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I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow [Paperback]

Jonathan Goldstein
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 9 2012

I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow is the story of Jonathan Goldstein’s journey to find some great truth on his road to forty.

In a series of wonderfully funny stories, the host of CBC’s WireTap recounts the highs and lows of his last year in his thirties. Throughout the year, Goldstein asks weighty questions that would stump a person less seasoned. For example: What is it about a McRib that drives people crazy? Can we replace extending an olive leaf with extending an olive jar? How much wisdom can we glean from episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter? His friends and family, many of them known through their appearances on WireTap, weigh in with hilarious results as Goldstein eats, sleeps, and watches bad TV all the way to his date with destiny.


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Review

“Jonathan Goldstein is one of today’s most original and intelligent comic voices. He has done for radio what Larry David has done for television. And in his new book he proves, once again, that his wry, self-deprecating observations work just as well on the page.” - David Bezmozgis, author of Natasha and Other Stories and The Free World

“Jonathan Goldstein has created something uniquely funny, smart, and touching. I love this book.” - Neil Pasricha, author of The New York Times bestseller The Book of Awesome

“Surrounded by [Goldstein’s] cast of family and friends, this chronicle of his 39th year is a portrait of a life that is striving towards hope and beauty—even wisdom—against the relentless pull of the gravity that is one’s own character, and the entropy that is age ... I smiled or laughed at every page.” - Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?

“One of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. Jonathan is like a mix of Louis C.K., Jean-Paul Sartre, and Sholem Aleichem. I guess what I’m trying to say is that he’s hilarious, philosophical, and Jewish. I want to be Jonathan Goldstein when I turn 40. (Note: I’m 44, but you know what I mean).” - A.J. Jacobs, author of the The New York Times bestseller The Year of Living Biblically

“Jonathan Goldstein’s existential misery makes for good reading. As long as he keeps writing such funny and original pieces about it, I hope he continues to suffer.” - Shalom Auslander, author of Foreskin’s Lament

“I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow is packed with Goldstein’s trademark combo of sharp-edged wit and tender wisdom. It’s his funniest book yet!” - Miriam Toews, author of A Complicated Kindness

“With his brilliant deadpan and his all-seeing eye, the hilarious Jonathan Goldstein traffics in what he calls ‘moderate hopefulness.’ It fills me with wild optimism.” - Henry Alford, author of Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That?

“Jonathan Goldstein is like no one else. He’s constantly surprising, simultaneously poetic and hilarious; an honest-to-goodness artist.” - David Rakoff, bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable

“Jonathan Goldstein is one of the funniest and most original writers I can think of. Anything by him is better than anything by just about anyone else.” - David Sedaris,author of the New York Times bestseller Me Talk Pretty One Day

"Move over, Woody Allen. Make way for Jonathan Goldstein. New misery. New hilarity.... I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow, should raise him to the upper strata of the humour pantheon.... He brings self-deprecation to a whole other level. And he should leave most howling.... Goldstein melds the Everyman hysteria of Louis C.K. with the existentialism of Sartre and converts it into a melancholic comic form that’s almost impossible to resist." - The Gazette (Montreal)

About the Author

JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN’s writing has appeared in The Walrus, The New York Times, GQ, and in the National Post. He is a frequent contributor to PRI’s This American Life and The New York Times Magazine , and he is the author of the novels Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! and Lenny Bruce Is Dead.


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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars definitely entertaining Dec 15 2012
By diana
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
But.....unfortunately, if you're a Wiretap fan (as I am), there isn't a lot in here that you haven't already heard.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Samuel Marchbanks April 8 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable read, full of humorous insights and observations about life. It reminded me of The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks by Robertson Davies, brought forward to the present. I could pick it up for a short read while waiting for a doctor's appointment, or spend an hour or more savoring the writing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read! March 18 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book to read while I was recovering from surgery - had me smiling, had me laughing. Not too heavy a read, just light, relevant, and fun - the best medicine!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Writing Nov. 30 2012
By Keith Burgoyne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jonathan Goldstein is a fantastic and hilarious writer, and this book lives up to his well-established reputation on CBC's Wiretap. This book is a delight in many ways; some stories are familiar classics from his show, while others are new and make for excellent reading.

My only criticism is that, for some odd reason, the formatting on the Kindle is pretty broken. There are paragraph indents where new paragraphs should not be, incorrect spacing, and some overall weirdness. I knocked off one star for that.

