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This is Where I Leave You

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A riotously funny, emotionally raw New York Times bestselling novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant...

“Often sidesplitting, mostly heartbreaking...[Tropper is] a more sincere, insightful version of Nick Hornby, that other master of male psyche.”—USA Today


339 pages, Hardcover

First published November 10, 2003

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About the author

Jonathan Tropper

15 books2,987 followers
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.

-Information from www.jonathantropper.com

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5 stars
38,482 (27%)
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3 stars
32,531 (23%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,646 reviews
251 reviews21 followers
July 5, 2010
I picked up this book on the recommendation of an acquaintance whose taste I trust. And in reading the dust jacket flap, I was immediately drawn in by the idea of the book: a family -- four siblings -- mourning the death of their father, coming together for seven days to sit shiva. The book promised to be witty and biting, an unforgiving look at family dynamic. I'm in. Sign me up.


For sure there was some great language in here. Some sharp observations about disappointment and growing up and loss and fucking up that leaped off the page. And I really appreciate that and am glad I read this book for that alone. The observations about life are what's best about this book. But aside from that there was a very one-dimensional quality to the dialogue -- families, siblings in particular, just don't talk to each other the way they do in this book. It was contrived and hollow. And the characterization was flat, the characters all cardboard cutouts stuffed into traditional family pigeon holes. The wacky mom. The charming fuck up little brother. The angry older brother. The bitchy, harried older sister. The aloof brother in law. The cheating ex-wife. The douche-bag boss. There was a lot of wize-cracking and mutual disrespect and dismissiveness, but none of it came across as at all genuine or charming.

I also wonder if the author has really experienced the death of a parent, as the characters in this book have. It doesn't seem like it. Apart from a few scattered "I miss Dad"'s, there's no believable, relatable sign of grief, of real loss, of the myriad ramifications and changes that are set into motion when one loses a parent and that you can't know about until it happens to you. It seems to me that Tropper doesn't know about any of that and therefore couldn't write about it. The grief is conspicuously absent.

I just learned that this book is being adapted for film, and this comes as no surprise to me. In fact, the entire time I was reading this book I had the sense that Tropper wrote it with the goal of getting optioned, and that kind of pisses me off. This book reads like a film, and not in a good way -- not in a way that says that the author's writing style is inspired by film but rather that he wants to bust into the film industry and he wrote a book to make it happen. I resent that. It's a cheap move.

It's amazing -- and dismaying -- to me what passes as brilliant writing these days. This was a marginally fun read, not bad, not great, kind of interesting in some places, but all in all lightweight (strange considering the subject matter) and, ultimately, kind of a throw-away read. I wanted -- and expected -- more.
Profile Image for KrisAnne.
257 reviews6 followers
April 20, 2013
A grating combination of trying too hard to be funny, casual misogyny, and generally unsympathetic characters. Tropper also seems completely obsessed with judging the physiognomy and physiques of all of the characters, including minor ones that just show up to sit shiva or whatever. Heaven forbid that you grow old and expose any skin, or wear low-riding jeans postpartum. Everyone is physically icky except for the shining goddess of a wife who cheated on him, and all the women about whom he makes extensive character judgments based on their hotness.

Having said that, there are some good family vignettes in here, and some moving moments. But overall I don't recommend it. It'll probably be much funnier as a movie. Just read The Corrections if you want a family-dysfunction novel about a dude in crisis.

Also, everyone quit making the re-hashing of dreams a recurring plot point unless it's, like, a fantasy novel where the dream is a magical visitation. Otherwise you are just boring the crap out of me.
Profile Image for Andrea.
59 reviews
December 8, 2013
Defines a new genre: "dick lit." A few moments of profound human interactions amid a sea of objectifying comments about women. Not a single female character passes by the author without some mention of her attractiveness or lack of as a sole criterion of her worth. Despicable.
Profile Image for Joel.
551 reviews1,574 followers
June 30, 2011

Voice Over: Judd Foxman had the perfect job...

(on-air antics at the radio station; his boss makes a sexist joke)

VO: the perfect girl...

(hot young starlet (Jessica Biel?) smiles at camera)

VO: The perfect life... Until one day, it left him behind.

(smiling, Judd carries an ornate birthday cake into a bedroom. "Surprise, honey! Happy birthday!" Flash cut: Biel in bed, looking over a man's shoulder. "Judd!" The man turns, and it's Judd's boss. "Foxman! How's it hanging?" Back to Judd, who flings the still burning cake at the couple.)

(phone rings)

Off-Camera Dialogue: Judd, it's about dad.

