Book - 2012
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In 1982 the Commodore 64 computer was introduced, Ronald Reagan survived being shot, the Falkland War started and ended, Michael Jackson released, Thriller, Canada repatriated its Constitution, and the first compact disc was sold in Germany. And that's not all. In 1982 I blossomed from a naive fourteen-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids to something much more: a naive eyeliner-wearing, fifteen-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids.

So writes Jian Ghomeshi in this, his first book, 1982 . It is a memoir told across intertwined stories of the songs and musical moments that changed his life. Obsessed with David Bowie ("I wanted to be Bowie," he recalls), the adolescent Ghomeshi embarks on a Nick Hornbyesque journey to make music the centre of his life. Acceptance meant being cool, and being cool meant being Bowie. And being Bowie meant pointy black boots, eyeliner, and hair gel. Add to that the essential all-black wardrobe and you have two very confused Iranian parents, busy themselves with gaining acceptance in Canada against the backdrop of the revolution in Iran.

It is a bittersweet, heartfelt book that recalls awkward moments such as Ghomeshi's performance as the "Ivory" in a school production of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's Ebony and Ivory ; a stakeout where Rush was rehearsing for its world tour; and a memorable day at the Police picnic of 1982. Music is the jumping-off place for Ghomeshi to discuss young love, young heartache, conformity, and the nature of cool. At the same time, 1982 is an entertaining cultural history of a crazy era of glam, glitter, and gender-bending fads and fashions. And it is definitely the first rock memoir by a Persian-Canadian new waver.

Publisher: Toronto : Viking, c2012.
ISBN: 9780670066483
Branch Call Number: 780.92 GHOME
Alternative Title: Nineteen eighty-two


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Mar 21, 2014

I think anyone who was in high school in the late 1970s/early 1980s will enjoy this funny walk down memory lane. If you know what a Lola is or ever went to a Police Picnic, you can relate. I couldn't put this book down, finished it in a day, and have recommended it to several people who also enjoyed it. A fun read!

Jan 09, 2014

I really enjoyed this book. I first checked it out after hearing a main part of the book was about an obsession with David bowie (my favorite artist ) that part made it a special read, but even the over all story of growing up in the 80's made it a funny read.

Sep 14, 2013

With a lot of humour, Ghomeshi retraces a formative year from boy to full-fledged teen. With each our different experiences, we can relate to this coming of age, but it's true that for those of us who grew up in the '80s, there's definitely an extra layer of laughter and nostalgia. The informal style makes this book an easy read and engages the reader in a conversation. I enjoyed Ghomeshi's honesty and ability to recapture this unique moment. Definitely worth a read, if just to compare to today's teens!

Sep 08, 2013

The content in the book is surprisingly light and refreshing. I had a few laugh-out-loud moments despite the fact that I was born after the 80s. I understand all the references to new wave because I'm a lover of the bands he mentions in the book.

I'm having a hard time getting far into the book because of the ridiculously short sentences and brutal editing. The repeated mentions of certain events just a few pages apart from each other is awful. I'm not sure I'd read this again.

Aug 07, 2013

This book would be great for Tanya to read, amongst anyone else. I highly recommend it.

WGTaylor May 31, 2013

I found this book to be humourous and poignant. For example, the description of the awkard agony of telephoning a girl in the early 80s was my favourite part. But I'm not sure how well the book would translate to anyone outside my demographic...

Apr 15, 2013

A somewhat non-linear telling of Jian's life experiences from 1982 with his obsession of David Bowie, many lists, being New Wave, fitting in and his dream girl Wendy. There is lots of repetition and detailed explanations of things he experienced. A bit of a flashback to the 80s.

Jan 04, 2013

I am so disappointed. I really like Jian on Q but you know there are some days when he doesn't have much to say in his opening essay. Unfortunately, this book is a looooong version of one of those essays. Filler. I wish so much that he had had a really good editor. He goes on at length, for instance, about why he picked 1982 as the best year. Pages worth. All I'm thinking is: are you going to get this thing started? Not worth the effort, I'm afraid.

Dec 18, 2012

I love Jian Ghomeshi's work in both music and on CBC. I fully expected to love this book. But, I didn't. No, I didn't. The three- and four-word sentences were cute for about 100 pages. That is all. Then it became annoying. Yes, annoying. This type of phrasing might work in a pop tune. It does not work (for me) in a book. No, it does not.

Nov 18, 2012

Having grown up in Thornhill and having gone to Thornlea around the same time as Jian, I have to admit, when I first heard that Jian Ghomeshi, aka Mr Thornlea, Mr. Student Council, Mr. Lead-Singer-of-Tall-New-Buildings had written a book about having trouble fitting in in high school my first thought was "oh puh-lease. Here we go with another pseudo-celebrity trying to look cool by saying that they were a loser in high school yadda yadda yadda". But I was pleasantly surprised by this book; it largely helps that Jian doesn't take himself very seriously.

There is certainly a lot in this book for the former Thornleaer to reminisce about ("I remember The Rock! I remember Countdown dances! I remember Bob Leonard's elbow patches!) but there is also a great deal for anyone who was in high school around that time (I remember adidas gym bags! I remember mix tapes!). Perhaps the most enjoyable parts of the book where when he explains how life and technology was in 1982 to a younger audience.

I'll say this Jian's writing style is to Nick Hornby's what Moxy Fruvous is to the BareNaked Ladies. They are not direct copies and the each have their own originalities, but you can definitely see that the influence is there.

So all in all this was a good read - a lot of reminiscing, some interesting stories, but there's also a lot in here that anyone going through grade nine and trying to fit in can relate to.

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