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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 29 March 2017
This book made me laugh, made me cry and was generally an enjoyable read. I think everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in some way. It makes you think about your own family relationships. Was a little disappointed with ending as no real conclusion was reached but then I suppose you can create your own happy ending that way. Can't wait to watch the film now.
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on 12 August 2014
Just finished this brilliant book. I noticed the film was due out and usually prefer to read the book first. I read it in two days, couldn't put it down. Judd, the main character, completely pulls you into his life which is has blown up after the death of his father and his wife cheating on him. He has to spend 7 days with his siblings for shiva, in the midst of his own personal crisis. The results are funny, sad, unpredictable and kept me page turning!
This is the first Jonathan Tropper, won't be the last. Can't wait to see if the film does it justice.
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Jonathan Tropper is a very visual writer and it is not surprising that he is wrote the screenplay for this novel. All the elements of a rom-com are here - love, relationships, dysfunctional families and aging, with many set-piece scenes that are easy to imagine transferred to the screen. Somewhat formulaic, but competently written, well constructed and plotted, and with an ear for dialogue that only occasionally gets out of hand. But it's a tired formula and Tropper doesn't bring anything new to it. The protagonists are all stereotypes rather than fully-rounded characters, and there is a certain inevitability about the narrative and ending. There are some clever one-liners, but on the whole the humour descends into farce a bit too often.
All in all it's a light-hearted romp, but unfortunately, although I can occasionally be light-hearted I rarely enjoy a romp, and so this book is not for me. A little less crudeness and a little more subtlety would have made it a better book, but even as it stands it has at least some merit.
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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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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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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2012
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 23 April 2010
i have bought and kept all Jonathan Tropper's novels (don't always keep books , most get recycled to charity - i have to know I will want to reread to warrant keeping them) .. he has his own 'voice' and an unusual emotional intelligence for a male author I find .. would recommend him to anyone who relishes an original story , a good dose of reality and a measure of humour.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 March 2014
I preferred this to Tropper's 'One Last Thing Before I Go', though the author manages to mix a great deal of humour into families dealing with death in both. This, I felt, was a stronger mix.

Judd Foxman's dad has died, following a long illness. Though this can't top his recent discovery of his wife in bed with his boss. Struggling to cope. he's not looking forward to the seven-day shiva his Jewish mother tells him was a last request of his father's. He and his three slightly estranged siblings are forced into each other's company for a long, long week, alongside their cosmetically-enhanced and sexually-uninhibited therapist mother.

Tempers will be raised, long-hidden issues will resurface. Matchmakers will try and push Judd towards a bevy of available maidens.

It's comic, despite the subject matter. I loved the interplay between the siblings, very funny at times. And realistic relationships. Judd is a likeable and honest narrator, and in the audiobook I listened to, very easy to follow.

I listened to this after hearing it was about to be made into a film and I think it will translate beautifully. Lots of comedy characters and set pieces, a great family story. And love story - as Judd and his cheating wife have unresolved issues themselves, and other women make a play for the grieving son/husband.

It's fairly light. Very enjoyable. Nice ending that doesn't make it all too twee or obvious. Nice way to spend a few hours.
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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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