Ed's Reviews > This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
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Aug 10, 10

bookshelves: 5-stars, 2009, read-on-kindle, favorites, new-author-to-me, shared-in-household
Recommended for: fans of sarcasm, dysfunctional families
Read in September, 2009

This was another of those "buzz" book that seems to be gaining good word of mouth. In fact, when I finished it this weekend I received my monthly newsletter from our local independent bookstore and the owner reported that 5 people had read this book at hear annual summer retreat. The night I picked up the book, I had not intended to "officially" start it, but after reading the amazing and jaw-dropping opening paragraph, I couldn't stop myself. This was my type of humor (dead-pan, sarcasm) and that's *really* saying something when a book opens with the line "Dad's dead."

What follows is a memorably wacky week as the atheist/agnostic Foxman family sitting shiva, with middle son Judd, who's own life in serious shambles, anchoring the novel. If you like your humor politically incorrect and are not easily shocked (a rabbi nicknamed Boner?!!), this is certainly a novel for you. While some of the action is quite slapstick at times (if a tad too highly condensed, one would hope all this could not occur within a week's time), Tropper gets gold stars for coming up some incredibly clever twists and turns. We've seen these types of dysfunctional families before in print and the big screen, but I can assure you they've never been put into some of the creative scenes Tropper manages to dream up.

That said, it's not all giggles and fits. There is a lot of angst, pain, tragedy, and pathos to go around. But again, it is a treat for the reader that humor is such a defense mechanism for this dysfunctional clan.

This book isn't rocket science or great "literature" but it has certainly been one of my favorite reads of the year.
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