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)
Ah, And I thought nothing could outdo my family on Christmas! This story about a family coming together after the father's death provided characters and a tablou that continually made me smile in my head. I do not usually like books that are described as witty, but the characters, dialogue between them, and the unfolding of the story, I thoroughly enjoyed.
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 would start over.
Probably not. While the idea was good, it didn't deliver. Maybe it was the performance, or maybe it would be funnier if I was more acquainted with the jewish culture. I just didn't get the humor and will not watch the movie.
No, not really.
It is a movie and no, I won't go.
Not funny, not interesting, not a realistic family dynamic, just plain not good. Wish I'd just watched the movie instead of wasting so many hours of my life listening to this hoping it would redeem itself in the end. Spoiler alert, it doesn't.
Reading is a great source for an old guy trying to reinvent himself
This book had to be good, right? I mean a major motion picture, bestseller list,competent writer with an ear for striking metaphors; how could we go wrong?but In the end there is nothing. The characters go their dysfunctional ways, wallow in their disloyalties, practice their incompetencies; and learn, from all appearances, nothing.
Better story, interesting charaters
Not the genre but definitely the author.
I hated the narrator. He whines.
Too many to list.
I'd like to get my money back for this book. A total waste of a book credit.
This family is real and so screwed up. I enjoyed myself while I got lost in the characters. Yes, you can see so much coming in the plot but a lot will be surprised too. Give this book a spin and you too will be glad you don't have to sit shiva.
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.
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*****
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