How to Talk to a Widower
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How to Talk to a Widower

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  7,714 ratings  ·  993 reviews
"Beautifully crafted", "Fantastically funny." "Compulsively readable." Jonathan Tropper has earned wild acclaim—-and comparisons to Nick Hornby and Tom Perrotta—for his biting humor and insightful portrayals of families in crisis and men behaving badly. Now the acclaimed author of The Book of Joe and Everything Changes tackles love, lust, and lost in the suburbs—in a stunn...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by Delacorte Press (first published 2007)
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Sassacaia
Oct 14, 2008 Sassacaia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sassacaia by: Karen
I love Jonathan Tropper! I love how real his characters are, how easily you fall into his world and fall in love with his characters. It gives me hope that maybe mankind isn't all that bad. I'm so glad my coworker randomly bought his books then lent them to me (without even reading them first) because otherwise I might not even know about these books!


He makes me laugh out loud, and I love his dialogue:

“We don’t have twin telepathy.”
“Of course we do, it’s just subtle, like...flesh-colored nail po...more
M
You know you're in Jonathan Tropper's world when:

- All the women are painfully, and unbelievably beautiful
- Every character talks like they're from a snappy 90's sitcom
- the protagonist is shy and sensitive, snarky and bumbeling, lost in the 80's, has a dysfunctional family, and a father who has died or suffered a stroke
- there is much graphic objectification of women, yet somehow the protagonist is still a sensitive soul who loves women so so much
- you feel as though you've read one, you've rea...more
Ruth
Wow! I feel very fortunate to have found a blurb about this book on the Borders newsletter. I read this on my Kindle and I was so impressed. Doug has lost his wife and friends and family members feel that it is more than time for him to get out their dating again. Doug doesn't quite feel that way yet but allows his twin to talk him it to it as we progress through the book. Jonathan Tropper, the author, so beautifully describes Doug's feeling of loss that you feel that he must have experienced th...more
Eric_W
This is the third Tropper novel I have read, the first being This is Where I Leave You. I liked both of them a lot. They are poignant, sweet, funny, vicious, and insightful. His family dinner scenes are classic. They have you laughing out loud only to get sucker punched by the perceptiveness. He does this through the classic comedian's technique of hyperbole, but it's not exaggerated so much that it becomes caricature. We've all seen elements of his dysfunctional family in ourselves and others.

H...more
Abigail Hillinger
I was so excited to receive a pre-released copy of this book (it's slated to hit stores on 7/17). Jonathan Tropper's name keeps popping up whenever I type in a search for Nick Hornby/Tom Perrotta, and his books have received good reviews. This one was supposed to be amazing. I read it in a few nights and while I couldn't put it down, I felt robbed toward the end of the book. I turned the last page and thought, "That's it?"

The part that kills me is Tropper is a great author-- poignant, funny, and...more
Ed
I don't know why it took me so long to get back to read another book by Jonathan Tropper. A couple of years back I read his latest book This Is Where I Leave You a couple years back and it was my favorite book of the year. There was something simply sizzling about Tropper's writing - razor sharp, witty, raw, funny, painful, astute... the exclamatory adjectives could just go on and on. I guess part of my fear was diluting that particular reading experience, but after a very informal online chat a...more
Melissa
Great story. There are a few parts of the book that can bring tears to your eyes, but Doug is a young widower... Most of the book is quick witted and funny.
Doug is in his 20's and marries a women about 11 years older than he is (her name is Hailey, spelled the same as my daughter) with a teenage son. She dies about 2 years into their marriage. The story is mainly the year after his wife's death. Doug's relationship with his teenage step-son, pregnant twin sister whose life is coming undone, anot...more
Laala Alghata
“There are no happy endings, just happy days, happy moments. The only real ending is death, and trust me, no one dies happy. And the price of not dying is that things change all the time, and the only thing you can count on is that there’s not a thing you can do about it.” — Jonathan Tropper, How To Talk To a Widower

During the summer, I read This Is Where I Leave You. I really enjoyed it. It was a great comic novel, good dialect, good progression, a lot of heart. I even talked about how Tropper...more
Michael
Doug Parker is a 29-year old widower. He lost his wife Hayley (who was older) in a plane crash and has spent the last year avoiding life in Jonathan Tropper's "How to Talk to a Widower."

