Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Julie's Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Author: Jonathan Tropper
Series: None
Publication Date: July 6, 2010
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 352
Obtained: via friend
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Dark humor bliss
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant. This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's (One Last Thing Before I Go) most accomplished work to date, and a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.

Review: This Is Where I Leave You is hilarious and brilliant. Although if you don't like swearing and lots of talk about sex, then this probably isn't the book for you. I love reading about families that are slightly off kilter because frankly all families are dysfunctional to a degree. Let me tell you the Foxman family takes the cake on dysfunction but I think underneath it all they do love each other. They just happens to show it by beating the crap out of each other and teasing each other incessantly. Judd is our narrator and boy is he angry. Not only is he angry but he's depressed, bitter and horny. What a combination for a 30 something man. It is with this that he tells us the story of his family sitting shiva after the passing of the patriarch, when they can barely stand each other for 24 hours. Each of the siblings is dealing with their own issues: Wendy is married to a inconsiderate man and has three young children that she pretty much raises by herself; Paul is the oldest and still harboring ill-feelings for something that happened years ago; Phillip is the baby and while he might be trying to go down the better path in life, he only really knows how to travel down the wrong path.

Sometimes where there are mulitple characters in a story, I wonder how the story would feel if another character had given us their perspective. With This Is Where I Leave You I didn't really care to know, because Judd was the perfect narrator.

Here's the thing about a book like this, if you don't like dark humor you aren't going to find anything remotely funny about it.  I find that sometimes life is dark and that even being snarky about it can help you maintain some part of your sanity. I found myself laughing out loud at certain parts, stunned at others and tearing up as well. While they might not be the most emotionally healthy family, I throughly enjoyed spending some hours with the Foxman family. They showed me that even the most dysfunctional of families do love each other, even if they show it differently than the rest of us.

I know I am late to the love fest for the novel but you should seriously pick up it up. Yes, the movie is out and I can't wait to see it but even with the stellar cast, the book has to be better.

One Last Thing Before I Go is on my TBR shelf and let me tell you, it just moved up a few pegs.



Beth Hoffman October 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM  

Julie, my sentiments exactly! --> "I find that sometimes life is dark and that even being snarky about it can help you maintain some part of your sanity."

Julie October 15, 2014 at 1:49 PM  

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurdity of it. :)

Teresa October 21, 2014 at 4:50 PM  

Great review! I didn't know what to expect when I began listening to it, but was quickly immersed. Every time I left it, I couldn't wait to get back to it.

thecuecard November 2, 2014 at 6:12 PM  

Yeah I liked this Tropper novel. It's snarky and funny but also towards the end, especially, it's heartfelt too. It's good combo and well done. Glad you liked the movie too. Here are some of my thoughts on the book at

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