(Sad music. Montage of Judd driving, looking sad. Arriving at a house, entering and hugging his siblings, interrupted by a comedy gag with baby vomit. Judd's brother: "Welcome home.")

(Dialogue over a montage, fill this in later...)

"I can't believe dad wants us to sit shiva! He wasn't even religous! Mom is a sex columnist for heaven's sake!"

(Goldie Hawn gets her glamor shot: "Hey, just because I'm your mother, doesn't mean I don't get a little lonely for a man once in a while!" Beat. Reaction shot of the siblings. "Well it's true!")

VO (over another montage, put some of the slapstick in here, with some shots of people crying and maybe dancing): Now, he'll have seven days to re-connect... to pick up the pieces... to see if he can ever put things back the way he left them.

VO: From director Gore Verbinski and the studio that brought you Little Miss Sunshine comes another story about how the things that threaten to tear us apart are often the moments that bring us closer together...

(The Killers Mr. Brightside starts playing over fast cut montage)

VO: Jason Segal. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rachel McAdams. David Schwimmer. And Academy-Award winner Goldie Hawn.

(shot of the dad knocking the potty out of the boy's hands, implied shot of the mess landing on a plate, cut to Judd who delivers the laugh line: "Well, you can't ask for a more perfect metaphor than that!")

This is Where I Leave You. Rated PG-13.


Such a desperate grab for a Hollywood deal, you can practically cast the inevitable quirky pseudo-indie film version as you read it. I enjoyed "Little Miss Sunshine" and all, but sit-com dialogue, comedic episodic storytelling, and dime store emotional depth work a lot better on film.

Just about every character here is a type, constructed to death, whatever depth they have as calculated as the formulated seven-day plotting (i.e. they only reveal their hidden emotions at just the right moment -- the Roger Rabbit rule of storytelling).

I'm mystified why this has garnered such praise, or I would be if everyone hadn't loved Juno too. Tropper is a great writer, and can certainly write a punchline with the best of them, but there's nothing here you haven't read, or more likely, watched, before.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,560 reviews5,818 followers
January 25, 2015

I got book pushed into reading this book. Kelly and Snotchocheez both rated this book highly and I usually somewhat agree with them on books so I requested this sucker from the library.

And..I loved it.

How to get a five star review from this hateful reader? Characters that are so real that I expect them to drive up my driveway. Characters that have no filter on their mouths or their thoughts. A fucked up family that makes mine not look as bad.

I'm not going to tell you what the book is about. It's been done and done better than I could. Just go read it...and don't be trying to mack up on Judd..He is mine!
Profile Image for Baba.
3,503 reviews733 followers
June 24, 2021
From the writer of "How to Talk to a Widower" comes another bordering on dark comedy, this time a somewhat eccentric and behaviourally diverse Jewish family sit Shiva after the death of their father. The story is told through the eyes of cuckolded husband, brother and son, Judd Foxman as attending Shiva is also an escape from the car crash that was his life. His elder brother Paul has taken the reigns of the big, but possibly failing, family business, who is also having trouble with fertility; there's Judd's older straight-talking sister married to a big earning equities man and bearer of three young children; family black sheep and one time cannabis farmer Phillip is also expected; there's also the grieving matriarch and her impressive, but fake, bosom! With an expansive and highly entertaining supporting cast, I got to sit Shiva, and relish every page of this very funny and surprisingly heartwarming comedy of modern manners.

I immensely enjoyed being thrust in to the lives, the pasts, and the present, of this eclectic collection of characters returning to the town and home of their youth, for a second time with this reread, and found myself upgrading this book hugely form an OK 6, to an well deserved 9 out of 12, Three Star read! I just don't remember this book being so painfully funny, and at times so poignant!
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,388 reviews6,650 followers
October 20, 2010
Does this story sound like it’d tickle your funny bone? Judd Foxman and his wife Jen lost a baby during the last months of her pregnancy. A year later, he catches her in bed with his boss, a crude radio shock-jock. Months after that, Judd doesn’t have a job and is living in a crappy apartment when he gets the news that his father finally died after long battle with cancer. Just then, Jen drops by to let him know that she’s pregnant. Judd’s even more shocked to learn that his father’s last request was that a traditional shiva be done for him so he has to go home and spend 7 days dealing with his family that has years of pent up frustrations and grudges with each other.

I’ll bet you're laughing already, ain’t ya?

Even thought the plot doesn’t exactly sound like a knee slapper, and the book often has a sad and angry tone, it’s got a lot of great lines and situations that made me laugh out loud more than once. My favorite part was Judd’s retaliation when he discovers his wife and his boss in bed, and he has a birthday cake with lit candles in his hands. Hilarity ensues.