And while much of Doug's world is defined by his depression and anger over losing Hayley, it's not the only thing going on his life. His twin sister Clair is pregnant and leaving her husband, his father suffered a stroke and has good and bad days and his younger sister met her fiancee at the shiva for Hayley. And...more
Nikki
After reading all of Tropper's books, its interesting to notice his progression and certain kinds of scenes that are unique to him. Tropper loves setting up utterly ridiculous scenes, usually involving family, that are totally hilarious, I believe there was one in book of joe involving a family dinner and a parrot. I really like his writing style. This book is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, going from truly sad to laughing out loud a few pages later. All in all I think this is a great read...more
Maida
There have been many great “storytellers” throughout history. Unfortunately, there have been very few authors blessed with BOTH the talent to “tell a story,” as well as the ability to truly “capture the human condition.” Jonathan Tropper is one such author. He is the rare author whose novels, despite their brilliance & intellectual undertones, are still relatable to the recreational reader. A single sentence by Jonathan Tropper can cause a reader to roar in laughter, while crying sad heartf...more
Jennie
Very low impact, but Jonathan Tropper's book are perfect light reading. I was reading this in a cafe the other morning and my server was a young Russian woman. She asked what I was reading and when I showed her the cover she said, "Oh yes, he has good books. They are like girl books, but not too girl." I said, "Yes! It's chick lit for smart people." That pretty much sums it up.
Maciek
I think we are all familiar with the stereotype of the so called "modern" writer: the kind of guy or girl who sits at Starbucks, smokes a Silk Cut (or a Djarum or other aromaticized poison if he or she is hip enough) and types away on a MacBook. The type of text that comes out is is either dick/chick lit, meaning witty novels about the complicated relationship between men and women, or some quasi post-modern bullshit which nobody understands and everybody praises for exactly that reason. Sometim...more
Megan
Nov 23, 2008 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Megan by: The Heathrow readers' guide
Among my favorite parts of visiting England is the chance to walk into British bookstores and browse through an entirely NEW range of English-speaking authors. Last time I was in England, I picked up three new books to read during my trip. This one, Jonathan Tropper's "How to Talk to a Widower" was my final purchase, selected at Heathrow to keep me company for the flight home.

It didn't take me long to discover the irony of my choice -- Tropper's an American author painting a picture of family li...more
ALPHAreader
I love, love, loved this book!
It’s hard to put the book into a specific genre. On the one hand it’s a romantic-comedy, but with a very bleak beginning. Before Doug’s restorative journey the book deals with his dark depression following the death of his wife, Hailey. It is a sad beginning; but infused with Tropper’s laugh-out-loud humor that takes a speculative look at grief and the funny side of mourning.

Doug has to fight-off the advancements of suburban housewives in the wake of Hailey’s death...more
Tammie McElligott
This was the first book of Jonathan Tropper's that I have read and I have to say I really love his voice in How To Talk To A Widower.

A fan of Nick Hornby's work I was curious to pick up another male authors book that fits the "women's fiction" category. The story is about a young widower who has to deal with a step-son and family that is more than a little odd.

Jonathan Tropper writes in a such a lively manner and in scenes that were so vivid I could easily see this on the big screen.

Doug Parker...more
Grumpus
Wow, I like a book about relationships. Not my typical listen but I've enjoyed other Tropper books and I have to say I never thought I'd like this as much as I did. The title of the book put me off for a while and that was a shame. This is my fourth book by the author and all have achieved 4 stars. Funny? Yes, but his writing style is makes it great.

Chris Ring
Decent, but kinda samey to Book of Joe. Also the action bit in the last 20 pages felt a bit out of place
Allison
I bought this book Monday morning and was done by it on Tuesday afternoon. One of those perfect miracles in which I enjoyed every last thing about it: the characters, the writing, the pace. It would make me laugh and then out of nowhere, it would have me tearing up. Just a perfect combination of everything that makes me want to read.
Carol
3.5 Stars. Not my favorite JT novel, but still good and filled with his usual sarcasm and wit. He truly does have the knack for writing about a difficult subject and turning it into something quirky and humorous. Enjoyed it!
Michael
“I had a wife. Her name was Hailey. Now she’s gone. And so am I.”

This one reoccurring line not only serves as a mantra for Doug Parker, it also sums up the essence of How to Talk to a Widower. A year ago Doug lost his with in a plane crash and he has been grieving ever since. The people around him tend to think that it is time for him to move on, he is only twenty-nine, and he still has a whole life ahead of him. For Doug, that is not the case, his wife is gone, and so is he. On the surface this...more
Mara
While the characters may seem recycled from The Book of Joe (or vice-versa, but that's the order I read them in), they are what make Tropper's writing what it is. The self-depricating/pitying writer/narrator, the wise beyond his years high-school "troubled teen," the straight-shooting love interest, and a cast of dysfunctional family members give you a world in which characters are explicitly aware of their own flaws without needing to philosophize about them for pages on end.