You can get around the formatting flaws pretty quickly once you dive into what Goldstein has to say. The book is a wonderful read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys some deep, insightful, dry wit.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good but not as good as his contributions to THIS AMERICAN LIFE May 16 2013
By carol irvin - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I've listened to goldstein's contributions on THIS AMERICAN LIFE and enjoyed them hugely. oddly though, when i try him in other venues, he doesn't come off nearly as well. for example, i tried listening to his program online with Canadian public radio. after a few listens, i deleted him from my ipad. then i read these essays. they are good but they are too egocentric. i can't relate them to my own life. they lack universality. so someone on THIS AMERICAN LIFE is doing a heck of an editing job with him and he should hire that person at once!

I've also hugely enjoyed both David sedaris and David rakoff on THIS AMERICAN LIFE. when i turned to reading and listening to their books, i loved them all the more. they take a situation and make it personal to them but, by the time they are done, it has become universal enough to include you. Goldstein does not do this. his observations about his life are all peculiar to him and rather mundane at that, from opening cans of olives to using air sickness bags for his lunches, perhaps if he developed these personal habits into a more nuanced essay, they might work better. he almost had me with the upstate new york pot pies but he gave those short shrift as well. i needed more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deadpan, offbeat humor June 5 2013
By Paul A. Mastin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Canadian humorist and radio host Jonathan Goldstein, on the verge of turning forty, gives us a window into his last year as a thirty-something. His account of his life during this year of his life is full of randomly funny stories, occasional bits of wisdom, and even a touching moment or two. Goldstein describes himself as a "humorist," which, as he explains, "is a comedian who doesn't necessarily make you laugh." He made me laugh, and I can imagine that his radio show, WireTap, is entertaining.

Goldstein sort of reminded me of a Canadian Jerry Seinfeld. Goldstein has an inadvertently hilarious dad, some quirky friends, and enough goofy encounters in his days to provide some good material for humor. His random thoughts reminded me of my co-worker Jesse. Some examples:

-- "Waking up this morning, it occurs to me that if grade school went on forever, I'd now be in grade thirty-four."
-- "In the midst of showering, I realize I've been using the same bar of soap for about a month now. From this I conclude that I am either a) in the midst of a Hanukkah-type miracle; or b) simply not scrubbing hard enough." He later asks his mom, "Who taught me how to shower anyway? Because I don't think I've been doing it right."
-- "Whatever happened to those 2001 moon colonies we were promised--a place where we could eat ice cream all day and still bounce around as light as lunar dust? Sometimes I just can't stand the unbearable fatness of being."

I like his take on running: "I've recently taken up running, and have been trying to figure out a route that would allow me to run nearly all the way downhill while never having to actually go uphill." And I agree with him that "jogging is good for the heart, but it can also be good for the soul."

True to his self description, Goldstein made me laugh, but mostly I'll Seize the Day was funny without making me laugh. Goldstein's humor is low-key, a bit neurotic, sometimes whiny, and even mildly, thoughtfully depressing ("At thirty-nine, I'm beginning to see that middle age might mean having more failures behind you than triumphs ahead.").

I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow may not be for everyone, but will be enjoyed by fans of off-beat, deadpan humor who have a couple hours to kill.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing. May 3 2013
By K. Polzin - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is an amusing, diverting book, with a bit of a corny sense of humor. Goldstein writes a chapter for each week of the year leading up to his 40th birthday. Occasionally, he inserts a fable-like story in between two chapters, and these were my favorite part of the book. I also enjoyed his interactions with his mother and father, which were some of the funniest parts of the book. It wasn't especially thought-provoking, but I got some laughs from it, and I enjoyed it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Writing that's worth listening to July 24 2013
By Trevor Burnham - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm an avid fan of Wiretap, the CBC radio show (available as a free podcast) that Jonathan Goldstein is the voice of, both creatively and literally. Much of the material in this book has also been on the show, where a talented cast brings it to life the way that the page can't quite convey. Even the monologues and short stories benefit from Goldstein's trademark monotone. In short, Goldstein's radio show is so good that everything he writes can't help but suffer by comparison, funny and clever though it may be.

There are gems in the book, including a foreword and afterword ostensibly written by Goldstein's agent Gregor Ehrlich, who despises him. But overall, there isn't enough fresh material here to make it required reading for Wiretap fans... and anyone interested in the book ought to become a Wiretap fan instead.
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