There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about a story of a dysfunctional family having to gather for an event and deal with some of their old hang-ups as their current lives are turning to crap, but I did enjoy this book. Tropper does a nice job of making all the characters a little fucked-up but basically likeable people. He also walked the razor’s edge of humor and melancholy perfectly.
Profile Image for Jason.
137 reviews2,266 followers
November 16, 2011
This book is weak. I’m not usually a fan of novels that think they can hold their own merit on nothing but shock value and really bad sexual innuendos—I’m pretty sure this book may have overestimated itself. I’d even feel bad for it, but the fact that its shallow cliché-ness seems to beg for a Hollywood deal rather sucks up any pity I might have otherwise had.
Profile Image for Crystal Craig.
250 reviews566 followers
November 10, 2021
Be sure to visit my Favorites Shelf for the books I found most entertaining.

I started This is Where I Leave You yesterday afternoon after picking up all four books I currently have on the go and hardly getting through a page before tossing them aside frustrated. I'm not in a rut. I want to read, but nothing holds my attention.

Forget about all that. This book is excellent. It grabbed me right from the first page. I could not put it down. It kept me entertained for the entire afternoon to the point of me not wanting to make dinner. I love food.

If you're like me and come from a dysfunctional family. Whether you're a sibling or an only child, a parent or not, single, married or divorced. Whether you have a sense of humour or don't, everyone needs to read this book. It's my kind of funny.

"Dad didn't believe in God, but he was a lifelong member of the Church of Shit or Get Off the Can."
Profile Image for Jen CAN.
465 reviews1,276 followers
March 7, 2016
Judd Foxwell is a broken, damaged man. He has found his wife cheating on him with his boss and then he gets the call his terminally ill father has passed away. His dying wish: to have his family - non practicing Jews - sit shiva for 7 days as final tribute to him in death. Except the 7 days are more like a forced quarantine for Judd and his 4 siblings. What ensues is a hot mess of grudges as wounds are reopened but as part of that process, they are finally given a chance to heal. This is a story of family, relationships and things that matter and shedding things that don’t. As far as dysfunctional families go, theirs is pretty bleak but I think it's just a matter of where they sit on the spectrum. Tropper’s writing is robust and is both cynical and comical. A very good and entertaining 4 ★ read.
Profile Image for Allison.
643 reviews15 followers
February 27, 2011
Meh. This book was fine, but it wasn't good. My main problem is that there seemed to be a lot of anger at and objectifying of women on the part of the main character, Judd Foxman. There was a lot of talking about women (both young and old) as body parts (though to be fair, this happened a lot with the descriptions of men too) and as vehicles for Judd's fantasies. I get it that his wife cheated on him, but still I didn't like this part of the narrative. Maybe I just wasn't supposed to like Judd as a character, but since he's narrating the book I just ended up not liking the book very much.

The writing was fine and I was involved enough in the plot and the nuances of this family's relationships to finish the book, but it seemed to be lacking something. The revelation that Judd was (sort of) responsible for his brother getting bitten by a pitbull and losing his baseball scholarship was a really anticlimactic plot twist. It seemed like the author wanted to build some tension into the book by revealing this story in bits and pieces, but I was left wondering: who cares?
Profile Image for Idarah.
464 reviews45 followers
August 10, 2016
“You never know when it will be the last time you’ll see your father, or kiss your wife, or play with your little brother, but there’s always a last time. If you could remember every last time, you’d never stop grieving.”

Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby are two authors that seem to be on the same plane although from two different parts of the world. Sarcasm and dark humor are their specialty, and a few movie adaptations have followed in the wake of their novels. Sadly, even at the adamant urging of well-meaning friends, I’d yet to read any of their books, despite owning most of their works. Ironic, huh? I managed to rectify that a week ago by finishing This is Where I Leave You.

This book took me through a rollercoaster of emotions. The Foxman family are all called home as the result of the death of their father. Time has created unacknowledged rifts in the family, so it’s a total surprise when they are told that their unreligious father’s dying wish was that his family all sit shiva in rememberance of him. Not an easy task to accomplish, especially as each family member seems to be undergoing a crisis of their own.

