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This Is Where I Leave You (edition 2009)

by Jonathan Tropper

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1,5641044,681 (3.92)45
Member:jen.ireland
Title:This Is Where I Leave You
Authors:Jonathan Tropper
Info:Dutton Adult (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
I haven't been this disappointed in a book in quite some time. The premise sounded great but the execution was not there. Though there are some humorous parts, the story is tired and superficial. The characters lack depth and considering their close proximity and mutual grief over the course of the novel, their relationships barely progress.

Having the events of this story filtered through Judd’s narration diminishes most of the humor. Jude is misogynistic and juvenile and his obsession with bodies and looks is grating. Every woman is described by her breasts or ass and he’s disgusted by anyone over 50 or overweight. Not satisfied with reducing all the women physically in his presence to the size and firmness of their body parts, he actually describes a woman on the phone by saying she "sounds fat"...really? Neither Jen nor Penny have much going on besides looks. Jen...well Jen is super hot, and pregnant, and was apparently the only person on a college campus to ride a bike. Fascinating. Nice guy Judd was “Friend Zoned” by Penny in high school and now – because she let such a catch get away – she’s vaguely sad and lonely. I kept waiting for Judd to ask Penny anything about her life, maybe get a backstory on how she ended up back in town and working for his brother, but I underestimated his self-centeredness on that front. She still looks like she did in high school so what happened in between doesn’t matter.

Apart from Judd’s lady drama, Shiva is observed, punches are thrown, sex is had, sporadic tears are shed, and unnecessary dream sequences are narrated. Tropper throws in plenty of tragic backstories but instead of being incisive or revealing, they all seem to bounce off the surface of this emotionally numb family.

Overall this novel read less as a man dealing with the loss of his father and the dissolution of his marriage and more like a boy attempting to prove that even though he was cheated on, he still has a functioning penis. ( )
  lisaschulte | Sep 12, 2014 |
With an astoundingly eloquent and acerbic wit, Tropper manages to portray all of the complex aspects of the relationships among the members of the Foxman family, who have gathered together in memory of their recently deceased father. Each of the four adult siblings—Judd, the narrator; Paul, the dutiful eldest son; Wendy, the painfully honest sister; and Phillip, the spoiled, Bohemian baby brother—contributes to the family’s dysfunction, as does their mother, Hillary.

Judd, who recently discovered his wife in bed with his boss, serves as the nexus of the Foxman family angst as he guides us through the morbidly comic pathos of their lives. The plot here, although entertaining, is not the main attraction. Indeed, little if any resolution is achieved by the end of the story. The charm of this novel lies in Tropper’s multiple comic insights into the absurd web of middle-age resentment and residual anger that plagues the lives of so many. ( )
  jimrgill | Sep 9, 2014 |
I had never even heard of Jonathan Tropper until my book club decided to read this one (in line with our books-to-movies theme this year). Honestly, I wasn't all that excited about having to read this, not knowing what to expect. But I'm now grateful that I did. I pretty much loved this book.

I knew going in that the movie's coming out, so in my mind that's how I was seeing it as I read, except I kept seeing John Cusack as the main character of Judd (instead of Jason Bateman). It's a John Cusack kind of book/movie. It just is. It's a comedy -- lots of good one-liners -- and I was laughing from start to finish. But the thing is, there was also a lot of good, profound, serious reflections in there too. Stuff I kind of wish I would've highlighted as I was reading, but didn't. Good stuff.

I really liked Tropper's writing style. I may be disappointed in the upcoming movie (I like Jason Bateman, but I really do think it's made for Cusack), but now I really want to go out & read all of Tropper's other novels. ( )
1 vote indygo88 | Sep 8, 2014 |
This book I read last night. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trooper has been on the New York Times Best Seller List and is also a movie which I have yet to see.

It's a fiction novel with themes of divorced men, death, brothers and sisters, self-actualization, psychological and domestic life. It takes place over the course of a week in a Jewish ceremony called a sit shiva after the death of the dad, and the immediate family stays together for one week and greet mourners.

Throughout the novel, I learned of the role of the dad, who in death was not always visible as he often was in life. The four siblings and their families also contribute to the shiva. There are flashbacks about key elements of the four siblings life and how they developed their role in the family. Sometimes this book was entertaining, sometimes very realistic and sometimes the novel said things that I only thought of. How the narrator of the story, Judd, explained how he reacted to finding his wife, Jen, in an affair was one of those times.

It has a dark side and it was a refreshing read on a night where this book was more interesting than what was on television. ( )
  rclreader | Sep 4, 2014 |
This was a pretty quick read. Learned some new info about the Jewish traditions on mouning the death of their loved ones. How to hold Shiva for 1 thing, was very interesting. It had a good bit of humor, dysfunctional family and healing old wounds. However, I think I will enjoy the movie more than the book - which is usually the other way around. ( )
  booklovers2 | Aug 26, 2014 |
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"Dad's dead," says Wendy offhandedly, like it's happened before, like it happens every day.
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"The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - has been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public." "Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family." "As the week quickly spins out of control, long-standing grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it's a week long attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd's father died: She's pregnant."."This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind - whether we like it or not."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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