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This Is Where I Leave You Audiobook

This Is Where I Leave You

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Audible Editor Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2732 )
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  •  
    Rhiannon Carrillo 05-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Not my favorite"

    Narrator was great, I just didn't care for the story. Listening for my book club.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 05-19-17
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 05-19-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Its absurdity is exhausting"

    I’d heard this described as “dicklit” so I wanted to try it after reading a number of “chicklit” books to compare. It is horrendous, a poor man’s John Irving, with every person and scene exaggerated to the point of absurdity. A two-year-old doesn’t just disrupt a dinner party by carrying his kiddie potty into the room, he has to throw it so the turd lands on the table beside his father’s plate like a side dish. A two-year-old could do this? Really? Or the main character doesn’t just walk in on his wife having sex with another man, she has to be engaged in a sex act they have never done — and it turns out to be with his boss, and he shoves a chocolate birthday cake up the guy’s butt. But is this enough? No. The candles on the cake have to set fire to some sort of sexual enhancement cream the guy has on his testicles. And it’s like this over and over. It’s exhausting. Every character is a jerk, and they are constantly fighting or insulting each other. Admittedly, some of it’s funny, but jesus… If this is a highlight of “dicklit,” count me out. Grade: C

    Excellent narration, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Schwimley 04-26-17

    Tell us about yourself! : I am an author who loves to read, more like loves to listen, since I spend so much time writing.

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    "Good story with strong narration"

    What a bunch of misfits. Talk about a dysfunctional family. I enjoyed this story. although a little slow at first, I couldn't wait to see what happened. A

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Secaucus, NJ, United States 03-24-17
    Mark Secaucus, NJ, United States 03-24-17 Member Since 2011

    Esoth

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    "Morosely Funny"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Topper can write funny and with real feeling, great and rare gifts. The far flung Foxmans assemble and chain themselves together to endure a long week of mourning for father who in death seems more emotionally present than during much of his family's lives. Yet the raucous and squabbling cast of characters are recognizably a family, beneath layers of resentment and intermittent mortification.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Phillip, the youngest and most indefensible Forxman. He's incorrigible and unashamed. It's as if, despite his aging immaturity, his relatively late birth (younger than all his siblings by a number of years) has given him an editorial distance to see the love that binds them all, even as they revisit and retrace their calamitous pasts together. Phillip is too open and too honest in his pursuit of self-indulgence to recognize it in himself or to see the freshly opened wounds in his riotous family. He's oblivious because he knows and loves his family in his heart. His head rarely enters into it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ramon De Ocampo’s performances?

    Ocampo dutifully gives voice to Judd, the main and problematic character for whom his father's death is particularly untimely, as he returns home trailing a marriage and career in the ruins of a spectacular betrayal by his boss and his wife. Judd is not quite middle aged yet is morbidly obsessed with the aging, decaying way of all flesh. His dreary fixation on every speck, every sagging crag of every person he encounters is adversely further offset by his relentless, leering, sizing-up of every female he sees makes for potentially wearing company. It's as if he willfully wears mud-colored glasses to blind himself to every decent impulse in those around him, and in himself. The extended family seems mired in longing for what they can't and shouldn't have, likely don't even want. If they are collectively unlucky in love, maybe it's because they seek in adultery and under nullifying circumstances. Yet the book and ultimately even Judd are saved if not redeemed by Topper's humor and deep affection for the Foxmans. They are never near their best but are ultimately worth all the self-inflicted trouble.


    Did This Is Where I Leave You inspire you to do anything?

    Get happy. And to not fear decency, a less fragile force than Judd imagines.


    Any additional comments?

    One troubling aspect is the source of Judd's projectile self-loathing. However sordid his upbringing, it's increasingly clear as his journey unfolds that he was never unloved or unvalued by his parents and his siblings. Why did he take all the overly arch isecracking so much to heart that he reflexively sees all the bad and so little of the good? I don't think I know why anymore than Judd, but I shared in his relief and freedom as he comes out from under the cloud that had been spewing out his ears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeanjie Jupiter, FL United States 03-13-17
    jeanjie Jupiter, FL United States 03-13-17

    jeanjie

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    "Very comical."

    Always kept my attention. Everyone may find at least one character that they 'recognize'. As sarcastic and critical that the characters were, I actually got tears in my eyes at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 01-29-17
    James 01-29-17
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    "Good Story Line"

    Enjoyed the sequence of events and interaction between the family members with each other and non-family members.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 01-27-17
    Gail 01-27-17
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    "witty, serious, engaging"

    first time reading this author. his sarcastic way of interpreting life events made for an excellent
    story. narration was also perfectly suited. highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 01-26-17
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 01-26-17 Listener Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

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    "A heck of a story"

    I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. I know the Foxman family is totally unrealistic with its interactions and over the top situations that Judd finds himself in but it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable. I found it heartfelt, interesting, well written and funny all at the same time. A great book for those who are feeling a bit down on their situations to help put it all in perspective and give you some food for thought.

    Mr. De Ocampo does a great job with the narration and bringing all of the characters to life, from the kids to the elders!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 01-24-17
    Alex 01-24-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Highly Recommended!!!! Troppers best book"
    Would you listen to This Is Where I Leave You again? Why?

    Yes and I already have! I read this book years ago and loved it. Recent a friend asked me to list/ recommend some of my favorite books and this one instantly came to mind. I tried to find my paperback copy to loan it out but unfortunately it was lost to time. Wanting to reread it again myself I downloaded the audio book and was not disappointed.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a great combination of funny, emotional, and thought provoking. Although I feel this book and it's characters aren't perfect, it is incredibly entertaining, and lets be honest what is 100% perfect anyway. I became very invested in the story and it's characters, unable to put this book down after starting it. This book made me realize how events are not simply black and white but more a shade of gray with many people at fault and affected by it. I also realized how easy it is for people to settle when faced with hardship and then become complacent. While reading this book I fell in love with its dysfunctional family and laughed the whole time.

    If you liked this book I would suggest How to talk to a widower and the book of joe by the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tillienedeau 01-21-17 Member Since 2017

    I am a literary fiction buff. A great read makes me happy. I love photography and Canon equipment. I write one or two sentence reviews.

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    "Snarky stuff"

    Very entertaining family of dysfunction or maybe just your normal crazy people. Tropper's voice is so insightful one moment the next moment I could give him such a kick for his disparaging descriptions of older people. Anyone one from forty-four to sixty and older, watch out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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