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.