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Hardcover A Boy Named Shel: The Life & Times of Shel Silverstein Book

ISBN: 0312353596

ISBN13: 9780312353599

A Boy Named Shel: The Life & Times of Shel Silverstein

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Few authors are as beloved as Shel Silverstein. His inimitable drawings and comic poems have become the bedtime staples of millions of children and their parents, but few readers know much about the man behind that wild-eyed, bearded face peering out from the backs of dust jackets.In A Boy Named Shel, Lisa Rogak tells the full story of a life as antic and adventurous as any of his creations. A man with an incurable case of wanderlust, Shel kept homes...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"Now,here's my plan."

I have no idea why I missed this book for so long;but now that I've found it',my interest in Silverstein has been rekindled again.The reviews for this book are all over the map;but why shouldn't they be? How could any one person write one book that could possibly do justice to such a complicated and talented person. Silverstein was one of the greatest observers of life in the 20th century and attempting to capture all of him in one book fits one of my favorite cartoons of Shel's. That is why I chose the caption of his cartoon showing two prisoners shackled in chains to the wall of a dungeon,as my title for this review.Who knows what Shel had in mind when he created that cartoon? Maybe he was telling us all what a variety of life there was out there;and how he, as well as the rest of us, need a plan to grasp it all.Silverstein ,even with his prodigious talent and imagination,tried to deal with life, and while he was immensely successful at everything he tried,he probably felt he never really was able to do it justice.But that is really what this amazing life we are given is all about.Search as we may,we will never really satisfy all our wonderment and curiousities;but that fact should never stop us from trying. This book brought back many memories to me from over the many years that I benefited from the his works .I find that many of my favourite personalities and things were often interconnected without realizing it at the time. With the changes that have taken place on Radio and TV ,the world of entertainment has changed,but this book brought it all back to me.As I turned from one page to the next,I was amazed how interconnected so many of my favorites were. Between 1969 and 1974,I worked in New York and lived in New Jersey.I used to listen to Jean Shepherd on WOR almost every night between 10 and midnight.I even went to one of his performances at Rutgers University.I can still remember many of his "talk shows" such as growing up in Indiana and his youthful days,how his dad loved the Cubs,how lightning hit his ham radio,his magnificent hot ait baloon that crashed on the roof and set the school on fire,his vacations in his old man's car and the cabin full of snakes.I never imagined what a close friend he had been of Shel's since his youth. Bobby Bare has been one of my favorite Country singers since the 60's.I can still remember the night I first heard him singing "Rosalie's Good Eats Cafe" on my car radio.I thought it was never going to end ,and hoped it wouldn't.(Kinda like "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie).I had no idea at the time that it had been written by Shel.After reading this book ,I pulled out my stack of Bare's albums,250 or so,and was amazed ,but not surprised how many songs were written by Shel,and what a close relationship they had,right up to the time of Shel's untimely death.I could go on and on about my other favorite people and their relationships with Shel such as Cash,Kristofferson,Hefner,Carlin,Cosbey,Crumb,Davis,D

Great Subject, Poor Writing

"A Boy Named Shel" is really a mixed bag. On one hand, it is an incredibly interesting read, due entirely to its subject matter - Shel Silverstein was a fascinating individual who lived life to the fullest, and his passion for creation and zest for the here-and-now clearly comes through in the telling of his life. On the other hand, Rogak is a horrible author and biographer. The biography itself is comprised largely of quotes by people who knew him, and in that respect I believe Rogak should only really claim editorial (as opposed to authorial) rights. Her actual writing is poorly organized and even more poorly executed, and would greatly detract from a less luminous subject than Silverstein. It is unfortunate that such a creative and successful person fell prey to such a biographer.

great read

This book was a great buy. I have always heard that Shel was a very private person, but this book had great detail about his life. Easy read and interesting.

Artist At Work

What's it like to be born with more artistic talent than ten ordinary artists combined? Lisa Rogak's book about Shel Silverstein provides one answer to that question, and the answer is this: It's different. Shel Silverstein was an accomplished cartoonist, a poet, a talented jazz musician, a writer of movie scores and rock-and-roll and country western hit songs, an author of best-selling children's books, and a noteworthy playwright. If an editor asked Silverstein to change a word in one of his poems, Silverstein couldn't directly comply, even if he wanted to. The closest he could come to it was to tear up the poem and re-write it from scratch without the offending word. Yet Silverstein's loyalty to his own creative vision never got in the way of collaborating with other artists. Indeed, he sought opportunities to collaborate with others, he produced great work on a collaborative basis, and he was generous in sharing credit with his collaborators. Although Silverstein seldom explained his work except to say that it explained itself, Rogak has done an effective job of characterizing both the work and the worker behind it and placing them in perspective with the help of stories and anecdotes collected from dozens of Silverstein's friends, associates, and artistic collaborators.

A little piece of Shel pie

It was warm and tasty. To attempt to unravel Shel would be a fools challenge. Lisa is only half a fool but I enjoyed that half quite a bit.

A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein Mentions in Our Blog

A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein in Life Lessons from Shel Silverstein
Life Lessons from Shel Silverstein
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 25, 2020

Award-winning writer, artist, and musician Shel Silverstein was born ninety years ago today! The multitalented Renaissance man passed away when he was only 68, but he accomplished so much, creating a veritable treasure trove of poetry, art, stories, and music in his lifetime.

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