Arbitrary Stupid Goal

  • by Tamara Shopsin
  • Narrated by Tamara Shopsin
  • 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Tamara Shopsin takes the listener on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Sex and the City tours and luxury condos. The center of Tamara's universe is Shopsin's, her family's legendary greasy spoon, aka "The Store", run by her inimitable dad, Kenny - a loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York's best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. All comers find a place at Shopsin's table and feast on Kenny's tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne. Told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art.
This program is read by the author.

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What the Critics Say

Arbitrary Stupid Goal is a completely riveting world - when I looked up from its pages regular life seemed boring and safe and modern like one big iPhone. This book captures not just a lost New York but a whole lost way of life.” (Miranda July)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great writing, bad audiobook formatting

What did you love best about Arbitrary Stupid Goal?

This is another great book from Tamara Shopsin. Her performance narrating is nuanced, pitch perfect and drives an excellently written story.
That being said, the 'horn' which notes to the listener to reference the attached pdf for images from the book is really annoying and takes away from the audio experience. No one will be listening in front of a computer to reference the images anyway so it seems out of place
The listening experience would have been improved by telling the audience to download the images after reading the book as a post-listening supplemental material.


What did you like best about this story?

Perfect snapshot of a complicated institution in the middle of a complicated neighborhood. Really enjoyed the short tangents that Shopsin would take into history to make a patchwork of history and memoir.


Have you listened to any of Tamara Shopsin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first time listening to her and I thought her performance was excellent!


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes-- and it just took two sittings.


Any additional comments?

A great artist that I hope keeps producing great work.

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- Andrew Weymouth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-18-2017
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio