5.0 out of 5 stars If you were ever a teenager and if you were ever obsessed with music, this book is for you
As a teenager, I was obsessed with music. Most of us are at that age. But few of us turn their obsessions into fulfilling, inspiring, careers. Jian Ghomeshi, the author of the new memoir, 1982, did. Musician, producer and writer, today Jian Ghomeshi is the host of a beloved and highly respected daily radio show called Q, at the CBC. I first learned about Jian Ghomeshi...
Published 21 days ago by Andreina Romero
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should not have been published.
This book was terrible. The content was weak and repetitive. It constantly stated the obvious "In 1982, we didn't have facebook". Also, I'm not sure who this book is written for; people who were alive in 1982, people who are 15 now? I would not recommend this book to either of those groups. This book could have been shortened to a nice little essay suitable for the Walrus...
Published 6 months ago by Laura
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should not have been published.,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)This book was terrible. The content was weak and repetitive. It constantly stated the obvious "In 1982, we didn't have facebook". Also, I'm not sure who this book is written for; people who were alive in 1982, people who are 15 now? I would not recommend this book to either of those groups. This book could have been shortened to a nice little essay suitable for the Walrus and it would have been lovely, but instead Jian (and his publishers) got greedy and took a little bit of content and streched it over 270 painful pages. If anyone other than Jian Ghomeshi wrote the book, then it would have never been published,
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Golden Boy Reveals Clay Feet,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Full disclosure: I'm heavily invested in the author of this memoir. I listen to Jian Ghomeshi's popular CBC radio show, Q, five mornings a week, and am impressed--no amazed--at his ability to maintain such a consistently high standard. Jian is not only a sterling interviewer--asking all the questions you want answered--but prodigiously well informed. Where does he get the time to read all that stuff? I find myself wondering. The affable talk show host not only seems to work his butt off but exhibits taste, insight, humor, generosity, and guts. His handling of the Billie Bob Thornton debacle was an admirable example of grace under fire. And the radio gig is not Gomer's first rodeo. Prior to becoming a semi-famous talk jock, he fronted a semi-famous boy band. When I heard that this multi-talented dude had published a soon-to-be-best-selling memoir I asked myself, Is there nothing this guy can't do?
Now I know the answer.
Forget the $15.00, I want my illusions back!
Though I hate to agree with the reviewer who used the words "boring and childish" those two adjectives do fit rather snugly. This memoir about the fourteenth year of the author's eventful life reads like it was written for fourteen year olds. Immature fourteen year olds. (Would you believe twelve year olds?) 1982 was the year a sensitive teenage Iranian-Canadian suffered a life-altering trauma - he lost his Adidas bag. (I'm not making this up.) Lest the reader think the loss of a fake leather security blanket on the verge of manhood is of no great moment, the author takes pains to illustrate that not all gym bags are created equal.
`Here is a short list of the colour combinations that were available in the Adidas gym bag in the early `80s:
*Spoiler alert: Jian's was `red with blue stripes and handles.'
1982 gives a whole new meaning to the term "too much information." In fact, it suffers from terminal tmi. The above list, which appears on p. 27, is not the first (there are 3 in the 8 page Prologue) and certainly not the last.
