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 was a very entertaining book. I was really enjoying this and then I started to think about the relationships I have with my siblings. I didn't want to see it end.
I love the story n narrator.If you need a laugh this is the book to get you there. It not often that humor is missed with a deep story of how life hurts. Definitely getting more Jonathan Tropper books.
This is one of the best books I have read for a while. Although it is a fiction book, in style, it is quite similar to the writing of David Sedaris, so if you enjoy Sedaris, you will probably like this. I often use audiobooks to help me fall asleep at night, drifting off to the sound of narration and having to rewind the next day, but I simply couldn't fall asleep to this book because I was so engrossed in the story. It's the kind of book you want to tell your friends about, updating them on the plot as you read.
I resonated with the narrator's emotions in response to ending a long relationship and approaching the intimidating process of starting new ones. It was nice to hear some of my own thoughts and emotions expressed. It made me feel as though what I was going through was normal and that I wasn't alone. In other words, the feelings and thoughts of the characters rang true.
The narrator of the book is bitter, certainly, but in a funny way, at least to my taste. There are some fairly detailed descriptions of sex, but they are not gratuitous. The description of the narrator catching his wife in bed with his boss is detailed in order to convey the narrator's shock and the surreality of the event, and later sex scenes deal with the narrator coming to terms with his new status as a single man and all of the emotional turmoil that entails, or serve to describe some rather unusual (and entertaining) family dynamics.
I've been an avid reader my whole life, but no book has made me think so deeply and laugh out loud the way this book did. Jonathan Trooper's take on a grieving Jewish family and the drama of their individual lives was so detailed you felt like you were right there in their family home feeling roller coaster of emotions with them. The many (and I do mean many)issues with the family members between each other play out brilliantly. It felt real. The character building is done very well. No matter who you are you will feel personally invested in one of the many characters. As you travel through the trials of Jud, the main character, you feel all the conflicting emotions as shock after shock hit him throughout the story. He deals with them in a real, sometimes gritty and sometimes sad ways that make your heart reach out to him. Trooper's descriptions are real time and present tense, you feel like Jud's best friend and you want to support him in any way you can.
In short, you must have this book!
I loved this audiobook and couldn't stop listening. The story is laugh-out-loud funny at times, and other times sad and moving. This book reminded me of David Sedaris's writing, if Sedaris were Jewish and wrote fiction. The narrator was excellent as well.
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