Authors: Jonathan Goldstein
I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow
and Jonathan Goldstein
“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.”
âDavid Bezmozgis, author of
Natasha and Other Stories
The Free World
“Jonathan Goldstein has created something uniquely funny, smart, and touching. I love this book.”
âNeil Pasricha, author of the
New York Times
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 beautyâeven wisdomâagainst 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.”
âSheila 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).”
âA.J. Jacobs, author of the
New York Times
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.”
âShalom Auslander, author of
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!”
âMiriam Toews, author of
A Complicated Kindness
“With his brilliant deadpan and his all-seeing eye, the hilarious Jonathan Goldstein traffics in what he calls âmoderate hopefulness.' It fills me with wild optimism.”
âHenry Alford, author of
Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That?
“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.”
âDavid Sedaris, author of the
New York Times
Me Talk Pretty One Day
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
“Jonathan Goldstein is like no one else. He's constantly surprising, simultaneously poetic and hilarious; an honestto-goodness artist.”
âDavid Rakoff, bestselling author of
Don't Get Too Comfortable
I'LL SEIZE THE DAY TOMORROW
's writing has appeared in
The New York Times Magazine, GQ,
He is a columnist for the
and a frequent contributor to PRI's
This American Life
. He's the author of the short story collection
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!
and the novel
Lenny Bruce Is Dead
. His CBC Radio show,
is now in its ninth season.
ALSO BY JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN
Lenny Bruce Is Dead
Ladies and Gentlemen,The Bible!
an imprint of Penguin Canada
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700,Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
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Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (WEB)
Copyright Â© Jonathan Goldstein, 2012
“Unfolding” by Carl Dennis first published in
The New Yorker
. Used with permission.
Portions of this work were previously broadcast or published in slightly different form on or in the following sources: CBC Radio's
WireTap, This American Life, National Post,
The New York Times Magazine
All rights reserved.Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
Manufactured in Canada.
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION
Goldstein, Jonathan, 1969â I'll seize the day tomorrow / Jonathan Goldstein.
1. Goldstein, Jonathan, 1969â âHumor. I. Title.
PS8563.O82846I55 2012Â Â Â Â Â Â C817'.6Â Â Â Â Â Â C2012-905314-7
Visit the Penguin Canada website at
Special and corporate bulk purchase rates available; please see
or call 1-800-810-3104, ext.Â 2477.
For my family and friends, past and present.
And what the heck, I'm feeling good:
for those, too, who may not even like me,
because they might some day.
Who knows. Life is weird.
by Gregor Ehrlich, agent to the star
One wintry morning many years ago, my butler opened the door of my
maison de campagne
and discovered a basket of reeds with a baby inside. There was a note pinned to the swaddling cloth explaining that the baby's name was Jonathan Goldstein, who, due to an unspecified condition, had been born well on the other side of his prime. Here was a middle-aged-man baby. And one who had not lived well at that. He was doughy, rotund, and baldâand not baby bald, but Ed Asner bald. In fact, the only thing baby-like about this creature were his genitals. Which were small.
I gave him the finest education money could buy. Elocution. Archery. Japanese stick fighting. And finally the day came to send young Goldstein out into the worldâa hero's quest for my little hero! He was to fetch my dry cleaning. I'd lost the slip, but hoped he could get my pants anyway.
Unable to explain the situation to the proprietor, he threw a veritable conniption, carrying on in the shop about everything and nothing. But as Lady Luck would have it, a talent scout for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation happened to be
in that very dry cleaning establishment
and heard in Goldstein's high-pitched hysterical mewling something universal. Here was a voiceâa cross between Joe Franklin trying to sing through his nose and the panicky shrieks of Larry King awakening during a hernia operationâthat would one day touch the lives of hundreds.
And so his radio show,
, was born. Although I've not heard it, I'm told Goldstein uses his governmentally funded half-hour to perform monologues about everything from his corns to his cankles, occasionally mixing it up with a modern-day fable obtuse enough to put knots in a rabbinical scholar's beard.
For the next eight years I would try unsuccessfully to pry Goldstein off that stupid show. But cling he does, like a barnacle on the underbelly of a ship, a ship he calls “Show Business”âa glorious place where Ed McMahon spits bingo numbers and Frank Sinatra slaps his valet across the nose for rumpling his cabana wear.
From his radio show sprang his column in the
, where each week his writing sits proudly alongside word scrambles, terrible international tragedies, and
. And those columns
led to this very book
“Pack it with sex,” I advised. “Detailed anatomical descriptions of naked ladies sunbathing and such. Those
without internet, i.e., the book-buying public at large, need nudity, too.”
“It's my belief that fans of my work would rather read my
on everyday life,” said Goldstein.
I'd like to apologize.
As a man with a Netflix account and an active social life, I've not had time to read this book, so I can't vouch for its worth. I'm told it represents a year in the life of Goldstein as he approaches his fortieth birthday and confronts his mortality. I
vouch for this foreword, though, which you are now enjoying immensely, because I have written it. I intend to also write the afterword, so that should be enough to keep you soldiering on to the end.