This book was middle of the road all the way. Not particularly interesting or engaging, rarely funny. Just another odd family and all their quirks. I have to say I didn't turn it off, so I guess there was something keeping me listening but, I would not run out and say get this book.
i like to read. i like to listen.
this was my first jonathan tropper book..not sure where i've been. but now i know what i've been missing. there were some great great one liners in this book. so many that i found myself bookmarking an over abundance of pages...with multiple marks on each page. by the time i got 1/3 of the way in, i stopped bothering...realizing that the entire novel was basically mark worthy.
judd, the narrator, was relatable in a depressing sort of way. self depricating, lost, sorry and sad...and speaking the voice of my generation. ramon de ocampo had the perfect voice to display the inner workings of judd...snarky and sad at the same time.
i laughed a lot, i also cringed a lot. the true-ness of the way tropper writes is at the same time eye opening and also upsetting.
so, this family was nothing like mine...but i don't care. they are obviously all caricatures. each one more deliberately miserable, discontented, and awful to each other....then alternately sensitive and loving in a way that reminds you of relationships you wish you had. anyway, all of this just contributes to the greatness of this story. it makes for a truly interesting dynamic filled with laughable and poignant interactions...all topped off by judd's truly insightful punch lines.
i could easily see this novel being turned into a film...hope that actually happens.
I did not enjoy the storyline of this book, nor did I like the writing style, for the most part. It was gloomy from the first paragraph.
Not sure of genre, but definitely the author.
Uh -- none. Not due to his performance, however. I just didn't like the characters.
The characters related well to each other -- they were believable.
I enjoyed the descriptive writing ability of the story, but the story itself was really depressing and boring. The characters were all basically dishonest in some fashion. Again, just not my kind of read.
Yes. There are parts of the book that are just better being heard with the inflections and interpretation of the narrator.
The cake scene. I laughed so hard, I nearly had to pull my car over. Trust me, you'll understand when you get to it.
Again, the cake scene. So didn't see it coming and thought it was hysterical. Not sure if the male readers will feel the same...
I was thinking halfway through that this could be a good movie if adapted right. But haven't figured out the right title yet...
It's alternatively funny, touching, sad, and depressing. It runs the gamut of emotions, but overall not as funny as I had expected. Still it was a good time.
I did relate to the dysfunctional family and liked some of the interactions but other interactions and scenarios were just a little too far-fetched. Overall an enjoyable, light read.
Not great, but entertaining. I enjoyed the narration from the male perspective. The flow of the story kept a good pace.
And I'm not, so I didn't. I probably should just stay away from books that portray people so much younger than I am! The characters came across as self-involved and shallow, casually adulterous, disrespectful and very poor at parenting (even though the matriarch was a renowned specialist in the parenting field). The description of the story sounded interesting, but there were no characters that I could relate to - or even LIKE!
No. A group of self-absorbed adult children who don't seem to care much for each other spending a week together "mourning" their father, under some duress from their "newly-bisexual" mother just didn't float my boat! I don't think my peers would particularly relate to the story or characters either.
The narration was fine, but not remarkable. The fact that he read it TO me made it possible for me to do something worthwhile as I "read" the book, so it wasn't a total waste of time.
I'm just glad it was on sale: I didn't waste a credit on it, and only a small amount of money!
I've seen other reviewers compare Tropper to Jonathan Franzen. The only similarity I see is that they both write about dysfunctional families. While Tropper is a good writer, the insight that comes through his words is nowhere near that of Franzen.
That said, if you go into this book not looking for Jonathan Franzen Jr., it's a very pleasant listen. The narrative propels forwards at a good clip, mostly thanks to the fact that it takes place in a structured seven-day window. You get to know the characters well, and Tropper finds something redeeming in just about everyone.
If you are the non-Jew in a mixed marriage, this is the book you could write--don't do it. In truth, it takes a Jew to write it, otherwise it could be criticized as anti-Semitic. This is a well written confabulation of the dynamics of not atypical Jewish families (no one family could could contain all the complexities of this one). I have long enjoyed my take on such dynamics being the non-Jew in a 30+ year mixed marriage. This being a book, I feel free to laugh and cry at (and with) the characters portrayed. In real life such responses sometimes come with a price. The match of story and narrator is perfect.
Didn't read the print version, but the writing lends itself enormously well to narration. Has a David Sidarus quality to it.
No, but I would absolutely do so again and again.
This book is so very well written with the voice that matches the entire shiva experience. Witty, surprising and so very well crafted.