music history and Springsteen's odyssey as a musician.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela J
  • 2016-12-28

Such a relief that this was so good!

I have to begin by saying I'm a long time Springsteen fan - - I mean since Born to Run first came out - - and I was worried that the person I've listened to for so long would turn out to be a prima dona rock star. What a relief to find that this Jersey boy is still the blue collar poet, over-thinking, heart on his sleeve, gravel voiced, smart man that he is in the very best of his music. I was much more interested in what inspired his music and I wasn't disappointed. This is a great story of a regular guy who worked harder than most to achieve stardom. Good for the Jersey boy.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Bruce McClenahan
  • 2016-12-22

Soul baring

A soul baring autobiography; probing ambition, music, the demons in your head and love conquering all. A beautiful poetic read that is hard to put down.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mats
  • 2016-12-21

Absolutely amazing

What a guy, what a story he has to tell – and how he tells it! With humble admiration for earlier and contemporary legends, Bruce gives you his life story with surprising self-disclosure. Being a long time fan of his music I was certain to listen to his book. Especially since it narrated by himself. Having heard it I can absolutely recommend it to anyone irrespective of musical preferences. This is a story of total devotion, hard work and sacrifices in order to fulfill a dream taking shape in a young boy. I lift my hat and salute him, previous and current members of the E Street Band, there music, The Boss himself and this amazing audio book. No back to the beginning for one more go: One-two-three-four!

9 people found this helpful

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  • K. Rooney
  • 2016-12-10

A Reflective Celebration..

One of the most satisfying audiobooks I've listened to. You will feel like you're having this intimate, long, endearing, happy, sad and inspired campfire story with Bruce; he pulls no punches along the journey and delivers with heart pounding passion..

12 people found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 2017-03-25

Simply Amazing!

This is one amazingly honest and emotionally riveting book. One of the best I've ever read. What a movie it would make. And they had a great actor doing the reading. I was amazed at how much he sounded like Bruce. As an African American growing up in Montclair, NJ, my world was full of R&B. I would often visit my relatives in Red Bank and while there we'd always visit Asbury Park so I thought I knew it well. I had never heard of Bruce or his E Street Band until I saw a mural of the cover of Born to Run on the wall of my Air Force dorm's recreation room. I asked my friend from Iowa who it was. He said, are you crazy, you're from New Jersey, that's Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons. I said "who". Over the years I've enjoyed the music, the man and the band. And after reading this book I have a new found respect for all the work and soul that went into the creation of, as Bruce would say, "this thing."

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  • Jill
  • 2016-12-11

Bruuuuuce!

So beautifully written! I've been serenaded through the stories he has chosen to share. I've always felt that Springsteen has worn his heart on his sleeve, and I've known him through his music. Now I've been updated. Heart still on his sleeve, he continues to touch my soul.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-05-04

loved, loved loved it! thank you!

loved, loved loved it! honest, naked, felt like truth was there, impressive and intriguing. want to go to his concert now!

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  • de Lageneste Sophie
  • 2017-03-16

Profound

Bruce is a profound, inspiring and deeply generous and demanding person whose life is thrilling and yet so accessible. I feel very privileged to have discovered his story. He shows jow many other people helped make his life the success it has been and how essential the love and devotion of his wife Pattie is, which cannot have been an easy ride for her.

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  • C. Maslin
  • 2017-01-23

outstanding!

Am bereft to have finished it, life changing stuff. Will truly appeal to all people.