Bob Dylan has been a closed book for more than four decades. But with the publication of Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan finally steps from behind the curtain and reveals that he has never thought of himself as anything special. "I really was never any more than what I was," Dylan writes, "a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze." The book describes Dylan's 1961 voyage from Minnesota to New York City in search of Woody Guthrie, whom he befriended along with a number of interesting characters -- boxer Jack Dempsey and singer Joan Baez among them -- who helped Dylan develop his own colorful identity. It took Dylan about three years to complete his memoirs, typing the entire manuscript in capital letters on a vintage Remington typewriter, but this isn't exhaustive by any means. He avoids discussing notable events of his life, such as his conversion to Christianity in the late 1970s, and his infamous 1966 motorcycle accident gets only one sentence. That cursory treatment may disappoint fanatics, but as Dylan said of his critics so many years ago, "They can go to hell."