From theme park pins to words of wisdom, Travels with Figment: On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams is a welcome glimpse into the life and lessons of Walt’s right-hand Disneyland News man, Marty Sklar.
I am embarrassed to admit that I was only recently introduced to the mastery of Marty Sklar while reading Kevin Rafferty’s book, Magic Journey. Little did I know that Marty, in addition to being a Disney Legend and Imagineering Ambassador, was a charismatic and compelling storyteller.
Travels with Figment is Marty’s last retelling of his Disney adventures. The grand finale to a magical career, Marty’s conversational approach is a fun-filled time capsule for readers. The change in writing style from diary-like entries to inclusion of letters and extracts not only transport readers to times’ past, but almost gives them a sense of being on-the-job with Marty. Marty’s fondness for his colleagues and those he admired, too, shines through on almost every page.
Though there are many references to Marty’s earlier publications Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and the Road to Imagineering, Travels with Figment can stand alone. The takeaways in the book speak for themselves. Mickey’s Ten Commandments appear towards the end of the book, so readers new to Marty’s books do not miss out on some of his great lessons shared in earlier books. Moreover, many of Marty’s anecdotes are supplemented by commentary and extracts from those who lived the commandments or otherwise marched with Marty throughout his career. Safe to say, if you don’t learn anything from Travels with Figment, you aren’t paying attention.
Interestingly, and with much sincerity, editorial director Wendy Lefkon notes that the book as written is essentially Marty’s first draft as he sadly passed away before its completion. However, as Wendy states, his legacy lives on. Now, with the help of Marty’s family, Travels with Figment has been completed and will hit stores on November 5. Get ready for a rough, ready n’ real ride. And Marty – thanks for the fun.
Note: You can pre-order Travels with Figment via Amazon where your purchase will help support The Disney Blog. Thank you