`I've made a short list (or shortlist) of the biggest hits of the Thornhill Community Band in 1982:
theme from Superman
theme from Star Wars
"How Deep is Your Love
"William Tell Overture (theme from The Lone Ranger)
"New York, New York" (them from New York, New York)'
`I've made a short list of the lawn sprinklers that were available in Thornhill in 1982:
pulsing (impulse) sprinkler
`I have made a short list (or shortlist) of things that were cool and then not cool and now cool again:
I've constructed a point form list of things I would've needed to do to become more like Sting in grade 9:
dye hair blond and straighten blond hair
stay out of sun (become whiter)
wear green army jacket
get nose job
I have made a shortlist of (unofficial) basic terms that were required in (room) 213:
black baggy theatre pants or black tight skinny jeans
prominently displayed New Wave band pin
black shoes, boots, or ballet-type slippers
black flowing scarf
Siouxsie and the Banshees tape
Black eyeliner (girls)
I have jotted down a short list of the items I packed in my Adidas bag that morning:
Sony Walkman with Police mix tape inside
Extra mix tapes featuring the Beat and Heaven 17
Sandwich bag of mixed nuts
I've made a short list of things I was scared of finding in Canada before arriving in the 1970s:
Here is a short list (or shortlist) of things my mother did not want me to be in 1982:
Here is a short list of some Clash T-shirt designs that were available for purchase in 1982:
London Calling album cover T-shirts
"Revolutionary Rock" T-shirt (white images on black)
"Straight to Hell" T-shirt (featuring freaked-out monkey icon)
white star with circle featuring "The Clash" T-shirt
The Clash debut album T-shirt (various colors)
"Clash City Rockers" T-shirt (yellow, red, and white on black)
Sandanista! T-shirt (black and red)...
I'll stop at this point to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome--and repetitive stress injury of the brain. Ghomeshi's penchant for lists, annoying as it is, is merely one stylistic tidbit in a feast of redundancy. In the first chapter we are told that David Bowie was the young author's idol, and we are reminded of this unremarkable fact in virtually every chapter after that. He was even enomored of the elusive 'Wendy' because she reminded him of David Bowie. He worship this golden idol like a born-again Rocker. What would Bowie do? is his mantra. I didn't keep track of how many times I read the word "Bowie" in the entire book, but I counted 7 on the first page.
And it's a 278-page book.
Correction, a 100-page book that's 278 pages long.
1982 covers a year in the life of the author, and the story is told in real time. After a long, drawn-out explanation of how there were no cell phones in 1982 (duhh!) and a detailed descriptions of how land lines work (duhh!) and a description of the location of the hard-wired phones in his home (yawn!) and his apprehension about his parents overhearing him phone a girl, the author continues:
'The first time I tried Wendy, things ended fast. It was in July, and I had waited for an afternoon when no one was home and I could use the upstairs phone. A woman that sounded like Wendy's mother answered. I panicked. I did the instinctive thing to do when the mother of a girl you're infatuated with picks up the phone--I hung up.'
Self Editing 101: The first time I phoned Wendy, I waited for an afternoon when no one was home. A woman who sounded like Wendy's mother answered. I hung up.
This excerpt was chosen at random. I could have plucked an equally prolix example from virtually any page. Whoever edited this travesty (if anyone did edit it) should be sued for malpractice. Or maybe shot. Who's kidding whom? If a non-celebrity had submitted this manuscript to a mainstream publisher he or she would have had two chances of it being accepted--and slim left town. In fact, if it had been submitted to a non-Canadian mainstream publisher it would have come back with a form rejection letter. Over the past few months there's been considerable bitching, in reviews and discussion groups, about the mediocrity of self-published books. Well, I've read at least one "indie" author who, compared to Jian Ghomeshi, is Marcel Proust. And it doesn't cost the $17 they're charging for the Kindle version of this dud but .99. (See the product link at the end of the review.)
Don't get me wrong; I'm still a great admirer of Jian Ghomeshi. I just don't think Penguin Canada did him any favors by helping him (and them) exploit his celebrity for a quick buck. This book isn't bad; it's embarrassing. It is unworthy of the "real" Jian Ghomeshi, of whom we get a brief glimpse in one of the ubiquitous short lists (or shortlists) with which this memoir is strewn --an "inside baseball" take on a Queen rock standard:
'I have made a short list (or shortlist) of the six best moments of "Under Pressure" and the times at which they appear in the song:
1. 0.01--The top of the song features the iconic two-note bass line that may have been written by Bowie or by Queen bassist John Deacon. There is disagreement on who wrote it, but it's unforgettable, and it would later form the basis of a sample by rapper Vanilla Ice that would lead to another, less interesting and slightly ridiculous hit called "Ice Ice Baby."
2. 0.57--This moment in the song is the first time Bowie sings his dramatic line about the terror of being aware of what the world is about in the pre-chorus. Few lyrics have been sung with such authority and power. This is Bowie playing Bowie.
