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Everything Changes: A Novel Paperback – March 28, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The arrival of a long-lost absent father forces a Manhattan man to come to terms with an ongoing romantic triangle in Tropper's latest, a funny, sensitive and occasionally over-the-top comic novel that revolves around the calamitous life of 32-year-old Zack King. King's a horrible job as a corporate drone for a supply company is balanced by his impending marriage to Hope, his gorgeous, successful fiancée. But chaos comes with the arrival of his wacky divorced father, Norm, who left Zack and his two brothers after his wife used graphic pictures of his infidelity as the backdrop for the family Christmas cards. Norm makes himself an unwelcome guest as Zack tries to deal with a potentially devastating health problem and a job crisis that makes him realize how much he hates his life. But the real problem is Zack's growing attraction to Tamara, the beautiful, recently widowed single mother who was married to Zack's friend Rael until a car accident took Rael's life and left Zack alive during an ill-fated road trip to Atlantic City. Viagra-popping Norm becomes increasingly cartoonish as the novel unfolds, and the triangle material is boilerplate, but pithy observations on love, marriage and corporate life give the book a graceful charm. Tropper continues to display a fine feel for romantic comedy in this enjoyable follow-up to The Book of Joe.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Tropper, author of Plan B (2000) and The Book of Joe (2004), offers up the story of Zachary King, a man in his early thirties facing a possible health crisis and major life changes. Zack is engaged to a beautiful woman, Hope, and slogging through his trying job as a middleman when he discovers blood in his urine. He makes a trip to the doctor, and as he waits for the results, he starts to question everything in his life. His job is thankless, and he is in danger of losing a big account because of another's mistake; his perfect fiancee doesn't look nearly as good to him as his best friend's widow, Tamara; and his feckless father, Norm, has dropped back into Zack's life, and for the first time, Zack finds himself inclined to consider letting the man in. As with any great comedy, high jinks ensue, including a hilarious scene where Zack, Norm, and Zack's roommate try to track down Zack's doctor. But the novel is also grounded by the serious issues at its heart: the tragic death of Zack's best friend, Norm's abandonment of his family, and Zack's struggle to do the right thing. By turns funny and moving, Tropper's warm, winning tale will appeal to both male and female readers and may draw comparisons to Nick Hornby and John Scott Shepherd. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385337426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385337427
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Tropper is the author of How to Talk to a Widower, Everything Changes, The Book of Joe, and Plan B. He lives with his family in Westchester, New York, where he teaches writing at Manhattanville College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By John Luiz on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the novel I've been waiting for Jonathan Tropper to write. I admired his previous novels -- PLAN B and the BOOK OF JOE, which certainly displayed his considerable talents. He sets up great premises for his characters to work through issues. He establishes a breezy pace, writes sharp, funny dialogue and spices it all with witty observations. But there were certain things about those earlier novels that drove me crazy. The narrators and other characters sometimes made cliched observations in the tone of thinking they had stated something original. The writing sometimes belabored the obvious -- making points well after the reader had already gotten it. And the character's cynicism didn't seem earned because it wasn't hard won. While I liked PLAN B nonetheless, I couldn't help but cringe everytime one of the characters whined about how difficult it was to -- YIKES!! - turn 30. I didn't have any of those frustrations reading EVERYTHING CHANGES. In fact, I felt glee on almost every page, while witnessing such a beautifully wrought and masterfully told story. Here Mr. Troppers' prodigious talents are all on full display again. The dialogue is funny and sharp and the pacing is perfect. There are some Hollywood moments -- e.g. a couple of fistfights, but still the observations his narrator, Zack, makes about life and love are profound, insightful -- and original. It's a wonderful story about a man dealing with a no-account father and his torn feelings toward his beautiful fiancee and another woman -- the widow of his late best friend -- who has become the real love of his life. The ending pages, which I won't give away, moved me almost to the point of tears. This novel will enter my own personal pantheon of great books I keep re-reading at various stages of my life.Read more ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Like millions of other Americans, Zack King has the worst job in the world. The hero of Jonathan Tropper's sparkling new romantic comedy EVERYTHING CHANGES, Zack is a corporate middleman in the big city, a cubicle prisoner, a man upon whom everyone can assess blame. And, like millions of Americans in call centers, financial giants, supply chain corporations, and "Office Space" cube farms, Zack hates his job.

He explains: "...we spend our days making three kinds of phone calls. We call our vendors to hound them about schedules and late deliveries; we call our clients to reassure them that everything is on schedule or to get blamed because it isn't; we call potential clients and kiss the asses of the people who will one day blame us for everything." And if that isn't enough drudgery to occupy a workday in hell, there is Zack's everyman, middleman boss. "The trick with Bill is to say as little as possible. He is notorious for his long-winded lectures on salesmanship, and you never know when a simple pleasantry might trigger a mini Dale Carnegie seminar. ... he believes that there is no problem that can't be solved with a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation."

But the job is the least of Zack's problems. He's falling in love with his late friend's wife, Tamara, and out of love with his own fiancé, Hope; his struggling rock star brother is beginning a downward spiral; his roommate, Jed, the millionaire, has decided to drop out of life and just watch television; and Zack's estranged father is loose on the streets of New York with a fistful of Viagra. And there may be an even bigger problem. Enter the mysterious stranger: a Nike swoosh-shaped shadow on one of Zack's kidneys that just might be cancer.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bearette24 VINE VOICE on August 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was initially turned off by a crude description early in the book, but then I found myself increasingly drawn into the story and characters. The protagonist works as a middleman for a supply consultancy, arranging for Nike supplies to be shipped from China to the US, and deals with vendors' complaints and worries. He's engaged to a fiancee who's perfect on paper, but he finds his late buddy's widow more compelling...and the bond between them is growing. When he gets a cancer scare, he's forced to reassess his work and love life.

This was a very interesting read, well-written with believable characters and funny moments. The cancer scare doesn't drag the story down, but instead calls the main character to action. There's a good blend of introspection and storytelling. I liked this much more than "The Book of Joe."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Marshall on April 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the third novel published by Jonathan Tropper, and while it's not as good as his second ("The Book of Joe"), there is a great deal to like here. The protagonist, Zack, is a character many men can relate to--someone who wants the things in life society tells us we should want. But when his life is threatened with a cancer scare, he realizes that what he truly values is quite different from what he thought he should value. What I like most about Zack is that he has a lot of frustration and anger towared his AWOL father who suddenly shows up in his life looking for forgiveness yet beneath that exterior lies a great capacity for love, compassion, and a desire to heal the emotional wounds that ultimately will remain open. The emotional insights are balanced well with comedic moments--especially when Zack suddenly loses his appetite for breakfast when his father wanders into the kitchen (...). Overall, this is a good read. I highly recommend it. And I highly recommend Tropper's other two novels. A sublime way to pass a few lazy afternoons.
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