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)
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.
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.
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.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I made the mistake of thinking this might be like "The Book of Joe" - a Tropper book that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, this particular book is missing the complexity of the characters that made "Joe" such a winner. Tropper's signature sarcasm fills this book, too - but it's not funny.
I'm not sure what appealed to me less: the flat delivery, the mundane dialogue or the tired themes. It felt much too predictable and very pedestrian.
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 book has everything that family life itself has: imperfect people, comedy, tragedy, loss, stupidity, heroic acts, inept but well-meaning relationships, and a lot of sex. The narrator is excellent, particularly in his small comments, the way he says "yeah," or "nah" can carry a scene and sound perfectly authentic. This book is being made into a movie, but it's hard to imagine it can be as good as this version. That's what's great about audiobooks---they are a unique and compelling art form of their very own.
Jonathan Tropper has proven to be an outstanding storyteller with each of his novels. 'This is Where I Leave You', from front to back, is overflowing with witty writing, touching moments that can easily bring tears to one's eyes, and a style that would appeal to most readers, as it is written from a perspective that each of us can relate to in one way or another. Family drama ranging from sad, disturbing dysfunction to persistent hilarity is the key factor in this story. Each character feels real, as if they are my own family members... this is a clear sign of outstanding writing. Tropper has a way with words, but it goes much further than that. He has a way of pulling the reader into the lives of the characters, individually and as a group, making the reader care about each character without bogging down the story with too much explanation about relationships.
The narration was brilliant, in my opinion. Ramon de Ocampo nails the flavor of the story, with a perfect depiction of every character. Often male narrators leave me annoyed with how they read the female dialogue (whiny, nasally interpretations of women), but in this story, Ramon de Ocampo was able to read the women in ways that fit with the story. I will be looking for other books read by this narrator, as I rank him among the best.
I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants to enjoy a solid, witty story. Prepare to be moved to tears from time to time, as this story will take you there. And be sure you want to do a lot of laughing, because you won't be able to stop yourself.
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