Shel Silverstein's filthy not-kids' book, "Uncle Shelby," beloved of George RR Martin, is back in print


Originally published at:


One of my favorite books… Shel’s work is a treasure.


I read somewhere that Silverstein was something of a book collector, which is why his work only seems to be in big hardcovers with thick pages. I suppose that hasn’t changed? He was also a sometimes-contributor to Playboy, if the notion of an adult book is unusually surprising.

In other news:


I despised him until today. Good to know he was a bit perverted. It’s like learning the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also wrote short stories for Playboy.


Really? Did you not know of the wonderful songs he wrote?


Silverstein also wrote for Playboy for 40 years.


This wasn’t his only “adult” book. I remember my local library had “Different Dances” when I was a kid. Lots of penises, and boobs, and sex, and violence. Hilarious as well.


Why? Even his kids’ books are subversive.enough to cause giggles.

“There are too many kids in this tub
There are too many elbows to scrub
I just washed a behind that I’m sure wasn’t mine
There are too many kids in this tub.”

- Crowded Tub - Shel Silverstein

“Mo memorized the dictionary
But just can’t seem to find a job
Or anyone who wants to marry
Someone who memorized the dictionary.”

.- Memorizin’ Mo


Gave a copy to my niece when she was 10. I am the BEST UNCLE EVER.

If you’re not familiar with Shel’s music, I recommend you buy “Inside Folk Songs” STAT:


He could also be sad:

Or pretty damn dark:


Oh man. I haven’t seen this in YEARS. I definitely need my own copy.


So I take it you’re not familiar with Dahl’s Uncle Oswald stories.

With Silverstein I don’t think saying he was a bit perverted quite does justice to him.


I second your motion.


My friend yelled through the transom, “grab your coat and hat son, there’s a nut down on the corner giving Uncle Shelby away!” But I got stoned and missed it :smiley:


You need Someone Like You in your life.

Also try Switch Bitch if you can stomach reading four of the longest rape jokes ever told.


This isn’t even close to his most perverse work. Check out Different Dances.


I found it in my grandmother’s collection when I was maybe eight. She was pretty ticked off when she found out I read it.


According to a brief tribute to him by a friend written shortly after his death Silverstein and Hugh Hefner collaborated on making Playboy in the first place.

When I was a kid and thumbed through my father’s stash I was shocked at first to see Silverstein’s signature on some of the cartoons, but it made re-reading my favorite poems in his children’s books even more interesting.


His spoken word stuff is pretty entertaining as well.


I’m curious what made you despise him prior to learning he had a dirty side. I imagine most people know him as the author of “The Giving Tree” which I can’t imagine could lead to such strong negative emotions.