Laala Alghata's Reviews > How to Talk to a Widower

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
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Dec 02, 10


“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 trumped Jonathan Coe, who is regarded as one of the great comic writers of his generation.

So I was looking forward to reading this. Tropper feels like a nice break between my heavier reading, something to read through quickly, but without having to compromise on good writing (much like how I feel about Jodi Picoult). But I was sorely disappointed. The book was boring and predictable, the writing mostly mundane. There was a couple of good lines, but mostly it was an exercise in whether I could keep reading after being disappointed again and again. The ending tried too much to shock and then appease, when in reality it did neither.

I wish I had read it before This Is Were I Leave You rather than after, so that I could at least appreciate that he has improved hugely, but the reality is, I was so bored by this that if I had read it first, I don’t know if I would have picked up another Tropper. As soon as I finished this book, I walked to my nearest Oxfam and gave it away. Maybe there at least it’ll do some good.
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message 1: by Sera (new)

Sera I just came across this book at the second hand bookshop that also sells English books. I am so glad not to have bought this book when I saw your review here.


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