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Born to Run Audiobook

Born to Run

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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

"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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (186 )
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  •  
    Lori Australia 20/03/2017
    Lori Australia 20/03/2017 Member Since 2014

    I listen to books to help keep my mind active when I'm on night shift. I mainly like to revisit all my favorites that I have read in print

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    "Not just for fans"

    I listened to this as a lover of rock music, not really a fan purely because the music is before my time. However I do appreciate good music and a good artist. Anyway, this book is well written, and very well narrated. He tells you his whole life story from start to present, and an interesting story it is. I highly recommend this book to anyone - Fan or not, it is a great story.

    PS - because of this book I have bought 3 albums :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    donna 26/02/2017
    donna 26/02/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "loved it"

    I loved this. and having Bruce springsteen himself read you his words made it so much more than just a great read. he is very open and honest. not holding back his most vulnerable moments. 17 hours long. wasn't long enough. thank you bruce.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Smiths Gully, Australia 28/12/2016
    Jan Smiths Gully, Australia 28/12/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Swept Away"

    I cannot imagine anyone else narrating this story of Bruce.
    His distinctive gravel tone lending an authenticity to a classic rags to riches and everything in between story that feels more like, at times, you are sitting with him crossing vast open landscapes in a battered Cadillac on a back country road..
    I've a ticket to see him play in Australia in a few weeks, at hanging rock.
    Having listened to this wonderful biography these past days the experience will resonate even more deeply. Thanks Bruce. You've taken me somewhere I've never been and I'm a little bit changed for it.
    Honesty, authenticity and sharing our humanity, the good, the bad and the ugly, does that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    21/05/2017
    21/05/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Broooooooce!!"

    I've just finished reading Born to Run on audio book - as narrated by Bruce.
    I was enthralled; I reflected on my own family background as he went through the family trials and tribulations; I cried as he lovingly spoke about his children and about Clarence's and his dad's endings. I love it that he stayed true to his roots and that he become socially and politically active to draw attention to some of the wrongs of the time. I loved his various descriptions of his mum....ever respectful - as he is about his wife and partner Patti.
    Having him read me his story felt very intimate ..... I've been to only one concert of his down under in Sydney Australia back in the mid 1980s - i hope to get to another one day.
    It was wonderful to hear his musical career vision for himself from so long ago and about how he stuck to that plan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zico 16/05/2017
    zico 16/05/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Born to tell a Story of an Amazing Life"

    Amazing story beautifully told. Bruce Springsteen gives so much from the heart and his story was told with such frank honesty. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Cole 10/05/2017
    Susan Cole 10/05/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Born to Run"

    I am a long time Springsteen fan and knew I would love this book regardless. I loved it more because of the respectful way in which it's written. Yes, Bruce Springsteen comes off sounding like an egotistical 'it's my way or the highway' kinda guy ... but he's written that about himself- insightful and respectful to the musicians he has with him in his band. The audible version is fantastic as the story is taken to another level hearing it from him. I will listen to this over and over I'm sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Richard 08/05/2017
    Richard 08/05/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to Born to Run the most enjoyable?

    Bruce Springsteen came across as a very down-to-earth person who has never forgotten his origins. He has a strong social conscience, which comes through in his songs as well as his personal actions. He is very open about his long engagement with extreme anxiety & depression. You don't need to be a Springsteen fan to enjoy this book, although you may become one by the time you've finished it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bruce Springsteen. It's his story & he narrates the audio-book.


    Which character – as performed by Bruce Springsteen – was your favourite?

    Bruce Springsteen.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. It almost brought me to tears at time. At other times I laughed. I experienced just about everything in between.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Foster 20/04/2017
    Jill Foster 20/04/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "A great story"

    If you are a Bruce fan you will love this as I did, it's so good to hear it narrated by Bruce, it's a frank and true grit story, beautifully written with a powerful heart at the core.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Sonia 12/04/2017
    Sonia 12/04/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "A great book"

    Really enjoyed this book. Because if was related by Bruce himself made it special. Have listened to many of his songs and now have more of an understanding and feeling behind them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RICHARD BURROWS 04/04/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Best audio book ever"

    I've never felt compelled to write a review of anything. Books, shows, movies, restaurants, nothing. Ever. But I'm genuinely sad this audiobook had to come to an end.

