“The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait” (Harper), by Daniel Mark Epstein: At one point in “The Ballad of Bob Dylan,” the author is asked to pitch a plot for a musical featuring the folk-rock star’s songs.

Because of Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity, his handlers say, he will no longer play the songs that made him a symbol of 1960s counterculture and are looking to a Broadway musical as a way to keep them alive.

The story that Daniel Mark Epstein pitches is essentially the same story he tells in this book: A young man comes to New York’s Greenwich Village from out West, perfects his art against a backdrop of interesting characters and becomes a full-fledged rock ‘n’ roll star before finding Jesus.

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