Title: Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Book Condition: New
0786258160 TRACKING NUMBER INCLUDED New Unread Book May have some very minor shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # I-5-85
Synopsis: At the age of fifty-seven, Good Morning America film critic Joel Siegel learned he would become a first-time father. Two weeks later he learned he had colon cancer. Siegel shares all the things he wants his son to know -- just in case he's not there to tell him -- about his family's history and heritage, life's pleasures and sorrows and most importantly, who Dylan's father is and what he values.
Review: The day Good Morning America entertainment critic Joel Siegel brought his son Dylan home from the hospital was also the last day of his chemotherapy for colon cancer. Siegel began writing Lessons for Dylan two years later, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The result is a tender and entertaining "just in case" autobiography/tutorial for his son. Siegel?s life is the curriculum; he instructs his son with vignettes from the family album, his battles with the "witch of cancer," his divorce, the death of his first wife, adventures as a reporter, and his star scrapbook including interviews with the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and Brad Pitt. He writes movingly of the Holocaust?s shadow in his family. Yet the Jewishness he passes on to Dylan is more cultural--a recipe for brisket, a history of Judaism in four jokes, and a great introduction to speaking Yiddish.
Siegel's self-portrait has a Zelig-like quality: he registers voters in Atlanta, meets Martin Luther King, attends a Ku Klux Klan meeting, writes jokes for Bobby Kennedy, visits Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love and invents German chocolate for Thirty-One Flavors in Los Angeles. He is an engaging writer, stronger in storytelling than self-reflection. His occasional self-importance, saying for example, "that was before I was Joel Siegel," detracts from his wonderful intention of talking to his son. When his reporter?s voice speaks louder than his newfound wisdom as a father, Siegel seems to be writing for a wider audience. --Barbara Mackoff
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