Moose: Chapters From My Life by Robert B. Sherman

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Features, The Disney Review

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Published on March 01, 2014 at 2:00 am with 5 Comments

George: When we received review copies of Moose: Chapters From My Life by Robert B. Sherman (and edited by Robert J. Sherman), we were both extremely excited. Robert was one-half of the amazing songwriting team that penned some of the most spectacular songs for Disney films and attractions. Mary Poppins, the Tiki Room and it’s a small world are their three most well known projects. I will say, right off the bat, that it’s an incredibly enjoyable read. Robert mentions in the beginning of the book that a lot of the content covered in the amazing Walt’s Time won’t be rehashed. This doesn’t mean that Robert’s time at Disney is ignored, but it’s just not covered in depth. Frankly, the book is so well-written that you won’t miss the fact that Disney isn’t center stage.

Jeff: I have to say right off the bat that I was incredibly surprised at how well written the book was. We know Robert as one half of the prolific song writing team, but this book proves that he was also a fantastic writer as well. He certainly had a passion for it, and it shows through his tales. And that’s basically what the book is: a collection of 30 or so stories that take place at various times through out his life, and all weave together into one narrative. And it is fantastic!


George: Agreed! Given the chance, Robert Sherman could have been a well-known author and a good painter! Thankfully, for us Disney fans, his father bet the brothers that they couldn’t write a pop song. The rest is history. As Jeff said, the book is really 30 or so stories that tell Robert’s life. He starts in the throes of World War II and zips around his life, seemingly willy-nilly, but it comes together and makes sense rather quickly. I have to admit I was in complete awe of the people that Robert met and of the places he’d visited. Recently, there’s been discussion from the Sherman children about the book and the portrayal of the Sherman Brothers, including the feud mentioned in the documentary The Boys.

Jeff: The book kind of sheds more light on that subject, among many other things. Which leads to me this point: I can’t believe how honest Robert is! He really shares some great stories, some of which had me very surprised how in-depth he went. I was impressed, and quite intrigued at his openness and honesty.

George: Despite any looming controversy, the book is a great read and it’s great to read Robert’s version of what happened. One thing I took away from the book is that even though Robert was not as outspoken as Richard, he did spend a lot of time building the Sherman brand and living an incredible life. A few of Robert’s stories talk about lost loves and heartbreak. He weaves the tales so deftly that you feel Robert’s pain and remorse. It’s truly a sign of a gifted storyteller.

Jeff: There is one thing I did take issue with, though, and that was the photo sections. They were obviously laid out for a differently sized book, and sometimes the text is so small that it is hard to read. It’s kind of a jumble, but it was great to see all the photos. Having said all that, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. This book is probably one of the best memoirs I have ever read, Disney-related or not.

George: Whether or not you’re a Disney fan (if not, why are you reading this?), it’s an incredible memoir that is a joy to read. Robert does look at a lot of darker times in his life and not only shares his thoughts but how he was able to move on. There’s a sweetness in these tales that shines through and we get a very personal glimpse about how Robert thought and what his dreams were. With Moose, The Boys and Walt’s Time, we have a great look at the Sherman brothers. I’d love to see Richard pen a memoir of sorts to allow him to tell his side of the story.

Dusty Sage interviewed Robbie Sherman about Moose and other subjects at the recent Disneyana Fan Club Show and Sale. Take a listen to the current MiceChat Podcast for this wonderfully candid discussion.

Have you read Moose, yet? Are you going to add this book to your collection? 

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By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • daliseurat

    I really enjoyed this book. Robert Sherman led a really amazing life and this book really sheds some light into who he really was. The only thing that really kind of bothers me is that there is a controversy concerning some bits of history that contradict what has been previously known. In particular, the so-called feud between the brothers, and some references to cousins’ relationships being lied about. It really is sad that there are two conflicting versions of certain events. I would have hoped that the family would have come together to set the record straight, or to leave it unrevealed. In the end, while we all want to know how in the world Robert and Richard Sherman could have ever not gotten along personally, it’s a personal story that, perhaps should have stayed that way. Regardless of this, (which really is a small part of this book) the bulk of this book is riveting. It makes me mourn Robert Sherman the man, so much more, and realize just how much he was probably overlooked because Richard was so much more outgoing. And the interesting thin is that I realized reading this just how much we don’t know about Richard Sherman. In spite of any controversies, this book is a must read by any Sherman brothers fan, and something I believe so many people who aren’t Disney or Sherman Brothers fans would also enjoy.

  • Stitch 626

    I think that, in fairness, you guys should speak to Jeffrey Sherman about this book as well.

    • Dusty Sage

      Does Jeffrey Sherman have a book? I thought he did the documentary The Boys. This book is sort of Robert Sherman’s response to that. The Boy’s was a smash success and was covered extensively here on MiceChat.

      • daliseurat

        Jeffrey does not have a book. I would not call MOOSE a response to the film, THE BOYS. It’s an retrospective of an amazing life lived by an amazing man. There is a response to the film, which is pretty a pretty small section. Jeffrey also claims that his father did not write the passages that call into question the inconsistencies. He believes(according to his posts on his FB page) that Robbie (the books editor) inserted these passages himself after his fathers death. I have no idea if this is true or not. I have no idea which version is the truth, or something in between. And I’m certainly not accusing anyone of anything. It’s just sad to see this put a bit of a dark cloud over such a wonderful memoir.

  • daliseurat

    Jeffrey and his cousin Gregg Sherman did indeed do the wonderful documentary “The Boys.” People have been reaching out to Jeff for an interview about these inconsistencies in MOOSE. So far he has declined, He has stated on his own web page that they are not true. Clearly there are some private matters that are causing the family pain. I don’t personally know any of them, so it isn’t for me to judge who’s telling the more true version. I can say that I highly recommend MOOSE, THE BOYS. and WALT’S TIME FROM BEFORE AND BEYOND. Even if they might conflict, they are terrific reading.