Katie Parker's Reviews > This is Where I Leave You

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
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's review
Apr 03, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: literary-fiction, jewish
Read in June, 2010

Well, that was interesting. I don’t really have too much to say about this book, except that it made me really uncomfortable to read in public. There are very graphic sex scenes and related dialogue, and I was embarrassed to read it anywhere near other people who might casually glance at my Kindle. (Benefit of e-books? I can see how many times the word “sex” appears in the text. The answer? 74.) Sometimes I’d read a passage and just think, “Was that really necessary? What is this guy’s deal that he needs to be so crass in his writing?”

Anyway, the book is about Judd Foxman, a man who has recently separated from his wife, just as his father finally succumbs to cancer. After the funeral, Judd and his family find out that their father wanted them all to sit shiva for seven days (despite the fact that he didn’t actually believe in religion), thereby forcing them to spend time together and air out the issues that have been left to simmer for years. Meanwhile, all he can think about is how to get on with his life (and particularly his love life), all the while knowing that his wife is in love with his boss, who just happens to be a world-class jackass.

There were a lot of funny passages, though, for example:

“He is the Paul McCartney of our family: better-looking than the rest of us, always facing a different direction in pictures, and occasionally rumored to be dead.”

“…your mind will invariably go back to the time when it all started. And even if you didn’t fall in love in the eighties, in your mind it will feel like the eighties, all innocent and airbrushed, with bright colors and shoulder pads and Pat Benatar or the Cure on the soundtrack.”

I don’t know. Maybe someone who isn’t bothered by all of the explicit passages will like it, but it was too much for me.

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