3. 1.22--The beginning of the backup oohs that Bowie sings behind Freddie in the second verse. I imagine that Bowie winked at Freddy when he sang this part.
4. 1.30--Freddie's improvised musical "bee bap" nonsense words heading into the second chorus. Freddie is singing with abandon. It's so clear that this could not have been planned. It is one of the few moments in any modern rock song that features scatting.
5. 2.22--Freddies melodramatic climbing note on the word "why" with Bowie echoing "love" in the background. More drama will not be found in most epic films.
6. 2.50-3.32 The final crescendo with Freddie singing "give love" and Bowie pleading into the microphone about this being the last dance. Gold.
Being unfamiliar with the song in question I must admit that the above is Farci to me, but it does reflect someone who takes pride in his craft. Which, unfortunately, is not writing books.
Jian, baby, I love and respect you--but don't quit your morning job.
Einstein's Shutter (Kindle version available on Amazon.com.)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jian, you disappointed me!,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)I'm an avid listener of "Q" and a big Jian Ghomeshi fan, which is why I hiked my butt to the bookstore and actually paid full price for this book. I have read his opinion pieces over the years, and I enjoy his intros to the show -- I know he's a good writer.
I very nearly put this book down and didn't pick it back up again. The only thing is I was fostering a kitten at the time in my basement, and she was recovering from a spay and she'd parked on my lap and fallen asleep, and it's all I had to read.
I was 14 in 1986, and obsessed with New Wave, too, so I thought I'd like it. The book seemed like it was probably written for someone like me. But it wasn't. Ghomeshi kept saying things like "you know, we didn't have cell phones when I was a kid. We had to stand in the foyer of the house..." and stuff like that. GRRR. Did you write this book for 18 year olds (who, by the way, know that) or me (who, by the way, knows that)??? I found that the book REALLY talked down to me. As if I didn't live through that era and I had no idea what he was talking about.
I could have done without the Rush chapter, but that's just me.
The lists were annoying and not cute like I suspected, and the ending really disappointed. I know it's true, and true stories sometimes end badly, but Jian leaving his new girlfriend on the wall while he danced with Wendy was a HUGE let down and I was just left feeling like he was like every other dirtbag guy out there, not the super sensitive SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) we Q listeners think he is. I wouldn't have minded the crappy ending if it was well written, but it wasn't. It was a huge disappointment all round.
Good news is my foster kitty found a forever home!
5.0 out of 5 stars If you were ever a teenager and if you were ever obsessed with music, this book is for you,
This review is from: 1982 (Kindle Edition)As a teenager, I was obsessed with music. Most of us are at that age. But few of us turn their obsessions into fulfilling, inspiring, careers. Jian Ghomeshi, the author of the new memoir, 1982, did. Musician, producer and writer, today Jian Ghomeshi is the host of a beloved and highly respected daily radio show called Q, at the CBC. I first learned about Jian Ghomeshi about 10 years ago when he had a great TV show called Play, also at the CBC. As a radio host, Ghomeshi is best known to his listeners as a great interviewer who always manages to bring something new out of the people he talks to. His interviews are witty, knowledgeable, compassionate and fun, all of the qualities that can be found in 1982.
In his wonderful first book, Ghomeshi tells us stories about his life as a skinny, David Bowie-obsessed, nerdy immigrant kid in Thornhill, Ontario in the 1980's. In particular, 1982 tells the story of Jian Ghomeshi as a fourteen year-old and the discoveries he made that year about the person he wanted to be and would later become in his life. Besides David Bowie, who was his main source of inspiration and obsession ("I wanted to be Bowie" he declares) another one of Ghomeshi's nerdy obsessions then (and now) were lists, and this book features many of them. So, in honour of Jian Ghomeshi’s love of lists, here are some of the reasons, in list form, of why I loved 1982.
1. This is a very funny book. It was hard to read it on the train on my way to work at 6:50 am. I think I may have woken a commuter or two trying to suppress sudden outbursts of laughter.