    Hearing Bruce tell his story in his own words, in the quiet moments of your day - on your back porch over coffee, on walks through the park, or at night before bed - you really feel as though has has taken you by the hand, and whispered, 'young man, come, sit down and let me tell you a thing or two about life'. It makes you nostalgic for simpler times when we used to take that time, to just sit down, in front of a fire, at a bar or the kitchen table and pass on the stories of our lives, ancestors, whole communities, the whole story, in vivid detail.

    This is not a book one should attempt to listen to all at once. It is best savoured over many listenings. A lifetime of experiences, lessons, tales of love, loss, fear, doubt, triumph and ultimately, transformation; this would be overwhelming to take in all at once. Take it slow, there's no hurry.

    For the true fans this will be a extremely satisfying experience. If you think you know where every song came from, you're probably wrong. If you've watched the entire journey, or, like myself, just the second act, this book will transport you back to very specific and personal moments, the concerts, the albums that accompanied important stages of your life, and remind you of exactly why these lyrics, this music, the characters in these songs and their messages for you have forever taken root in your consciousness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tim
    21/12/16
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    "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!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ellen O'Brien
    12/12/16
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    "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!

    37 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Mats
    21/12/16
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    "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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • 80s Kid
    11/12/16
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    "Soulful, honest"

    A soulful, honest account of a flawed human being with an incredible gift and an even bigger heart. Well worth the 18 hours. Do yourself a favor and listen to the albums as you make your way through this journey with the one and only, our national treasure, the Boss, the working man's poet, Bruce Springsteen.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • K. Rooney
    10/12/16
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    "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..

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    17/12/16
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    "Riveting!"

    I like to listen to biographies of celebrities, and I have read and listened to many. Although I was a fan of Bruce Springsteen, his music didn't blow me over. I liked it, but I didn't go crazy over it. So when I started listening to this biography I thought that would like it.

    He tells an incredibly riveting story of his life. He tell it chronologically. He is truthful about his family history, about his Irish/Italian upbringing in New Jersey. He is truthful but respectful of his parents marital problems and the mental illness that runs in his family.

    The writing is compelling. His narration is powerful! The story of how he battled his demons to rise from poverty to celebrity, how he used that celebrity to improve awareness and advance support for Vietnam veterans, AIDS patients, racial tensions, etc, is one of the most honest and heartfelt and compelling stories I have ever heard. I have gain a tremendous amount of respect for the man, Bruce Springsteen. He has used his celebrity to shine a spotlight on injustices. Rising as he has from poverty to wealth and fame, he could have easily gone a different way, becoming self indulgent, self important, and pompous! Instead he valued his sobriety, respected yet cared for his band mates, and even strove to maintain a healthy long term marriage and made rearing 3 children his top priority. This was the most inspirational biography I have ever read!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Peg
    29/12/16
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ralph's mother
    Los Angeles, CA United States
    29/12/16
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • jean d mcmahon
    28/12/16
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    "Soulful, touching, intimate life story."

    I am so moved by this touching, intimate revealing biography of Bruce Springsteen. Bruce's lyrical telling of his boyhood and present day life is equal parts poetry , hard work , family trama, and mental disease. I have learned more about myself, by learning more about the Boss.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jill
    11/12/16
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • JudiH
    17/12/16
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    "Fantastic heartfelt and eloquently told"

    Not a natural fan of Bruce Springsteen I was recommended this by Amazon so I listened to the free extract - from that moment I was hooked. I purchased the audio book and continued to listen to this fascinating story of Springsteen's life, family, loves, mishaps and incredible journey through the rock n roll years up to the present day. I loved it.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • jacqueline bain
    16/12/16
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    "Inspirational, flawed human with so much humanity and humility and an ego!"