I haven’t laughed so hard in a while! I know I’ll definitely come back to this book whenever I need a good laugh. I haven’t tackled the movie just yet, but I’m saving that for a special occasion. Highly recommend if you enjoy family drama and hilarity.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,113 reviews2,154 followers
July 14, 2018
This was a recommendation from Sarah of Sarah's Bookshelves blog and I loved it! If you enjoy funny and irreverent books about dysfunctional characters, this is the book for you. The death of the family patriarch brings together the Foxman family for seven days to sit shiva, their father’s last request. The enforced togetherness brings all the dysfunction to the forefront. What ensues is a mixture of hilarity with moments of poignancy.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Theresa.
225 reviews136 followers
January 9, 2016
One of the funniest novels I read last year. Jonathan Tropper has such an amazing, razor-sharp wit. I couldn't stop laughing, and there were a few unexpected moments where I got a little choked-up. A wonderful balance of humor and heart. The movie was just so-so. The book is so much better! I love Judd and his crazy, opinionated, and unapologetic family. They tell it like it is and then some. A must-read. :) Enjoy!
Profile Image for Alison.
315 reviews43 followers
January 15, 2012

-Probably one of the most effective combinations of heartbreaking and hilarious I've ever read.

-Something about it is cinematic, and almost begs to be turned into a movie (one that won't be as good as the book, of course), and subsequently a few of the plot points feel just very slightly bordering on cliché.

-It took me most of the book before I began to realize that, due to the narrator's state of depression, he's a bit hard to like. But at the same time, it's his wry observations that make the books so painful and funny.

-There were times when I got a little annoyed at the depictions of female characters; the phrase “her smooth, tanned thighs” appeared on what felt like practically every page (even though I was aware that the narrator's state of horny, dejected longing is a part of his character. And all of the characters here are well-developed despite each representing a sort of type or stereotype).

-I teared up at the end, and I truly laughed out loud—much as I hate that phrase now—throughout the entire book.
Profile Image for Skyler Autumn.
224 reviews1,376 followers
September 8, 2018
2 Stars

This book was not as satisfying as I hoped it would be. This is Where I Leave You, is a book about a family of estranged and extremely fucked up individuals that come together to sit Shiva when their emotionally distant father passes away after his long battle with cancer. Our vessel into this world and family is Judd Foxman the middle child of four siblings and recently single after finding his wife of nine years having sex with his chauvinistic boss. A book I thought would be about acceptance, love, and loss fell flat with me. Whether it was the overly absurd dysfunctional-ness of the Foxman clan, the child-like horniness of the lead character that has to sexualize any attractive woman or tear down any woman that doesn't meet his criteria, or maybe it was just the inability of the author to make me feel any genuine compassion for the characters and their many many many many grievances but all and all this novel was a swing and miss for me.

Honestly I think the main thing that made me dislike this book was the overly objectifying comments made towards women every two minute just got extremely grating and tainted this novel for me. I wanted to read the book because I enjoyed the film, so like any true book lover I thought if I enjoyed the movie I'm going to LOVE the book, but no. The movie unlike the book didn't take us into the leads inner thoughts because the lead protagonist is a pervert who scolds women for daring to age, or gain weight or just not live up to his criteria of perfection. You can tell when it's a male author writing because Tropper even wrote the female characters equally as degrading towards each other. Women do not call each other fat and comment on their friends aging poorly. So, if you like the idea of the premise may I suggest the movie instead it's got the family dynamic without the unnecessary women bashing.

So as realized by the end of this read unsympathetic characters mixed with just blatant misogyny is formula I do not care for in my novels.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,579 reviews2,308 followers
July 24, 2016
"Seven days?"

"That's how long it takes to sit shiva."

"We're not really going to do this, are we?"

You have my deepest sympathies. I don't want to spend seven days with people I like much less spend them with my family.

Well, a dying wish is a dying wish, and when patriarch Mort Foxman requests that his family sit shiva, well, DAMMIT!, they'd better do it. So, Judd, the narrator, moves back to the old homestead for seven days of communing with his three siblings and a whole lot of ghosts-of-not-so-good-times-past. Says Judd, "In my family, we don't so much air our grievances as wallow in them." Sounds like a swell time is guaranteed.

And there are a lot of funny moments in this book. I honestly laughed out loud several times. This truly started out as a five-star read.

And then...I started to really hate Judd.

Here he is, folks, rapidly approaching middle-age with a rapidly expanding waistline, and yet, he has comments on EVERY woman's body. Her legs are heavy. She's pudgy and showing her age. Man, do her boobs sag. Despite his own flaws, only a physically perfect specimen will do for the chunky Juddster. Read how he describes the elderly friends of his mother who attend the shiva:

Some of them have managed to hold it together, but on others, skin hangs loosely off the bone, crinkled like cellophane; ankles disappear beneath mounds of flesh; and spider veins stretch out like bruises just below the skin. There really should be a dress code.