2. It’s a book about musical obsessions, musical discoveries and the evolution and shaping of taste. I particularly enjoyed how Ghomeshi describes in detail some of the bands and songs that had the greatest influence on him as he was growing up and as a teenager. There is also a story about a concert that's so epic it will make your reminisce about all your own crazy concert stories.
3. The highly insightful description of some of the predominant music styles of the 80's, mainly new wave, punk and rock, and how each style differentiated from each other by the fashions and attitudes of their fans. This is very important. For example, I learned that if you were new wave in 1982, it probably meant you were also kind of artsy and prone to wearing black eyeliner and pointy black shoes. A puffy, pirate-style white shirt would probably have been part of your wardrobe as well at some point. This highly entertaining conversation around music includes, among other things, a discussion on the relationship between musical genres, the elements that make a song great and the fickle nature of "cool”. This is my favourite part of the book.
4. It's a story about growing up in Canada. As somebody who came into Canada as a young adult, I often feel a great curiosity for my adopted country's past. Reading 1982, I often found myself feeling nostalgic for a time and a place I never knew but the stories gave me a better understanding of Canada's cultural landscape and how it came to be today.
5. Despite its mostly humorous tone, his description of the confusion, struggles and stereotypes he and his family had to face as immigrants in 1980's Canada are often very moving, poignant and real.
6. More importantly, we learn that Jian Ghomeshi is big fan of Rush, the essential Canadian progressive rock band. I'm a huge fan of the band too, so the fact there is a chapter on the book entitled "Subdivisions" (after the song by Rush) and a wonderful story that features both Jian Ghomeshi and Rush, was like a big explosion of all things Canadian that I love.
I give this book 5 starts because I enjoyed it immensely and loved every minute I spent reading it. The only problem that I had with it was that it was over too soon.
2.0 out of 5 stars OK Book,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Was expecting a little more after all the hype. I am not loving the book and will likely not finish it.
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 stars for "not impressed so far",
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Haven't actually read this book, but just reading the product description on this page was enough to turn me off. Michael Jackson's and Paul McCartney's "Ebony and Ivory"??? I was only 13 in 1982 and I can remember with certainty it was McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Please tell me this error is only in the product description and not in the book itself!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jian Ghomeshi 1982 is complete garbage,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)I have to think the only way to enjoy this book is if you are already sold on Ghomeshi. Most intelligent readers will think Ghomeshi is incredibly arrogant, and snotty. His book is just more shameless self promotion. I couldnt stand it. I have to recommend that you do not read this book. he has nothing to say. Only Jian's level of arrogance allows for thinking a book about his own uninteresting adolescence is somehow worth the canadian reader's time. He is a tabloid journalist at best. If I hear him tote his own wares as "a coming of age classic" or "quintessentially Canadian" one more time I will open his worthless book to the "about the author" page and puke on it.
One star is the lowest possible rating, but this book does not deserve even that.
If ever you run into ghomeshi on the street punch his ugly face.
before you buy this book youtube moxy fruvous. If you like what you see maybe you are stupid enough to enjoy this read!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Humourless.........,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Where do i start...i expected a more intelligent book from a man so revered.I truly could not wait til the end of each chapter and gradually this book.Mr Ghomeshi has the wit of a 14 year old when reading this book.Its plainly obvious that Mr Ghomeshi has this idea that the 1980s were merely a joke and delves into his anti-80s retoric to compare yesterday to a more seemling today.Mr Ghomeshis rant of the 1980s reminds me of the bully on the playground making fun of someone in order to make themselves come across as better,case in point make the 1980s seem silly in comparison to the better choice of today or Mr Ghomeshis book.Mr Ghomeshi,yes tim hortons makes donuts but the donuts are really not any bigger than they were in 1982.Mr Ghomeshi makes the reader believe donuts in Canada during the 1980s were the size of hub caps,you do realise Tim Hortons also freshly baked their donuts in 1982 compared to TODAY when they freeze and thaw the donuts.Mr Ghomeshi,yes some people in 1982 in Canada (this book is mostly about 1982 in Canada?if i'm right)drove big cars compared to some european countries because the simple fact bigger cars were roomier and people could afford to have bigger families and gas was much cheaper.In Europe smaller cars had to be driven due to higher gas prices.A very silly book indeed.I might add this book was made with an "American Publisher" why?..well everyone knows because here in Canada(Hondurus of the North)everything is either too expensive to produce or make
The picture on the front cover pretty much sums up this book,destroy the past....
