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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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"A funny, sad, lyrical, totally perverted examination of what happens to people when the culture cares too much about sex." -- Neal Pollack
"Jonathan Goldstein is like no one else. He's constantly surprising, simultaneously poetic and hilarious; an honest-to-goodness artist." -- David Rakoff
"The cleanest dirty book I have ever read. Goldstein is a goddamn poet." -- VICE Magazine
This was my first foray into the mind of Jonathan Goldstein. The book had its moments. In fact, I they were hilarious moments. Read morePublished on March 25, 2009 by V. Gera
Amazingly clever book. I read it twice and intend to read it again. It says more in what it doesn't say than in what it does. Brilliant.Published on September 10, 2007 by Cool Hand Luke
If I could give it fewer stars I would. Masturbatory, adolescent stream of consciousness, with absolutely nothing to say. Its only redeeming feature is that it is short.Published on January 29, 2007 by MD
I thought this was an absolutely fantastic book. The way Goldstein creates a full characters out of paragraph-length scenes is visionary, and his subject matter is funny, sad, and... Read morePublished on January 16, 2007 by drew
This book was not funny or interesting. It is sort of like those columns Larry King used to write..... I want a pastrami sandwich,..... Read morePublished on October 15, 2006 by Book reviewer