Damn those women for coming to pay their respects and offending the eyes of Judd!

In my experience, men who believe that no woman is good enough for them always die alone clutching a bottle of cheap muscatel (sometimes under the wheels of my Humvee, should I ever choose to buy one!)

Anyway, Judd's ego ruined what was initially a fun book. I still plan to see the movie, because, well, look at that cast - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371150/ I actually DON'T HATE most of those actors.

And one more rant while I'm all wound up. This made my guy-written-chick-lit shelf because I'm firmly convinced, had this book been written by a woman, it would have died on the vine, disappeared instantly, I would have never read it, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

So, there.
Profile Image for Jonathan Ashleigh.
Author 1 book117 followers
December 5, 2015
I really enjoyed this book and even a poorly-made movie can't bring it down. The characters felt like people I knew and I sometimes wondered what they were doing when I wasn't reading. The style and flow of this book worked very well and I have recommended it to many people.
Profile Image for Sibyl.
45 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2009
Being married to Jonathan Tropper could scare a woman to death. This man knows women, their thoughts, what motivates them, their foibles, their intellects. He can put it all out there, too. Besides, he's a very sexy writer--he knows men, too, especially the side of them that has that morning wood thing going on all day, every day. But Tropper is not out for anything other than to spin a really great yarn about a family of grown children who haven't really gotten along very well for most of their lives. Their mother, a psychiatrist who is proud of her boob job, wears staccato heels and miniskirts that go all the way up but who is 63? She is my kind of woman; I loved her. Beware, though. Reality bites and bites very hard and deep in this story. The setting is seven days of sitting shiva, seven days of mourning over the death of their dad---being available all day each of seven days to receive well wishers, while trying to remain somewhat civil with each other. And funny? Tropper's one liners could be quoted left and right bringing laughter right out loud; he did that to me.

This really is a heck of a great read. I'm gonna have to check out his other four novels. And it looks like this one will become a movie; I can't imagine how they'll do the sex work-around scenes, but if it can be done, Tropper will figure it out.
Profile Image for Kyla.
1,009 reviews14 followers
December 10, 2010
Three stars feels a little generous because though the premise is promising (sitting shiva for their father, dysfuctional family must Learn to Get Along or Not) and it sailed along lightly (I could practically see the movie in my mind) the great big giant dollop of misogyny heaped on top really turned my stomach. Judd's constant snipes at women and their weight problems and their hotness quotient and typical male writers crap about the drag of being slave to their sex drive and the drag of being a monogamous male and again! with women and their weight and utter bitchiness of wives and how old women are just kind of ugly and ridiculous and the paper thin portrayal of any woman - or really any character in this book, especially as anything but a sex receptacle or something to mock - yeah, that wore me out. I started to worry that this IS male thinking and my husband and friends have just never told me what is really on their mind, 24-7. But at least my husband and my male friends have redeeming qualities and the really curious thing about this book is what exactly makes Judd appealing to anyone, let alone his hot wife or Penny at the sport store or - me, as a reader.
I guess I answered my own question. In fact, I'm now going to change my stars to Two.
Profile Image for Suz.
1,046 reviews532 followers
October 21, 2014
What a gem of a book. I am so happy I stumbled across this book in my library, literally just looked up while sneaking glances at the shelves over my little boy's shoulders at library story time. Recognised the title and picked it up straight away. This story follows the Foxman family while they complete the seven day period of mourning and are observing Shiva after the death of their father, Mort. The story is told from son Judd's point of view, and his fathers' death could not have happened at a worse time, while his own life is also falling apart. We get to know all the children of the family, and their families and their families stories. Jonathan Tropper just seemed to have the knack of capturing the raw and honest everyday observations of Judd (and all of us) as he rails against his recent life changing dramas, the raw honesty of life when you realise that this is it, everyone is just going along in life and nothing is ever going to be perfect. There were many times I just though to myself 'this guy just gets it, I really did enjoy his writing style and the honest capturing of human behaviour and human nature. There were so many characters to love in this book, I loved all of them (maybe not so much the mother Hilary) and I thought the author developed every one of his characters perfectly. Nothing was boring, I got to know all the characters without any boring 'telling'. If there ever was a book that I should have noted some great lines, this was it. This is a great book, a truely honest telling of a lovely story, I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,394 reviews7,261 followers
December 27, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I ran through Tropper’s books in short order quite a few years ago. Then this one was set to become a movie so I read it again. In what could only be called an end of days scenario, me (the not-a-re-reader) found myself in a situation a couple of days before Christmas . . . . .