P.s funny and a bit ironic but seeing that smaller is better today,Mr Ghomeshi chooses to due the opposite and torture the reader with a book over 200 pages long when the obvious choice would be to make a more economical POCKET NOVEL !!!
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Popular Broadcaster's Take on the 1980s and Adolescence,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Jian Ghomeshi is the wildly popular host of a daily radio program on CBC that concentrates on arts and culture in Canada and elsewhere; "1982" is his memoir of that year in his life, when he was 14/15 years of age. As he is also a musician, it is not surprising that music looms very large in the memoir; indeed, each chapter name is a song title, with the artist or band attached. Ghomeshi was a struggling New Waver in the early 1980s, although his heart was (and still is) given to David Bowie, somebody he often says he wishes he could be. There are interesting stories about growing up in a suburb of Toronto, where he was one of the very few non-white people - his parents are Iranian and Jian himself was born in England, where he lived until the family moved to Canada when he was around 7 years old. Some stories are very funny, some are quite serious, as when he discusses the racism that he encountered growing up, both in England and in Canada, and the difficulties he ran into as an immigrant. Given that this is a memoir of adolescence, it's not surprising that a large chunk of the text involves his various crushes on heart-breaking girls that he meets; actually, my one quibble with this book is that he provides just a bit too much information about how he discovers sex, definitely more than we really need to know. Other than that, his writing style is casual and friendly, and Ghomeshi is quite frank about his various neuroses and self-doubts - not to mention his quite obsessive list-making. I don't know if people who are not familiar with his broadcasts would be tempted to take up this book, but it really is quite entertaining and definitely recommended for anyone interested in adolescence and popular music in the early 1980s.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...,
This review is from: 1982 (Hardcover)Inoffensive and genial, humourous and humble, probing but easy-going, Jian Ghomeshi epitomizes the ideal radio host. Indeed, his CBC show, "Q", enjoys the all-time highest audience share ever in its time slot. Unfortunately, an exceptional radio personality does not a great writer make.
Ghomeshi’s prologue establishes the themes of "1982": suburban malaise, girl problems, troubles fitting in as an Iranian-Canadian and, especially, wanting to be David Bowie. It becomes redundant, though, as the contents of the book speak plainly for themselves. What follows the prologue reads as a repetitive, lacklustre, sometimes insulting and unfocused account of the author's fifteenth year. Talking about the nearly obsolete phone cord, he writes: “These cords were usually curly. I’m not sure why. Perhaps they were curly so that when people were on the phone they could try to uncurl the phone cord as a game during boring parts of the conversation.” Here, and in many other passages, Ghomeshi feigns stupidity for the sake of quirkiness, a transparent effort to come across as an Everyman. He unsuccessfully tries to both appeal to the Boomers, who remember the curly phone cords, and to distance himself from them by pretending not to fully “get” their culture.
Despite Ghomeshi's unfortunate style, parts of "1982" successfully move the reader. His descriptions of his family's struggles as Iranian immigrants in the early ’80s are especially affecting; when his father tries to buy a trap to rid his attic of squirrels, for example, the hardware store clerk tells him: "We don’t eat squirrels in this country.”
Details of the dramatic tension between his artistic passions his struggles to define his teenage self form Ghomeshi's best writing but such moments come infrequently and end abruptly. Ultimately, "1982" finds Ghomeshi trying to appeal to everyone and spreading himself too thin. The well-intentioned narrative loses its urgency between bad jokes, unnecessary tangents and attempts to appeal to “the kids."
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1982 by Jian Ghomeshi (Hardcover - Sep 18 2012)
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