That being said, t...more
awesomatik.com

Klappentext: Doug Parkers Leben könnte perfekt sein, doch dann stirbt seine Frau Hailey bei einem Unfall. Ein Jahr später klammert sich Doug immer noch an seine Trauer und den Schmerz – an alles, was ihm von der großen Liebe geblieben ist. Als wäre das nicht schlimm genug, entwickelt Haileys pubertierender Sohn aus erster Ehe eine Vorliebe für illegale Rauschmittel, während Dougs Vater langsam den Verstand verliert, seine scharfzüngige Schwester bei ihm einzieht und die Hausfrauen der Nachbarsch...more
Sarah
last week I picked up three books, the first of which How to talk to a widower is when of those books that I’ve seen over the past few years and never actually got round to reading. I am glad I picked it up. It’s a brilliant, witty book and despite the inherently sad nature of it allows you to see that grief is normal and actually, some of the platitudes that surround it are nonsense.

Essentially Doug lost his wife in a plane crash. His family thinks that after 12 months he should be ‘moving on’...more
False Millennium
"We were young, slim, sad and beautiful." Can he say that often enough? Apparently not. I only read this because someone checked it out on my library card. Tropper writes for a very specific group; that would be thirty-ish and male. I only liked one passage where he wrote about upscale suburbs. I continue to deplore the new habit of using email formats or texting into the plot. Yes I know it happens in real life, but it's boring to read.

So. About the suburbs. "The men I met in Hailey's circle we...more
Ian Mapp
Another contender for "book of the year". This is staggeringly funny, well written and with genuine excitement that means that you want to read just one more chapter. What more can you ask for?

Doug Parker is only 29 but his 38 year old wife died a year ago. He has been self medicating to get through things but this has not been easy with a very well drawn extended family inclduing...

Russ - His 17 year old step son who has a wickedly cynically outlook and is suffering as much as doug.

His father -...more
Kerry
I picked this one up to be a nice light read...well now that comes off wrong. Then again, now that we've started off akwardly like any relationship Jaleel White would hope to start we might as well continue, right?

Thinking this would be a read that wouldn't crush my (hopefully) growing intellect, I found in so many ways it was and so many ways it wasn't. While the book is well written with sarcasm and ::gasp:: (side note: why do to two colons on both sides of the word gasp "denote" the word? I f...more
Michael Jenkins
Doug Parker is a young widower who has more on his plate, than he wants to handle. First it is Russ his reckless teenager who is getting into trouble with the law and ruining the little reputation that Doug has. Not only is making unwise decisions but he wants Doug to step in to be the Father that can look up to and the one that he has. While Doug tries to do his best as a parent, his identical twin Clair is his ego personality that wants him to move on from his wife's death and sleep around. Th...more
Amanda Westmont
So I think I've decided that I read Tropper primarily for the writing because the stories in his books are all starting to feel the same to me. All of them are about men right on the brink of a nervous breakdown. All of the protagonists are writers or want to be writers (and this is a pet peeve of mine!). I tend to find meta-fiction a generally lazy and somewhat self-centered device. I mean, Tropper gets away with it because the writing is so tight, but it makes everything he writes feel like it...more
Todd Carper
Another great book by Jonathan Tropper. It is a funny and moving story about a guy who becomes a widow at 29 and takes on the responsibility of raising his "step son" who is 16. It typical Tropper fasion, there is no happily ever after finale, but he always leaves you with hope. In one section of the book I was in tears from laughing so hard as he described the engagement party of his sister and then just a cople of pages later, I was in tears as he and his step son visited the grave of his wife...more
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review 1 15 Sep 15, 2013 04:02PM  
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Jonathan Tropper is the author of Everything Changes, The Book of Joe , which was a Booksense selection, and Plan B. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their children in Westchester, New York, where he teaches writing at Manhattanville College. How To Talk To A Widower was optioned by Paramount Pictures, and Everything Changes and The Book of Joe are also in development as feature films.

-Infor...more
More about Jonathan Tropper...
This is Where I Leave You The Book of Joe One Last Thing Before I Go Everything Changes Plan B

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“Sometimes you walk past a pretty girl on the street there's something beyond beauty in her face, something warm and smart and inviting, and in the three seconds you have to look at her, you actually fall in love, and in those moments, you can actually know the taste of her kiss, the feel of her skin against yours, the sound of her laugh, how she'll look at you and make you whole. And then she's gone, and in the five seconds afterwards, you mourn her loss with more sadness than you'll ever admit to. ” 65 likes
“She was smart and funny and vulnerable and just so goddamned beautiful, the kind of beautiful that was worth being shot down over.” 34 likes
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