Silverstein and Me: A Memoir by Marv Gold - Book Review

Information on the reclusive, but dearly loved, Shel Silverstein is rare. Students seeking information on the author will find few interviews given and little written about him. Shel Silverstein would be happy that this is the case. A man of wildly divergent talents, Silverstein wanted his body of work to do the speaking for him. Enter author Marv Gold.

Gold’s Silverstein and Me: A Memoir begins with a dead Shel Silverstein haunting his boyhood pal via song. From there, Silverstein’s life is recalled from their meeting at six years of age to Silverstein’s death. Though a tiny final hint offers some drama, there are no big reveals for fans who’ve followed Silverstein’s work, be it a Playboy cartoon or a children’s poem.

For someone who knows little about the reclusive Silverstein (shy middle-class Jewish kid, reclusive popular talent of Playboy cartoons, songwriting, and children’s poems), perhaps Silverstein and Me is a good read. Students seeking information on Mr. Silverstein have very few sources to research. But, in reality, one can learn about as much of Mr. Silverstein’s life by reading his Wikipedia entry. The book is more of a stroll down childhood memory lane for Mr. Gold.

Silverstein and Me is a hard book to categorize. It is neither a traditional memoir nor a biography, but an odd mix of the two, with embellished and supposed conversations thrown in for effect. As for writing style, the slapstick-everyman first person voice will either be disconcerting or charming to readers.

Considering the limited information, Silverstein and Me is a possible read for high school students interested in the talented Shel Silverstein, though drug use and sexual content are present.


Genre: Memoir. Age: High School. Pages: 208.
Thank You to Library Thing for my copy.
Advisory: Sexual situations and drug use.
Publisher: Ren Hen Press. Date: June 2009.

Buy Silverstein and Me: A Memoir Here

Mr. Gold lives with five cats and a wife in California. Silverstein and Me: A Memoir is his sixth book. You can read more about Mr. Gold on his website.

© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti.

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