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on 18 June 2011
An excellent read. As usual Jonathan Tropper succeeds in making you laugh one minute and cry the next. This story is about Judd Foxman, a man with enough personal problems to last him a lifetime who then loses his father.The expectation of being with his mother and siblings as they mourn for the week is seen as a huge challenge to face.
This book about life, love, and a man who finds himself spending seven days with his dysfunctional family is both amusing and poignant.
I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.
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It takes a rare talent to write a novel covering a very short time span, with a plot where nothing much happens, but Tropper has carried this one off beautifully.

A huusband and father dies, and his family decide to sit shiva (a Jewsh ritual in which the bereaved family receive friends and condolences) for a week following his death. The story is told in the first person by Judd, one of the sons, and it follows the events of that week. There is Mom, who seems amazingly relaxed considering the circumstances, and who harbours her own secret; son Judd, recently separated from his wife, who has left him for his boss; daughter, Wendy, and her small children and insufferable husband; son Paul and his wife Alice, who is desperately trying for a baby; and the baby of the family, Phillip, and his much older girlfriend. Relationships shift, there is grief and laughter and some sex (some reviewers have complained abotu the amount of sex in this book, but such sex as there is neither gratuitous nor out of place).

This novel is beautifully written. In places very funny, at times sad, affectionate - it has everything. The writing flows, and towards the end I had to ration my reading so as not to finish it too quickly. If you are after a fast-moving, exciting read, then maybe this is not for you. But if you enjoy first class writing, warm characters and a very human storyline, then please read it. You will not be disappointed.
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on 2 May 2015
This Is Where I Leave you was being read by one of the inmates in an episode of Orange is The New Black, which was such a good series I decided to buy Jonathan Tropper's novel that has also been made into a film, released September 19, 2014. It is a tale of affairs, death, homosexuality, desperation for children, miscarriages, accidents, failure; a modern exploration of twenty first century family life, containing some real unexpected twists and secrets. The narrator is an American man who at the beginning of the novel is devastated by two life changing events and the novel is about how he and the people in his life deal with these events and help one another through harder times. I will definitely be buying the film from Amazon Instant Video.
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on 16 November 2014
This is the first time I have read Jonathan Tropper and I don't think it will be the last. This author has a unique way of writing and I can feel or sense his voice in his writing. I hear this is now a major movie picture which doesn't surprise me - it really would be perfect for this book and I intend to look out for it.

Judd Foxman's father has died and the whole family is assembled for the burial and to conduct seven days of shiva which the mother says was the father's dying wish. Theres nothing worse for the Foxman family then each others company for any prolonged period of time in the same house. What surfaces is old resentments, tensions and family drama with Judd's own breakup with his wife following him finding her in bed with his boss at the centre of it. All the characters are interesting with their own individual dramas. I loved the ending because now I am not sure what's really going to happen to Judd :)
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on 4 August 2014
Originally published in 2010, Jonathan Tropper's novel This Is Where I Leave You is soon to be released as a major motion picture starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Connie Britton.

It tells the story of Judd Foxman, a man in his early 30s going through several setbacks including the discovery of his wife sleeping with his boss. Whilst all this is occurring, Judd must go home for Shiva following the death of his father.

This means sharing a room with his dysfunctional family; his mother, Hilary, a noted celebrity therapist; his two brothers, Paul and Philip and his sister, Wendy and all their significant others and offspring, The premise of having a family who do not communicate stuck in a room together where they have to grief as one is a common thread in American literature and comedy, making this novel ripe for the impending big screen treatment.

However, what is so refreshing about the novel is how expertly Tropper has convincingly rendered the dysfunction and disintegration of the modern American family in the modern age. His ear for dialogue is impressive and provides a real zip to proceedings which allowed this reader to not stop turning the page; if cast correctly, the delivery in the movie could be golden. Especially during the Shiva scenes themselves where Tropper's cynical observant eye is at its most uproarious. At times, this reader was laughing out loud not just from dialogue but from the situation they are presented in.

Yet you can tell Tropper wants his characters to triumph, the depiction of brain injury neighbour Horry is particularly well done with great restraint and dignity. Yet Horry is given some of the better lines in the book.

When reading the book, two famous old adages came to mind. You cannot pick your family and with friends like these who needs enemies. There are a few well handled set pieces such as the scenes between Judd and old flame Penny, and in Judd the author has created one of those fine comic creations that is both cynic and soft around the edges, and the book never becomes over sentimental when it so easily could, he author who has also written How To Talk To A Widower, is far too optimistic for that.

This Is Where I Leave You is out now on paperback from Orion Publishing
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on 16 June 2011
Excellent bedtime reading. Chuckled, felt for and moved by whole host of emotions emanating from superbly written characters. Just like your own family, you love them but can't be around them too long!This Is Where I Leave You
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on 2 September 2014
This book is well written, witty and sufficiently interesting to want to know how it all ends. It's about human relationships - with all the passion, pain and comedy that you see in real life and particularly in family life, as this is about a family.
There were laugh out loud moments and moments of real empathy, but all the way through you get the feeling of genuine people and life as it is - not some fantasy existence.
It's not a thriller, it's not a murder mystery and it's not some intriguing, meandering plot which leaves you thought provoked and bemused. It wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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on 2 July 2013
The premise of this book is great - a death, a family reunited in grief, confronting past and present issues - and I really enjoyed the first chapters, with their tragicomic flare. But the more I read the more situations and characters became improbable, while I slowly detached myself from their preoccupations. By the end I couldn't wait for them to go away, back to their miserable lives, and didn't really care about any of them. Least of all Judd Foxman, who as the book progressed, showed himself as immature and neurotic. The settings became repetitive, with the flashbacks a welcome relief from the boredom of the shiva scenes, and the dialogue, while witty and sharp, was unrealistic and uniformed, giving the sense that it wasn't really the characters who spoke, but the author himself. A good idea that somehow got lost in the execution.
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on 14 August 2013
Judd returns to his family home to sit shiva for his father's death. This means he will be in the same house as his mother and his siblings (most of whom dislike each other) for a week, and this on top of discovering his wife has been having an affair with his boss for the last year or so! So no shortage of conflict here, to say the least ... (I shan't start listing all the sibling rivalries - I'll just let you discover them).

The author handles it all well, and though some issues are perhaps borderline unbelievable, perhaps that's just because I get on fairly well with my siblings. Touchy subjects are treated with tact, and a fair amount of subtle humour. It's not a comedy by any means, but I did find myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

I've not read any of the author's other works, though I think I'll be looking some of them up after this.
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on 24 February 2010
Having read all of Tropper's previous books, I eagerly anticipated the release of "This is where I Leave You." Although I really enjoyed reading the book, I found it a wee bit disappointing. This was mainly my fault, because I was constantly measuring it against "How to Talk to a Widower," which was a really hard act to follow. Taking his new novel on its own merits, however, it is definitely worth reading. It has a decent storyline, and the characters, as ever, are vividly described. My interest dipped on a few pages near the middle, and I wondered if the story had lost its way, but that was just a glitch in an otherwise excellent read. It is one of those few books that I wanted to read till it was finished, but at the same time didn't want it to end. I suppose that's as good an endorsement as any. As the storyline progressed, I expected a disappointingly neat ending, so was pleasantly surprised when it ended with... but you really need to read it yourself without me spoiling it for you! If you are a Tropper fan, put "Widower" out of your head and read this on its own merits. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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