Rendering me pretty much not only housebound, but restricted to the room closest to the bathroom. And despite having a plethora of books on the Kindle, I didn’t much have the mental capacity to start something new and retain any information. Plus, it was Christmas and nothing says Christmas like dysfunctional families so I downloaded the Foxmans from the library website (literally I was too lazy to go downstairs and obtain my own hard copy version and the thought of flipping pages to my fever-addled brain was the equivalent of some serious cardiovascular exercise). Basically . . . . .

And yes, these people feel like old friends to me at this point. I have loved everything Tropper has ever written and I’m a huge fangirl. I love dysfunction. I love the loveable loser. I love melancholy comedy. He delivers everything I could ask for . . . . except trailers containing meth labs exploding. He doesn’t write about that.
Profile Image for Angela M (On a little break).
1,270 reviews2,217 followers
November 5, 2014

3.5 stars if I could but rounded up to 4 because it really made me laugh .

This book is very funny a lot of the time and it's sometimes sad , sometimes irreverent and borderline obscene at times but this book is always entertaining . If profanity bothers you, I'd say maybe you should skip it .

This is the story of a totally dysfunctional family coming together to sit shiva for their father. During these seven days we learn about their past and their present problems and some of the dialog is really hilarious . I couldn't help liking this family , especially Judd , because after all there must be some dysfunction in most families. It's good to read a book that makes you laugh once in a while.

I don't often see the movie before I've read the book , but in this case I did . There are a few differences but in retrospect , the movie , in spite of those differences , did a really good job of depicting the essence of the book . A lot of the very funny dialog was taken word for word . I'd recommend the movie as well .

Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,849 reviews34.9k followers
September 9, 2013
When I was comparing books with another new Goodreads friend --
an realized I had never wrote a review of this book --
I only laughed...
"How silly of me"...

Because this is my favorite 'GO TO' book--(read sections out loud), for comic-tragedy --- I especially enjoy sharing this with my Jewish friends with a great sense of humor -- a great sense of family--

Its also for 'everyone' who needs a break from 'heavy' reading --
This book makes you laugh (for real) --
This book is sad (for read) --
This book is a gem (for real).

I've bought this book about 5 times (whenever I happen to find a 'good deal' --'sale') ---to give to friends.

Its pure enjoyment!

Read this book while sitting under a tree enjoying the sunshine...
Then go bake cake and kiss a person you love!
Profile Image for Amanda.
282 reviews315 followers
January 7, 2013
Judd Foxman had a content but not always perfect marriage to the woman of his dreams. And then, I guess because Life just enjoys being an asshole, Life knocks Judd down. Judd and his wife lose their first baby, which causes Judd to lose his wife to his boss, which causes Judd to lose his job. And, because Life in this book likes to remorselessly kick people while they're down, Judd loses his father to cancer. And just when you think things can't get any worse, Judd finds out that his atheist father's last request is for his emotionally stunted family to sit shiva, seven days for a family full of anger and resentment and unresolved issues to come together and mourn. Oh, and Judd's soon to be ex-wife is pregnant. Judd is clearly Life's bitch.

To say that the Foxman family is dysfunctional is an understatement. They're nuckin' futs, folks. There's the oversexed, always inappropriate mother. The middle-aged failed-college-athlete brother. The perpetual boy-child younger brother. The bitter and sarcastic child-factory of a sister. The anxious and emotional sister-in-law desperate for her own child. The brother-in-law who is always glued to his cell phone while spitting out words like "mergers" and "net profit." And then there's lonely, depressed Judd.

The whole dysfunctional family thing is a tricky one for me. When done well, I can't get enough. For example, I love Arrested Development, a show that got the concept just right. But This is Where I Leave You, while admittedly hilarious in spots, is just trying too hard for the laughs in others. These laughs are even harder to come by when one takes into account the angry and bitter tone that runs throughout. It seems to want to be a comedy and a thought-provoking look at mortality and family, but never hits the right balance.

I think what's lacking in the novel is Arrested Development's key to success: Michael Bluth. In a family this messed up and unlikable, you need a relatable character--one you can root for, one that you like, one whose normalcy plays straight man to the overabundance of quirky found in the other characters. I need such a lynchpin character to connect me to the others, because normally these are people I would actively avoid in real life. And Judd Foxman is not such a character. When I say he's Life's bitch, I mean it. Life happens to Judd; he seldom acts to change it or fight against it. He mopes, he whines, he thinks about sex. It's tedious as he's an underdog that deserves to be an underdog. Judd Foxman, you, sir, are no Michael Bluth.

