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I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life Hardcover – 12 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press; 1 edition (12 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560258683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560258681
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,907,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Funny, raw, visceral, and ultimately a little sad...... 13 Feb 2010
By T. Bundrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many years back I used to watch Al Goldstein's MIDNIGHT BLUE program on my local cable station. I loved his commentary about the adult movie scene and his scathing company reviews. When his Mercedes broke down and he received shoddy service, he retaliated by calling the Mercedes company a bunch of Nazi-supporters. When he felt an airline had wronged him, he retaliated by showing mid-air collisions. He gave out the home and office numbers of the chief executive of Time Warner, asking his viewers to call and express their outrage at the perceived censorship.

He was a strong supporter of free speech issues and a major proponent of the sexual revolution during the latter half of this century., His print publication SCREW, often featured interviews with a variety of entertainers, politicians and writers. You may not agree with his views on politics, marriage or adult movies but he was always open and honest with his audience. He spent, snorted, ate, and alimonied his way through various fortunes. Now broke (and until recently indigent), he is still unapologetic. He lives in an apartment on Staten Island, donated to him by the entertainer, Penn Jillette. Eating in soup kitchens, scrounging for money, and completely dependent on his health insurance to manage his many ills (diabetes, manic depression), he is still commenting on the times with vitriolic stamina. I admire the man and very much enjoyed this brave, wreckless, and very funny autobiography. Highly recommended.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An Authentic Autobiography 10 Mar 2007
By R. Hardy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Among the most outrageous of our contemporary American outlaws, and among the funniest, is Al Goldstein, the co-founder and lightning rod for the infamous, gleefully tasteless semi-underground sex tabloid _Screw_, which he describes as "the most notorious, uproarious, and influential pornographic newspaper in the world". Through his publication (and through his cable television show "Midnight Blue") Goldstein chronicled any sort of sexual story, and maintained a forum for his famous editorials which were the prose equivalent of a raised middle finger to politicians, religious leaders, feminists, and to any lawyer, restaurateur, movie producer, or airline who happened to irritate him. ("Irritate him"? That's not the phrase Goldstein would use.) He became a multimillionaire, and a celebrity, and it was a wild ride through the 34 years of publishing his magazine. He descended, however, back to rags from riches as the lawsuits and divorces took their toll. He has now written (with Josh Alan Friedman) the autobiography _I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life_ (Thunder's Mouth Press), a foul-mouthed, absurd, ribald, and thoroughly entertaining account of an influential life that may truly be called unique.

Goldstein had trouble with girls when he was growing up: "My façade of amorality and detached sex has always been a cover for being afraid of being hurt. So what else is new. _Screw_ was such an antiromantic publication as compensation for that." He became a photojournalist like his father, and was working on a free press paper in New York when he met the straitlaced Catholic who would co-found _Screw_. The first issue came out in 1968, and by the time of Goldstein's first arrest, it was outselling _Time_ and _Playboy_ on Manhattan newsstands. He enjoyed the thrill of being arrested and disturbing the status quo of the state. "Acceptance of _Screw_ would be the kiss of death." He had a good time, and there are plenty of funny stories here. When the Polish Pope visited New York, _Screw_ reported that he was making a tour of public bathrooms. The Polish pressmen who printed the magazine walked out, but "I'm prepared for printer walkouts at all times, and the plant brings in an alternate crew of Puerto Ricans. Or Italians or Slavs or whichever ethnic group is not too offended to handle that week's subject matter."

Goldstein's fall was precipitous, landing him in homeless shelters and at the prison at Riker's Island, which sounds straight out of the third world. "I've burned bridges. I have regrets," he says, and chief among these is losing contact with his son, who having been put through Harvard Law School with the aid of the pornographer's millions, has nothing now to do with his father. Goldstein mentions, with little trace of bitterness, one celebrity or pal after another that severed all connection with him once the money was gone. He also mentions with gratitude the friends who gave him money, or the restaurateurs who gave him free meals ("But I had to go early to make the homeless shelter by eight to sign for my bed"), or magician Penn Jillette who pays the rent for his Staten Island apartment. He is unrepentant, but he is disgusted by porn films of today, which he says are meaningless, with no tension, surprise, or human characterization. "Is this to be my legacy?" he asks, "I never dreamed I'd ever say such a thing, but is there no taste?" He had, however, previously written, "Each weekly issue of _Screw_ is one more strike against the world. If I ever lose it all, I'll merely shrug, amazed to have even gotten so far." He might think of his book as yet another such strike. Crude, buoyant, angry, and funny, it is possibly as authentic as any autobiography can be.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Goldstein Screwed Himself 18 July 2009
By B. Wolinsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Al Goldstein is a blowhard; a loqautious, compulsive chatterbox who can't get enough vulgarity and lives to scare people by saying something disgusting. He published Screw Magazine for 30 years and had a cheap cable show called "Midnight Blue" where he featured vulgar guests (but not sick ones like Jerry Springer) and complained about everything he could. Goldstein was god-like to his fan base.

But now, Goldstein is at the bottom. His magazine is gone, his money is gone, he lives in a subsidized apartment, his once massive body is now deflated (thanks to gastric bypass) and his voice is weak. He's now a frail old man that nobody wants to see or hear.

MY SCREWED LIFE is not so much an autobiography but a series of anecdotes about his life (or at least his vulgar musings about his life). But he won't say how he lost all his money. Therefore, I've figured it out; he made a pile of money, but he was also a shopaholic. He was narried five times and wound up paying alimony to those five wives. In the 1990's, his magazine revenue dropped thanks to the internet. He continued over-spending, and probably took out loans against his property. Eventually, he had no money left and his houses were repossessed.

Goldstein pissed off a lot of people, but he does keep the memory of old Times Square alive. In some ways he's a relic of what New York used to be.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Modern Masterpiece 22 Dec 2006
By Jody L. Slaughter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of what you think about Goldstein as a person, he was nothing if not a freedom fighter and this wonderfully-written work expertly captures the essence of what it is to be Goldstein.

None reading this review, it can be assumed, have ever faced as many horrible twists of fate as Goldstein--Divorced five times, constant medical problems and the squander of his fortune--all the while being relentlessly pursued by the law enforcement machine. Yet the book comes across not as a tragedy, but as more of a dark comedy (although "dark" may be an understatement.)

Readers will also be thankful for the enlistment of co-writer Josh Alan Friedman, a veteran writer of the New York smut industry, who masterfully weaves Goldstein's stories, quips and one-liners into a genuinely readable and fascinating story.

Love him or hate him, this book will probably not change your mind about Goldstein himself--it offers little in the area of redemption or remorse. All it offers is a look inside the life of one of the most colorful and controversial characters in American history, and in that it succeeds admirably.

When future scholars study American freedom-fighters like George Washington, Paul Revere and Martin Luther King, "I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life" will be the reference they will use for this generation's one true revolutionary. God help us.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Better then God..................... 2 April 2008
By George Carabetsos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I been a big fan of scew magazine. I use to subsribe to it as well. Love the way big Al use to put people down. I've been waiting for years for his book, of his life. I have to say Al Goldstein is a very brave, smart, and telented person. Would make a great president. Hopfully more people would buy his book, give him the respect he deserve. Thank you Al for fighting for our freedom.
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