Goldstein Approaches 40 with a Cache of Neuroses

Winnipeg Free Press, December 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

Goldstein Approaches 40 with a Cache of Neuroses


ON his 39th birthday, Montreal-based broadcaster and humorist Jonathan Goldstein took stock of what he has accomplished -- or rather, what he has not. Wife? Negative. Kids? Nil. House? Zip.

At the very least, he expected to have figured out which cologne suited him.

In this amusing comic diary, an extension of his popular CBC Radio program WireTap, Goldstein doles out canny observations on family, friends and the sorry state of his life in general.

Dividing his chapters into weeks and days, Goldstein takes us through the last year of his "youth" -- that is the year before the big 4-0. You can almost hear his deadpan intonation: "This is the sound of me turning 40."

Goldstein, who was born in New York, describes himself as "a comedian who doesn't necessarily make you laugh." Instead, he makes you cry. Or at least feel very, very depressed.

Forty-three weeks in, Goldstein confesses, "I've lately been feeling the overwhelming urge to lie down on the sidewalk on my way to walk to work."

One gets the sense, however, that reaching mid-life is not the only source of Goldstein's malaise. A hapless man-child who claims to have begun balding in Grade 8, he spends inordinate amounts of time pondering the postmodernism of the McRib sandwich or worrying about his lack of machismo.

A little bit lost, a little bit sad, Goldstein is never truly in sync with the world around him. He's like Woody Allen on Valium: less frenetic, but with more neuroses than you can shake a stick at.

Goldstein contends that it's the accumulation of all the little idiosyncrasies that "over time becomes this even weirder thing: who you are. …

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