A critically-acclaimed examination of Bob Dylan's lyrics as poetry, through the prism of the 7 Deadly Sins
Christopher Ricks is Warren Professor of the Humanities, and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute, at Boston University, having formerly been professor of English at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge. He is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, of which he was president from 2007 to 2008. He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 2004 to 2009.
* Ricks's writing on Dylan is the best there is -- Alex Ross New Yorker * A great case has been made by a great critic (Christopher Ricks) that a great lyricist - Bob Dylan - is, in fact, a poet New York Review of Books * The rewards are just as one would expect: a bracing attention to artfulness, a wonderful sensitivity to nuance, and a particularly brilliant sympathy with the purpose and effect of Dylan's rhymes -- Andrew Motion Guardian * Everything Ricks has to say about Dylan is original. He is a critic who seems to be talking to you from within the work. He can turn the smallest niche in a poem into a vast cathedral of resonance and implication. -- Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times * Bob Dylan is fast becoming rock's equivalent of James Joyce -- Sean O'Hagan Observer * Compelling, convincing and challenging work of literary scholarship. -- Alan Taylor Sunday Herald * Structured around the concepts of sin, virtue and grace, Ricks's close reading and imaginative cross-referencing will indeed uncover meanings in Dylan's songs that would never have occured to you. -- Anthony Quinn Daily Telegraph * Zips along with irrepressible good humour... Ricks's work has the lustre of a lifetime of engagement with greatness. -- Peter Aspden Financial Times * Fascinating, there are wonderfully penetrating and illuminating moments to be found. I was never less than stimulated and frequently stirred. -- John Preston Sunday Telegraph * Ricks is an exemplar of the diminishingly seen art of "close reading", and explicator of Milton, Keats, Tennyson and Eliot... Such clockwork analysis never seems to drain Dylan's work of its vitality, but rather to renew a listener's amazement... In doing so he's found the songs all the more extraordinary, not wanting in any measure... Ricks's book leads you back to Dylan's music, no small virtue. -- Jonathan Lethem New York Times Book Review * A serious-minded and forensic examination of Dylan's use of language, image and onomatopoeia. -- Peter Murphy Hot Press