Friday, April 18, 2014

This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You
Jonathan Tropper

Published 2009

First Sentence
"'Dad's dead,' Wendy says offhandedly, like it's happened before, like it happens every day."

Publisher's Description:

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have 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, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong 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.

Dear Reader,

I don't know how many of you have heard of Jonathan Tropper, but I hadn't until just recently. The Shelf Notes team will be attending Book Expo America this year and will be staying to attend BookCon (formerly known as Power Reader day). The reason I bring this up is because I wouldn't have picked up this book if it weren't for a panel (featuring the Author) for a kickoff event to BookCon (This is open to the public, so click here for tickets). The event is not only having Jonathan Tropper there to discuss the book but since the book will be made into a movie for the Fall this year, we'll also get to hear from the Director and some of the celebrities from the film (Tina Fey & Jason Bateman!!!) So yes, we bought up those tickets and I downloaded the ebook of This is Where I Leave You right away! Now that I've got that out there, I think I'll start talking about the book.

This is Where I Leave You is tummy ache funny, but from the darker side of that closet you hold all those secrets. No, not SCARY... more like troubling family confessions, messed up relationships, you know... the usual. Tropper does follow a formula that is tried and true, so this book is not cutting edge but it does give you a very solid dysfunctional dark comedy (and who doesn't love one of those?!) Cue Jason Bateman (yes, while reading this book I was flipping to IMDB and imagining the characters as the cast slated for the movie) a.k.a. Judd Foxman, the main character who has just recently observed his wife sleeping with his boss. Or how about Tina Fey (a.k.a. Wendy Foxman) who has three children and is married to a man who is married to his job. But wait, we also have Corey Stoll (a.k.a. Paul Foxman) the older brother who could have had a different life if it wasn't for a freak accident that happened when he was a teen. And the last sibling, Adam Driver (a.k.a. Phillip Foxman), the uncontrollable train wreck and also the baby of the family. All these siblings are told they have to sit "Shiva" even though their father wasn't really religious or practicing. For those that don't know, Shiva is when the family sits and receives family for 7 days (like a very, very long wake). From here, you can only assume that family secrets will be revealed and shenanigans will ensue, which is exactly what happens. Anything I say about the book will be giving things away so I'll leave you with this... It's well worth the read and if you need a laugh, this book will surely scratch that itch.

Happy Reading,

P.S. - Stay tuned for a post in June with a wrap up of the BookCon Kickoff event.

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