Judd Foxman has not had a good year. Shortly after catching his wife in bed with his boss (a Howard Stern-like DJ whom he works for as a producer), he learns that his father has died. Not only must Judd attend the funeral, he then has to honor his dad's dying request sitting shiva for seven days with the rest of his eccentric family, including his sex therapist mom, older brother Paul (who's married to Judd's high school sweetheart), sister Wendy, and youngest brother Phillip, who leads a carefree life of hedonism. While a few of the storylines ring cliché (namely catching your wife with your boss), this book is anything but. The dialogue between the family members is realistic, witty, and caustic. And just when you're hysterically laughing at a scene, the next one sucker punches you with the vulnerability and authenticity of Judd's emotions.
Narrator Ramon de Ocampo delivers the right tone for this novel written from Foxman's point of view dry and defeated but the nasal quality of his voice is sometimes distracting and can even border on effeminate. Besides that, his pace is perfect, as well as his voice changes for the dialogue of different characters he really shines as Judd's mother and some of the older Jewish men that drop by to pay their respects.
While This Is Where I Leave You is very funny, the truly laugh-out-loud scenes are few and far between, with the heart of the book being the very real, and very emotional trials of Judd Foxman and the relatable love/hate relationship he shares with his family members. Colleen Oakley
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.
©2009 Jonathan Tropper; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"The affectionate, warts-and-all portrayal of the Foxmans will have fans wishing for a sequel (and clamoring for all things Tropper)." (Amazon.com review)
"Tropper strikes an excellent balance between the family history and its present-day fallout, proving his ability to create touchingly human characters and a deliciously page-turning story." (Publishers Weekly)
I finished listening to this book a week ago and it is still on my mind. The story is terrific and would be a good read, but then you would miss the superb narration by Ramon de Ocampo who really brings the Foxman family to life. A definite 5 star listen.
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.
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
I love a good dysfunctional family story, and This is Where I Leave You features the ultimate family train wreck. In this book, the Foxman family gathers to remember their recently deceased father Mort. He wants them to sit shiva for a week, and that brings the family under one roof for socializing, reflecting, and fighting. Personalities clash, old wounds reopen, and secrets slip out in this dramedy.
The reason I picked this one up is because of the upcoming movie release. The movie has an all-star cast featuring Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Connie Britton, Dax Shepard, and on and on. I saw the trailer with all these funny people and it sparked my interest in the book. The movie reminds me of those dysfunctional family comedies like Little Miss Sunshine, The Royal Tenenbaum‘s and The Family Stone. And from what I’ve seen so far it looks like the movie is very similar in tone to the book.
The book is written in the dejected Judd Foxman’s POV. His life is turned upside down when he catches his wife in bed with another man, and now he’s grappling with his father’s death and dealing his siblings baggage and other skeletons in the closet. He and his three siblings may all be grown now, but being back at home (with the spouses and kids in tow) brings back some juvenile tendencies.
The tone of the book is darkly comic, and the book’s narrator Judd is wry and bitter. It’s one of those books where the situations get more and more outrageous, and you’re wondering what could possibly happen next to this family. There is an eccentric cast of characters that bring comic relief to what is obviously a sad occasion, and the revelations come on fast and furious.
I listened to the audiobook, performed by Ramon de Ocampo. His delivery is great, and his voice kind of reminded me of Steve Carell, so I was kind of imagining Carell as Judd when I was listening. The narrator has a deadpan style that gels nicely with the book, and de Ocampo delivers an engaging performance. There are a lot of different personalities for de Ocampo to inhabit, and he gets into character without going over the top. A quick listen, overall.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
This is the book that turned me on to Jonathan Tropper several years ago. I've since read all of his work in print, re-read several on Audible. With the movie version due in September, and with This Is Where I Leave You showing up in a recent BOGO sale, I leaped at the chance to re-read one of my all time favorites in audio. So it is now one my all time favorites in audio.
Judd Foxman recently caught his wife sleeping with his boss, so he is loveless, homeless, jobless, broke, and on the verge of divorce (cuckolded, as he says repeatedly). Then his father dies. He and his family have to sit shiva in his parents' suburban home, receiving visitors while revisiting every aspect of their past and determining the course of their future. Similar structure to all of Tropper's books, but each one somehow remains fresh, and this is one of the funniest of them all.
The cast of the upcoming movie is killer. Jason Bateman as Judd, Tina Fey as his sister, Jane Fonda as his mother, Adam Driver from Girls as his funnier brother, Corey Stoll from House of Cards as his serious brother, Dax Shephard from Parenthood as his donkey-hole boss, Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights, Ben Schwartz from House of Lies and Parks & Rec, Abigail Spencer from Suits, Tim Olyphant from Justified, and the underrated Kathryn Hahn who was hilarious in We're the Millers. Although Ramon de Ocampo doesn't do voices, he nails the passive aggressiveness of the Foxmans with his deadpan reading, and I could hear each of the actors delivering these lines in the movie.
Whether you've read it already or not, read it in advance of the movie, or read it afterwards, you will not be disappointed.
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.
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?
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*****
If you like college educated women portrayed as mooches and whores then this is the book for you. The author represents women as weak, manipulative beings that all need a man to take care of them. Even in a lesbian relationship the character is shown as needy and wanting. Women cheating, women expecting to be supported through marriage and after. I could go on and on.
I finished listening to it even though the journey essentially took me no where. I am giving it two stars instead of one because it was a fast listen. Honestly, it simply wasn't deep enough to have to pay close attention to what was being read.
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.
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