Real Talk Book Review: The Giving Tree

Quick Synopsis: A tree sacrifices her life to make some douchebag’s life a little bit more convenient.

Good if you like:

  • Listening to Elliot Smith
  • American consumerism
  • Voting Republican
  • Being in parasitic relationships
  • Wasting paper
  • Hating Arbor Day
  • Blaming millenials
  • Sexism

I read books to my son for two reasons really:

  1.  I get to brag about how great of a parent I am because #literacy;
  2. Freud tells me that at best I should try not to f%$ up my kid’s life any worse and that this infancy stage is where I can plant some subconscious seeds of decency.

Therefore, I always go into a book thinking, “What lesson will this book feed into my son’s ‘id’ and keep him from being a menace to society?”  Let me tell you: If you want to screw your kid up on a subconscious level,  read him or her The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

It starts off all cute and tree-huggy.  A little boy gets lovey-dovey with a tree.



It gets kind of weird . . .


But you still think, “This is sweet.  Nature.”

Then it dawns on you how jacked up it is to have this personified tree getting its flesh carved up.


But hey, the tree is still happy.


Lesson #1: It’s cool to let people hurt you as long as they still say, “I love you.”

After abandoning this tree, our little friend, fresh out of college no doubt, comes back looking for handouts.


The tree, a prophesy of perfect 21st Century parenting, doesn’t know how to say, “No.”


Lesson #2: Never say, “No.”

Guess what? #America.  Dude comes back.  His attempts on Tinder have failed.  He can’t keep a job because he fondles trees.  He just watched that Netflix documentary on tiny houses.  He’s ready for his next handout.


Lesson #3: Don’t feel guilty about your sweatshop clothes.  Those starving children are happy to help.


(What a creep)

For the next round, our “boy” comes back as a depressed septuagenarian, trying to escape the reality that he is a terrible person.


Lesson #4: Run away from your problems.  Always.

Let’s hope those new titanium hips do their job.


If your child’s sense of healthy relationships isn’t subconsciously in shambles by now, you can destroy it in the last few pages.  Our sociopath somehow didn’t sink his crappy canoe, so he’s back, more emo than ever.


Our tree, whose parents most likely read her The Giving Tree when she was a seedling, makes one final sacrifice and let’s the decrepit douche sit on her . . .


. . . even though he’s probably going to croack in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1


Now that we’ve ruined our kid’s life, who’s ready to roast some s’mores over a bonfire of burning tree souls?


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