THE GIVING TREE

SHEL SILVERSTEIN

Hey, anyone with a garden variety approach/avoidance conflict: Welcome to hell! This tender tale drags out, for 60% too many pages, a thinly veiled allegory of man’s sadomasochistic relation with capital-N Nature, complete with enough grinch-meets-art-nouveau-aesthetic sketches to furnish a pederast’s foyer. Silverstein, as usual, demonstrates a masterful use of white space that both contributes to the reader’s placid-tense enjoyment of the text and rewards self-imposed exegetical limitation. A solid 11 on the Sorrow Scale.