This is a delightful book and it is read just beautifully. The plot focuses on the recent death of the patriarch of a Jewish family and how all his grown children come home with their families to sit Shiva for 7 days. There are all sorts of dynamics among them – adultery, anger, whatever – and it all gradually comes to the surface. The book is hilarious (would make a great movie) and the one liners are priceless and yet there is depth (not too much but enough to be touching). Once I really got into it I couldn't put it down and seem to walk around all day with my iPod trying to see what happens. I highly recommend it.
Reading the intro to this book I thought it would be about sibling and family dynamics on the death of their father. While that was partly the case, the gist of the story was the immature and shallow sex life of one character with wandering references to the sex life of the others. Yes, there were funny parts, and yes, there were some profoundly sad parts. But overall, if I wanted to know about the misdirected libido of someone who refuses to grow up, I would look for books of that genre.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
Mort Foxman’s dying wish is that his 4 children along with his wife sit Shiva for him. Shiva is a process of mourning in Judaism where the immediate family of the deceased sit together for seven days to mourn. None of them including Mort was ever religious, but they could not disobey their atheist father’s dying wish.
Judd, the 2nd youngest son who is separated because his wife is having an affair with his shock-jock boss, narrates the book. All the other spouses are present as well. To say the family is dysfunctional would be an understatement and to expect seven days of Shiva to pass easily would be ridiculous. As a matter of fact, the book takes you on an hour-by-hour journey of the Shiva, through all the visits of well meaning friends and neighbours to the off times when the family is forced to deal with each other. The book is full of comical scenes, an abundance of wisecracks, sex and bar room type brawls which is a little unusual for most Shiva’s. One of my favorite wisecracks was A Porsche is like a model, it looks better than it feels.
Between Mort’s kids, their spouses and children, there are a lot of characters to get to know. Tropper does a great job at developing each unique personality, but it’s when he puts these personalities together in a room for seven days that the humor and action emerges. Even the Rabbi is part of the gang from their childhood, inappropriately named Boner, he fits right in. There is a lot of cutting, witty, real and believable dialogue. It’s like reading a long x-rated Seinfeld episode.
This book had me smiling all the time, sometimes even laughing out loud. An enjoyable read I would recommend to anyone.
SO sad this book was over so soon.......LOVED IT !!!!!
My first listen to the author, but he may be moved to my top 5. Sad parts, yes, but I felt guilty laughing at the way he talked about them. And it IS funny, after a while I got over my guilt and laughed all the way along. Felt good actually !!! Nice to know someone else thinks like I do, but he knows how to express it.
VERY entertaining....very poignant, very real, any adult can understand these emotions and must have similar experiences.
How much should I say without spoiling the story for the people reading any review?
Just know it's heartwarming, soul-searching, and entertaining material. So glad I took the chance to listen. I've never heard of this author, or this title, but will be listening to everything else from him that I can get my ears on.
5 ***** + 5*****
This one is good for making you feel better about your own family. Some moments will stick in your head for a long time. Leaving you wondering-What if that happened to me?
This was a very entertaining book. I was really enjoying this and then I started to think about the relationships I have with my siblings. It forces us to think about the importance of family and recognize that we all have some "quirks" within our family. I truly appreciataed the honesty of the story.
This story is enjoyable and interesting at times, it can be captivating with twists and turns that keep you listening but there are also boring parts you can't wait to get through, some beating of a dead horse, and the overall theme of the book doesn't have much going on. A dysfunctional family stuck together for a week…. cute idea but that's about it. I did like it enough to finish it and I am curious what they will add to the movie since I don't see enough content to fill a feature length film.
I try to find something about a main character to admire or empasize with. But, in this story, I felt nothing but disgust and loathing for him. Having walked in on his wife in their marital bed, vigourously engaged in the arms of his boss, naturally was devastating. But, farther into the story, I began to feel empathy for the wife. The main character was so busy describing how perfecect he thought his relationship was with his wife, it became clear that he hadn't a clue as to if she was just as pleased with their relationship. She married into an extremely dysfunctional family, who each were content to distance themselves from each other for various reasons. With the death of their father, each of the syblings, grudgingly agreed to participate in a seven-day ceremony which forced them to be together. The author went out of his way, in my opinion, to shock the readers by describing the most intimate and sometimes, disgusting sexual topics in every paragraph. Nevertheless, I didn't give up on the story. And, as I suspected, even at the end, I was blessed with yet, another shocker.
Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.
I certainly think it's better as an audio because you put a picture and place it scene by scene.
The most memorable moments are when Philip doesn't exactly situations too seriously. I'm a lot like that. I can relate because also the baby in my family.
Never have but he reminds me of Steve Buscemi. Good reader captured the tension perfectly.
I honestly feel like Philip and I would hit it off.
Would highly recommend, the narrator handles each character so well that you can see this as a movie playing out in your head.
The vulnerability and honesty of the main character, he bares it all.
This was the best narration of an audiobook so far, better than David Sedaris, and I've heard him read many times. His voice sounds similar to the actor Steve Carrell.
Lots of moments, I saw that this story is being made into a movie, which I can't wait to see. I hope they stick closely to the book as the twists and turns play out quite nicely.