    I'm a long time fan and have read a lot about my hero,but this book showed what the others couldn't....the man.
    It helped me realise similarities in my childhood.
    No, I don't think I'm like him. I am me, but maybe a Celtic gene is shared the unspoken causes so much damage.
    Thank you Bruce for doing this. You didn't have to.
    You could have closed yourself off, but you shared.
    You celebrated and you cried and helped me do the same.
    Thank you for the music, the lyrics and the band.
    Thank you for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    14/12/16
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    "Unexpectedly engaging...honest and enlightening"
    Where does Born to Run rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    among the best of musician memoirs


    Any additional comments?

    ...a long ago aspiring songwriter, i wondered why i never 'connected'...but in revealing the many sides of his personality....from the dysfunction and insecurities to his honest belief that he knew he was special and the stoic confidence that came with it, he opened my eyes to the true dynamics of the really few great success stories of the amazing music makers of the 1950's, 60's. 70's and 80's and understanding that unmatched era in time was built by people who found they were gifted with the ability to take the feelings they gained from an early age and fight as hard as necessary to output what they held so strongly inside.

    Bruce was able to explain that undeniable connection to focused music self-confidence and never stop pushing forward until the hard work paid off, slowly but surely. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story being told by Bruce and found myself a little surprised by the eagerness i felt to continue listening...since my interests were always musicians who came before him. It will inspire me to also go back and listen to more of his music.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My
    13/12/16
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    "Not a fan? You soon will be! A poetic masterpiece from the boss!"

    I was was somewhat sceptical about reading this book (as a fan of 'the boss') as I've always been transfixed in his songwriting,stage performances and many more other characteristics that make Bruce Springsteen 'the boss'. I didn't want to come across something in the book that would draw me away from the image I have built of him throughout my life. That being said I wasn't disappointed, I now feel like a truly know the boss and sympathised in his struggles.

    A wonderful read/listen that will leave you happy,sad and most of all entertained!

    If not a fan already.......you soon will be!!

    Pc

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • maria
    24/05/17
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    "bruce is boss"

    this was most enjoyable... big bonus that it was read by the author in his lovely sexy voice. ive had the book a year and not read it, much easier having it read to me and it brightened up a lot of mundane tasks. i am a long time and big bruce springsteen fan but i learned loads here. Bruce is the boss

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ming
    17/05/17
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    "Springsteen's voice and music make this"

    A fascinating story made even more compelling by Springsteen's narration and the atmospheric use of his music. It was also thrilling to hear so many of the anecdotes I'd heard him tell on live performances and albums being told in greater detail here).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • s v banister
    6/05/17
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    "Thank goodness he read it"

    Beautifully written and read. I am not a huge Bruce fan 'yet' He fascinates me with his long shows and constant touring. This helped put context around it. Anyone will enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SPRish
    Bristol, England
    2/05/17
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    "Author narrates and writes well"
    What about Bruce Springsteen’s performance did you like?

    No doubt that having the author read the book is usually a winner. Mr Springsteen reads his work fluently.


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

    Loved the description of his music, his band and recording, of course, but I was unaware of his mental health challenges pre and post fame. He sets out his position as chief exec of the band clearly and without apology. It feels like an honest self-appraisal - well as honest as any autobiog can be, I suppose.

    I enjoyed his repeated acknowledgment of the influence of the British invasion on his development: The Kinks, The Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix. Hang on...


    Any additional comments?

    Probably a bit too long but Bruce was a pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scythian
    1/05/17
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    "Want to know what it takes to become a rock legend?"

    This is a very personal account of a life, in the words and narration of the person that lived it. To me, it came across as a very honest, grounded, and genuine account.
    As far as life stories go, this is The Boss...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs D Glover
    20/04/17
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    "loved it, if long"

    honest and humble. some parts a little repetitive, but I'll forgive him. a great man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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