In July 1961, Rotolo, a shy 17-year-old from Queens, met an up-and-coming young folk singer named Bob Dylan at an all-day folk festival at Riverside Church in Manhattan, and her life changed forever. For the next few years, Suze and Bobby lived a freewheeling life amid the bohemians in the emerging folk scene in Greenwich Village. Rotolo offers brief glimpses of the denizens populating the new music scene below 14th Street in the early '60s and recalls the excitement as writers and musicians like Dylan wandered in and out of each other's lives and apartments, trading music and lyrics to produce a new sound that would change American music. Yet as the woman who's clutching Dylan's arm on the cover of his second albumFreewheelin' Bob Dylan
, Rotolo doesn't give us a very freewheelin' memoir. She offers shallow, almost schoolgirl-like reflections on the man she loved and lived with for three years. In a dull and plodding manner, Rotolo provides no new insights into Dylan, claiming, as have so many, that he is mysterious and enigmatic. In an excerpt from one of her journals, she writes ambivalently that she believes in his genius and that he is an extraordinary writer, but that she doesn't think he's an honorable person.(May)
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