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.
“An utterly unique, endlessly exhilarating, last-chance-power-drive of a memoir.”
“Frank and gripping.”
—David Brooks, The Atlantic
“Bruce Springsteen's life is now officially an open book. Born to Run takes readers on a riveting ride through the everyman rock star’s deeply lived existence.”
“Intensely satisfying...Born to Run is, like his finest songs, closely observed from end to end. His story is intimate and personal, but he has an interest in other people and a gift for sizing them up..”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Springsteen can write—not just life-imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margic...And like a fabled Springsteen concert—always notable for its deck-clearing thoroughness —Born to Run achieves the sensation that all the relevant questions have been answered by the time the lights are turned out. He delivers the story of Bruce—in digestibly short chapters—via an informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak that’s worked and deftly detailed and intimate with its readers—cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence—sometimes rather pleasingly subsiding into the syntax and rhythms of a Bruce Springsteen song."
—Richard Ford, The New York Times Book Review.
“A virtuoso performance, the 508-page equivalent to one of Springsteen and the E Street Band's famous four-hour concerts: Nothing is left onstage, and diehard fans and first-timers alike depart for home sated and yet somehow already aching for more.”
"Kinetic...The ultimate rock star shares like he's got one last chance to make it real. It's like sitting next to Springsteen in the campfire light hearing his life story -- you'll be begging for another exhilarating refrain."
—People (Book of the Week)
“Excellent...very funny....eminently readable and engaging. Springsteen was also born to write. He has an active, energetic style that is part Jack Kerouac and part Instagram post.”
“Born to Run has a compelling narrative and an organized structure worthy of a Catholic schoolboy of the 1950s….Mr. Springsteen writes fluidly about subjects light, dark and darker. He’s funny and solemn, tender and insightful. In Born to Run, he risks his mythic stature, but he emerges as more substantial, more admirable. Now Mr. Springsteen isn’t merely a star. He is a man – a son, a husband, a father and a friend – willing to share what he’s learned.”
—Wall Street Journal