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Playboy's Silverstein Around the World Hardcover – May 22, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Best known as a children's author but also a successful songwriter ("A Boy Named Sue") and playwright, Silverstein started out as a cartoonist. In the 1950s and 1960s, Playboy sent him around the world to draw a travel journal. His 23 dispatches hailed from such far-flung locales as Japan, Moscow, London, Paris, and Africa, as well as such closer-to-home precincts as Greenwich Village, Haight-Ashbury, White Sox training camp, and a nudist colony. Most of the cartoons' gags play against cultural stereotypes, with a befuddled Silverstein as the butt of the joke: in a gorgeously limned Swiss village, he complains, "I'll give them 15 more minutes and if nobody yodels, I'm going back to the hotel." Befitting their provenance, many depict Silverstein's efforts to score with the local damsels. They feature the same deceptively casual line work that makes his children's books so visually compelling, and since far too little of Silverstein's work for adults is currently available, this engaging document of the countries he visited and of its era is a welcome delight. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Shel Silverstein was maybe the brightest, most intelligent, trustworthy, generous, human, humble, and lovable creative artist I've ever known. Awake and aware of everything, all the time, I think Shel go more out of life than most of us. Thank God he shared what he saw." -- Kris Kristofferson
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743290240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743290241
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Lux on January 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hugh M. Hefner writes in the introduction to Playboy's Silverstein Around the World, "Everything begins here. It is impossible to separate Shel's later work from these drawings and these experiences. They are the beginning of it all, without question."

This 180-page art book is printed in glossy color on high quality stock. Silverstein's ten years of colorblock illustrated travel essays for Playboy magazine cover topics ranging from bull fighting to a nudist camp to life among Muslims. During the Cold War, Shel traveled to the heart of Moscow, the Red Square, posing undercover as a youth rally member in order to report on the event. Shel had no set intinerary as an explorer, rather, he followed his personal impulses and the whims of the world.

In total, Silverstein wrote 23 travelogues for Hugh Hefner's magazine during the 1950's and 1960's. Although he was later most renowned as a children's author, his work for Playboy continued well into the 1990's. This delightful collection commemorates the birth of one of the twentieth century's greatest humorists.
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Format: Hardcover
Shel Silverstein to most people will always be remebered for his work for children, but tell them he was a songwriter and more surpisingly did cartoons for Playboy, they won't believe you. Through these works we see a side rarely seen or remembered by many. In these works we see a blossoming young artist, traveling exotic locales such as Mexico, London, Paris, Spain, Africa, even a nudist colony and Fire Island. In each of these places he takes his own spin on them though his drawings and writing and creates something very intriging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For fans of Uncle Shelby's doodles, here's a compendium of his roving ramblings abroad as Hef's ambassador to the offbeat. (Check out John Sack's monumental "Report from Practically Nowhere" in which Silverstein is in even better form.)
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It is a book of wonder in a personal way, and as much as it is an adult book, it is a book that leaves plenty to imagination. One of a kind, and a bit like a must have. Glad to meet Shel in these pages, after knowing him only through the "giving Tree".
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book some years ago and today, I reread it. I share the other reviewers' opinion that this is a terrific work with Shel Silverstein giving us his offbeat take on his travels. There were a couple of little points that caught my attention. His piece on Greenwich Village came out in 1960 and we see the word "hippies" used. Might this be the earliest use of that word in the national media? That would be a project for cultural studies students. In the introduction, it is noted that Silverstein thought Hugh Hefner the best cartoon editor. I recall fellow cartoonist Jules Feiffer making a similar remark. If not for his better known accomplishments, Hefner might be recalled as the Maxwell Perkins of the cartooning world (it will be interesting to see if anyone appreciates that reference).
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Format: Hardcover
My father used to read me Shel Silverstein's books as a child. I now read them to my son, bits and peices at a time. So when I saw this book, I thought what more perfect gift could I give to my father. A reminder of our time long past, as well as a cheeky look at one of the most prolific man0child authors of the modern age. This book covers Silverstein's time wioth Playboy magazine, and it is a terrific insight to the slightly off kilter brilliance that was Shel Silverstein. If your a Playboy afficianado, this is a must. If your a Shel Silverstein enthusiast, don't hesitate. A dabbler with "Where the Sidewalk Ends" might not be an anthused, but this is great work from a great mind.
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If you like myself are a fan of Uncle Shelby's you will very much enjoy this book . Not only do we get the great art work but some awesome background stories .

I am sure I don't have to point out this is not for children but it's also not just a bunch of dirty cartoons . There is substance to this book . A very entertaining and twisted look at the world through one mans eyes and what a brilliant man he was .
This book is fully enjoyable from start to finish
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