It's A Long Climb To the Middle


Non-Fiction - Autobiography
348 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2019
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Author Biography

Prolific Composer, Lyricist, Author, Entertainer, Producer and Filmmaker Tad Sisler experienced amazing triumphs and profound tragedies throughout his notable career.

In this remarkably candid and transparent recollection of his journey to an extraordinary life - working for Frank Sinatra as a young man - opening for a slew of Headliner Artists - Promoting Stadium Concerts - Composing Feature-Film Scores - Shooting Documentaries - Penning Books and Screenplays - Writing, Performing & Recording thousands of songs with Iconic Artists – Performing as a Band Leader, Pianist, Keyboardist and Singer on countless events - he met and became friends with quite a few legends along the way, as he made his climb to the “middle.”

On a personal level, Tad endured his father’s alcoholism and his parents’ divorce as a child, and later his stepsister’s murder and his wife’s untimely death, somehow finding meaning and extracting valuable life lessons through his odyssey while cherishing his role as a son, brother, husband, father and eventually a grandfather.

Tad’s exceptional story is proof that, with persistence, optimism and faith, it is possible to overcome all obstacles.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

It's A Long Climb To the Middle by Tad Sisler is an autobiography of Tad’s life and career as a musician. In this book, after a brief prologue, Tad begins the story in a fairly chronological way starting from his family origins, lineage, and history. There are many old remembrances provided of family members along with photos. After that, he talks about his own childhood, his parents, his father’s alcoholism and their subsequent divorce, how this affected him and his siblings, his marriages and relationships, his children and step-children, and his first start as a musician and his experiences working with various performers in various parts of the country for close to 40 years. There are many photographs provided of people and this complements the book wonderfully.

It's A Long Climb To the Middle by Tad Sisler is a great autobiography and while I expected it to focus mostly on Tad’s career, surprisingly it has more personal life stories and anecdotes, which was great. Tad writes in detail about his life lessons and experiences and has some profound insights along the way, such as “how we marry our parents” among others. There is both trauma and joy in the story and I especially liked reading about his relationships with the women in his life including his mother Elaine, who suffered a lot in her marriage, his wife Stephanie and her own problems with trauma and depression, and his relationship with Robin where he has found a healthy relationship after a lifetime cycle of dysfunctional relationships. I loved Tad’s honest, simple style of writing and his humility and his attitude of always trying to be a decent human being comes through, which is so refreshing! This is a must-read autobiography for plain, simple, honest life lessons that can be useful to anyone!

K.C. Finn

It’s A Long Climb To the Middle is a work of autobiographical non-fiction penned by Tad Sisler, who worked in the entertainment industry all his life as a composer, lyricist, and in many other media outlets. The story unveils some tragic personal difficulties that Tad faced in his early life, and also some shocking revelations that hit him much later, but also chronicles the varied and exciting career which he pursued in the media and the arts, working in fields such as literature, film-making, music, and performance. Whilst Tad rubbed shoulders with those artists who were perceived to have reached ‘the top’, his tale is also one of success despite adversity and the true value of life’s journey.

This is a powerful and emotive tale of a life well lived, but also a life that was interesting, tragic, yet full of art, optimism, and inspiration at every turn. Though author Tad Sisler labels his journey as one to the ‘middle’ in the media, fame-obsessed world we now live in, his experiences are sometimes enviable and exciting to read about all the same. Then, in the blink of an eye, the tragedy of life strikes, and Tad’s effective and honest writing style gives us a harrowing portrait of how ghosts of the past and tragedies of the here and now can strike us at any time. The beauty of the work lies in the faith and fortitude of its writer, making It’s A Long Climb To the Middle an inspiring read for all to enjoy.

Ruffina Oserio

It's a Long Climb to the Middle is Tad Sisler’s memoir that captures the key moments of his journey to get to the middle. A man with his own share of trouble and personal losses — the alcoholism of his father, the murder of his stepsister, the divorce of his parents when he was just a child, and his wife’s untimely death — Tad was an exceptionally gifted composer, entertainer, filmmaker, and author. In this autobiography, he takes lifts the veil and allows readers a peek into his soul. Follow him on this incredible journey filled with powerful lessons on life and how to take responsibility for one’s destiny. In his climb to the middle, he encounters icons in the entertainment industry like Frank Sinatra for whom he worked as a young man.

This is a book that will entertain readers and also remind some of the beauty of looking back at life and finding lessons and inspiration for humor. It's a Long Climb to the Middle is filled with beautiful images, both black and white and colorful, and readers will enjoy the author’s sense of humor. I found a lot to laugh about and the author’s unique way of describing situations enriches the narrative. For instance, he shares the weird behavior of his alcoholic grandfather, who after the stock market crash, often got drunk and asked, upon the flimsiest thing, that his father and his father’s brothers be taken upstairs and be beaten. He writes: “My grandmother would dutifully take them up the stairs, and then she would beat the bedpost with my grandfather’s belt and tell her sons to scream like hell as if they were getting hit.” While Tad Sisler shares his journey with readers, he comes across as a good entertainer and an insightful writer who allows the lessons of that journey to reach his readers.