So why the 3 star? There were parts I liked, moments of real, honest humor and the scenes where Judd reflects on the father he remembered and the father he lost to the unavoidable act of growing up have a real poignancy. I wish more time had been spent pursuing this aspect of the novel and less in mourning the loss of a marriage.

Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,394 reviews7,261 followers
May 29, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Did you catch the movie preview yesterday, folks??????


Mort Foxman has passed away after a long battle with stomach cancer. His dying wish was for the family to sit shiva. That means Judd Foxman will have to spend seven days with three siblings and their spouses/significant others that he hasn’t seen in years. While juggling the plethora of mourners who come to pay their respects each day, Judd also has to come to terms with the fact that his wife has left him for his boss (a famous shock-jock radio host) and is now pregnant.

There’s nothing I love more than an ensemble cast in a comedy/drama. Tropper has managed to develop TWELVE (yes, 12) unforgettable characters in This Is Where I Leave You. I absolutely fell in love with the Foxman family and I laughed until my sides hurt. If you come from a big family, the riotous interactions will bring back fond memories. When you finish and find yourself wishing for more, set your mind at ease knowing that Tropper has a whole treasure chest filled with sparkly jewels like this one.

As for me? I've read all of Tropper's books and now am simply waiting with bated breath for September to come. Jason Bateman, how I love thee. Let me count the ways . . .

Profile Image for Wilma.
106 reviews49 followers
March 12, 2018
Bij het lezen van de eerste zin werd ik 'gepakt'...hilarische momenten, interessant thema, goed geschreven. Echter halverwege het verhaal waren de hilarische momenten te gedoseerd, te bewust gepland... alles wat er, thematisch gezien, in het verhaal moet zitten is er bewust in verwerkt...waarbij je denkt 'dit kan er ook nog wel bij' waardoor de hilarische momenten niet hilarisch zijn maar vervelen. halverwege het verhaal sloeg bij mij de verveling toe...jammer...
Profile Image for Debbie.
423 reviews2,682 followers
April 11, 2016
Another un-put-down-able winner by Tropper. This book hijacked me: it grabbed me and held on to me and made me lose sleep (how can I turn off the light NOW? I MUST read on!).

Tropper writes about a family who spends seven long days together “sitting shiva”—a Jewish ceremony for mourning a death in the family. When I read the blurb, I was afraid. Would it be full of Yiddish words I don’t know and don’t want to know? Would it reek of religious speeches and boring ceremonies? I found out immediately that I had nothing to fear, plenty to gain. I should have known to trust Tropper. Like “One Last Thing Before I Go,” there is lots of dysfunction, neurosis, drama, confusion, and hilarity. And even though I was thoroughly tickled by Tropper’s witty language and endless understated humor, I was also moved by the characters’ suffering and growth and intensity.

A short digression: I hate it when writers (such as the writers of TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy” or the great Woody Allen) create characters that speak in the same tone, have the same cadence to their speech. All their lines seem interchangeable. I become too conscious that the writer is either sloppy or limited, and I’m too aware of the writer’s presence, which takes me out of the fictional story I’m trying to escape into.

On the other hand, I love it when a writer can create a myriad of complex characters, each with a distinct voice. Tropper is one of the good ones and he makes it look easy. His dialogue is rich and honest, his characters are believable and relatable. They pull me in instantly and completely. I am putty in their hands.

My favorite scene is when the main character, Judd, discovers his wife in bed with his boss. The book is written in first-person narrative (Judd tells the story), so that makes it all the more real and intense. The scene is super hilarious, long and juicy, and shows off Tropper’s genius for comedy. I plan on rereading it many times. Who can resist devouring more when you read that Judd’s marriage ended "the way these things do: with paramedics and cheesecake." Tropper has lots of witty teases like this, keeping me up way past bedtime.

This novel isn’t quite as tight as “One Last Thing Before I Go.” I highlighted a little less, and the language isn’t non-stop rich, though it’s pretty darn good. It just lets up a few times, maybe just to remind us that the author is human, that he can’t be “on” every second.

What I didn’t like: the short but annoying bits of dreams (though luckily they’re few and far between); the inconclusive ending (not as bad as the one in “One Last Thing Before I Go”); and the short scene that takes place in a synagogue (too serious and unnecessary). And what’s with these 6-word sentences for book titles? Way too long and hard to remember! But these are all miniscule complaints; I remain an ardent Tropper fan.

