Book Review: This is Where I Leave You – Jonathon Tropper

where-i-leave-youIf you’ve been reading all the book reviews since I moved to this site a few months ago, this book might surprise you. But if you go way back in my archives on Cranium Outpost, you’ll find I have read quite a few Jonathon Tropper books.  Still, this genre is completely different from what I normally read.  I’d classify as chick-lit for guys.  That’s not an insult.  It’s what it is, and Tropper writes it better than anyone I’ve ever read.  In fact, This is Where I Leave You is probably the best of his books that I have read.  I had a very hard time putting it down.

In this book, Judd Foxman, a very non-religious Jewish man, is asked to sit shiva along with the rest of his siblings and his mother after his father dies.  Judd’s life is a mess, and there aren’t many in his family who can claim that their lives aren’t disasters too.  And now this dysfunctional family must spend a week together in the house they grew up to mourn their father.  What could possibly go wrong?

This book has fights, and cars and sex and drugs and manly-men talk.  But it’s also got emotion, and Tropper handles that really well.  The dialog is superb; funny when it can be, poignant when it should be, and honest all the time.

It’s rare that I feel more desire to read a book than I do to write my own.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been fighting a man-cold this week and don’t feel like doing anything.  But I found myself disregarding my normally very strict schedule for writing in order to read more of this.  It was the right book at the right time, and when a book is good, all other plans go out the window.  And this one is good.

What’s more, my wife liked this book, so it’s definitely not just a guy book.  In fact, I believe this is a book my sister would really like, and she and I rarely have similar tastes in anything. If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with for a couple of days, this might just be it.  Just know, this is not science fiction, or historical fiction or post-apocalyptic fiction.  It’s a good story.  Man Up.  Read it.

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