Synopses & Reviews
Good Morning America
's beloved movie critic shares with his son and readers what he's learned in fifty-eight years of an extraordinary life in this poignant, funny, wise, and entertaining memoir.
At the age of fifty-four, renowned movie critic Joel Siegel both became a father for the first time and learned that he had cancer. Now, in Lessons for Dylan, Siegel shares all the things he wants his son to know in case he's not around to tell him about his family history and Jewish heritage, life's pleasures and sorrows, the challenges of growing up (at any age), and, most important, who his father is and what he values.
Threaded throughout are stories from Siegel's extraordinary life: his path from an immigrant neighborhood to national television; his work in the civil rights movement, and his career as a critic. Siegel candidly addresses the more difficult passages of his life, including the end of his marriage to Dylan's mother and the experience of having cancer. But he also shares great stories from show biz (featuring Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Paul Newman, Brad Pitt, Stevie Wonder, all four Beatles, and many more); lays out the History of the Jewish People in Four Jokes; and offers fatherly advice on sex ("ask your mother"), work, and what to cook for Rosh Hashonah (recipes included).
Full of humor and wisdom, common sense and self-revelation, Lessons for Dylan offers lessons for all of us about what really matters in life.
"[G]ood laughs and interesting tidbits...a compelling [read]. His humanity and obvious love for his son are touching." Library Journal
"[F]unny and tender...Siegel shares all the things he wants his son to know, just in case he's not around." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A candid look at battling cancer as a parent of a small child, written with humor and charm." Good Housekeeping
"[A] tender autobiography in which the father shares childhood memories...his years in show business and humorous bits." St. Petersburg Times
Movie critic Siegel--who was diagnosed with cancer as his first child arrived--has crafted an enduring love letter to his son, full of earnest advice, hilarious anecdotes, a Yiddish lexicon, and celebrity encounters.
For a Father's Day gift or everyday inspiration: a specially priced new paperback edition of the critically acclaimed memoir
At the age of fifty-seven, movie critic Joel Siegel both became a father for the first time and learned that he had cancer. In Lessons for Dylan
, Siegel shares all the things he wants his son to knowin case he's not around to tell him. It's a story about a life well-lived and about living life well. It's chock-full of earnest advice, hilarious anecdotes, a Yiddish lexicon, and recollections of everyone from Brad Pitt to the Beatles. Siegel lays out the History of the Jewish People in Four Jokes; offers Dylan manly advice on sex ("ask your mother"), culinary arts, the movies; and of course, offers a few lectures ("Be anything you want to be, but, please God, please don't want to be an actor"). Along the way, Joel teaches Dylan, and readers, a little something about growing up at any age.
At times heart-wrenching, at times laugh-out-loud funny, Joel Siegel has crafted an indelible and enduring love letter to his son, and a literary gift to us all.
About the Author
Joel Siegel worked as a radio newscaster, Los Angeles Times book reviewer, freelance writer for publications including Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, and joke writer for Sen. Robert Kennedy. He has been an entertainment critic for ABC's Good Morning America since 1981 and has won many awards, including five New York Emmy Awards and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith Public Service Award. He is also co-founder (with Gene Wilder) and president of Gilda's Club, a non-profit support facility for cancer patients.