This is such a keeper. Recommend.
Profile Image for VL.
1,014 reviews23 followers
August 8, 2017
This was the first Jonathan Tropper book I read and I'm so glad I decided to pick it up. I work in a bookstore and this book kept catching my eye because of the simplicity of the design. Anyway, our main character is home to mourn the death of his father. Meanwhile, his personal life is falling to pieces. His family is like one big sitcom with twisting stories that most of us can only imagine. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was praying that there were more pages that had just fallen out somewhere because I didn't want it to end.
Profile Image for Jr Bacdayan.
211 reviews1,635 followers
May 10, 2015

I’ve often wondered how it feels like to be divorced. Not that I wanna be, mind you. All I’m thinking about is how two people who share love and have great chemistry can ruin something so beautiful. Remember Katy Perry and Russell Brand? I mean those two both got long black hair and they are both into pop I think that’s destiny right there like how crazy is it that they’re now divorced. There’s also Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, their names both start with the letter K and they both look like pseudo-latinos. And then there’s also the tragedy of BOBO, Barrack Obama’s day long marriage with Bill O’Reilly that ended when Barrack realized Bill wasn’t black or maybe Barrack realized that he was black and not white I’m confused about everything including why they divorced. Love doesn’t exist no more. Thanks, Obama. So, yeah, when these couples’ short-lived marriages failed, I questioned the existence of love and the possible benefits of the holy matrimony. But then again life throws us countermeasures to these extreme examples. Do ya watch Disney? I do. The Little Mermaid is my shit, Part of Your World is my jam yo. Although I do think I should like Mulan better cause I’m Asian, sometimes Mulan makes me feel guilty. I do love that misogynistic Make A Man Out Of You song though, a pretty good song to sing after Reflection makes you feel gay I mean happy or maybe homosexual. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about only’ve-met-for-a-day-but-already-in-love Disney crap. Let’s talk about Up. Not your ass but that Pixar movie that made me well up man tears like fifteen minutes into the movie. How can Ellie and Carl’s animated cartoon movie love be so much more real and powerful than real people? Yeah, I know, I know, it’s because Pixar is soo awesome, and People suck. I mean Toy Story 1 to 3 over your neighbors’ boring lives amiright? I’d rather listen to Wall-E make weird robot noises than listen to Former First Laddie Bill O’Reilly get shamed by rappers and reality-tv celebs. I’d rather marry Merida than marry your mom. Hehe. So Disney is here to tell us that life sucks so we better go watch animated films of cars talking. Seriously though, go watch Up if you haven’t seen it. If I’m going to muck up something I guess it’s that to find Up it’s worth going through Katy Perry the Movie, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and maybe Fox News. Alright, maybe not Fox News. But to be perfectly vague, don’t let the possibility of something shitty ruin the possibility of finding something beautiful and amazing.

Finally, now we come to the even trashier part of this review. You ever laughed about people dying? I once laughed when this joke was said to me. “What’s the difference between Anne Frank and the Baby I just stabbed? Anne Frank died a virgin.” Yeah, yeah. It was so cringe-worthy my brain thought it was hilarious without consulting me. Fuck you, Fred. Okay, secondly, you ever laughed about adultery? Well if you don’t count the entire Tiger Woods fiasco and reality-TV then I haven’t. Complicated pregnancies? Only when I found out Ross got Rachel pregnant and yes I’m referring to Friends. Okay, maybe you’ve laughed in a Shiva or Wake or any Ritual for the Departed, I mean, I once decided to look up Classical Art Memes on Facebook while at my Gran’s brother’s wake, I can tell you now that it wasn’t the best decision of my life. Anyway, I kind of laughed or grinned my way through this novel about exactly that. And by that I mean family, marriage, death, wakes, adultery, weird pregnancies and not Disney, Classical Art Memes, and Facebook. But it wasn’t only that, it was so much more. It’s kind of like this, once I bought doughnuts and I like doughnuts only I realized that I was becoming fat because of them so I was a mess of happy and sad and diabetic in a moronic-ironic kinda way, yep that’s how this novel feels. Like listening to some really moving classical music while Charlie Chaplain dances his way to your heart while you realize that he’s the cure to cancer but your cancer-diagnosed dog’s already dead. It’s actually a little unfair that Tropper writes so funny about glum and morose incidents. So okay.. what’s up with this really weird and annoying review? I don’t really know. It’s complicated, it’s messy like those left behind. We’re left to appreciate real life no matter how fragile, in full light of its imperfections. We’re left to pick up the pieces and try to find some lightness where we can. And maybe all that we can do is stay together and find comfort in our topsy-turvy relations with family and friends, with those, like us, waiting. After all, everyone leaves. You either get left, or eventually take your turn to say goodbye.

Hope you got something out of this mess; this is where I leave you.
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