Goldstein's woeful, funny debut novel is a series of aphorism-capped vignettes, paced at the rate of approximately one scene per paragraph. As these snapshots flash past, protagonist Josh ages rapidly from child to onanistic teen to depressive adult, mourning the death of his mother and the loss of a series of vividly described girlfriends along the way. Throughout, descriptions of Josh's suburban-anytown Jewish upbringing and job at local fast-food franchise Burger Zoo, while peppered with scatological and Portnoy's Complaint-esque sordidly sexual details, often achieve a level of nuance that's poetic and almost profound. In the latter third of the book, Josh's preoccupation with a Hasidic neighbor and the "Rebbe's Kosher-style Love Lotion" that he begins to experiment with grow repetitive and confusing. But "This American Life" contributing editor Goldstein has a knack for imagery ("He was crying on the floor, pulling toilet paper off the spool with both hands like he was climbing a rope") and ear for hyper-realistic dialogue, making him a writer to watch. (Mar.)
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'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
'An incredibly strange but redeemingly funny novel.' – EsquireSee all Product Description
i came accross this book by accident without knowledge of goldstein's prior work. i can understand how some wouldn't appreciate the book, it is definitely an ubercontemporary work,... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2006 by melody m.
I almost didn't read this book when I first picked it up. I was like, "'Lenny Bruce is Dead' well yeah, and the sky is blue, so what! Read morePublished on March 7 2002 by Mike Stumph