Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
How to Talk to a Widower: A Novel (Bantam Discovery) Paperback – June 24, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Deliver Her: A Novel
The mother of a grieving teenager makes a decision that may shatter their family forever. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Enter Doug's twin sister, Claire. Claire, notorious for her potty mouth and unwillingness to take no for an answer, is determined that Doug get himself back on the market, the first step of which is to get him laid. Temporarily moving in with him, Claire sets out to find Doug a companion among the rich, suburban divorcees in his neighborhood. Along with Claire comes Doug's stepson, Russ. Since his mother's death, Russ has been getting into more and more trouble at school, smoking pot, and getting tattoos. Though Doug has semi-washed his hands of the situation (he isn't really Russ's stepfather anymore, is he?), he can't help but feel partially responsible as he watches the boy falling apart. Together, these three learn to navigate the twists and turns of grief, familial obligation, and moving on.
When the book starts out Doug is one of the saddest, most broken characters I've ever read, but his wit, self-deprecating charm, and fierce love for his wife make him the sort of man who you just want to put back together again. My heart broke for the shattered remnants of his happiness and, over the course of the novel as I watched him slowly rebuild what he'd lost, I only became more emotionally involved with the story.Read more ›
In the real world, Doug has a teenage stepson - the dearly departed Mrs. Parker was 11 years older than her hubby - who shares both Doug's loss and his emotional maturity level. Doug's comedic dysfunctional family is very concerned about him and in their own special way decides to help him out of his funk. This is all very reminiscent of This Is Where I Leave You. In fact this novel reads like an unpolished earlier version of that book and unfortunately, is nowhere near as entertaining.
The specific differences between the two stories are superficial, otherwise the books' plots, characters, family dynamics and even the dialog are very, very much the same. Both read like screenplays - again for the same movie - but with the Widower's protagonist less likeable; the "flow" less even and the "jokes" less funny. (The silly fairy tale ending to Widower doesn't help either.)
So my suggestion - skip this book and read the finished product, This Is Where I Leave You.
Doug Parker is a twenty-nine-year-old widower facing the most painful thing a person could go through: he has lost significant other to a plane crash. His grief runs deep, and he misses his wife more than anything. He is angry with the world, and he believes in no one or in anything. As if his own problems weren't bad enough, he has a stepson going through his own grieving issues. His family is beyond dysfunctional. His twin sister is pregnant and has left her husband; his younger sister is marrying to a man she met when Doug's wife died; his father has a bad case of Dementia and his mother, a former actress, deals with everything by popping tranquilizers like they were candy. Life seems pointless for Doug, but not for the people around him. In his upper-class Connecticut neighborhood, he has become something of a celebrity and a babe magnet. Single women seek him out, desperate housewives seduce him. A struggling writer, he once wrote a magazine column called "How to Talk to a Movie Star." In his grief, his column became "How to Talk to a Widower." And his career seems promising all of a sudden. His columns have become so popular that publishers are offering him gigantic book deals. But none of that matters to Doug. In his mind, he's a screw-up. Always has been, always will be. The one good thing in his life -- his beautiful older wife Hailey -- is gone forever. What is the point of everything else?
Jonathan Tropper is a great writer. His novels are edgy and cutting edge -- his language dark, frank and at times brutal. He is often compared to Nick Hornby, but he's got a great style of his own that makes him stand out among other "lad lit" writers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, I only picked this book up because I read a book by Matthew Norman & multiple reviewers compared his work to Jonathon's. I don't agree. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Elizabeth J.
Despite the rather silly title , this novel is Excellent writing , as Tropper generally is . Appealing characters and engaging story linePublished 1 month ago by CRG
I absolutely loved this book! It made me laugh and cry. Do yourself a favor and lock the door, put on some coffee and spend the day reading this great story of a man and his grief!Published 1 month ago by Mike Moody
Jonathan Tropper's books are a joy to read. Interesting stories, engaging characters, witty dialogue and well-written family dramas. Thank you Jonathan!Published 2 months ago by Jason Tauber
This was a book club read, and was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
If you liked the move "This is where I leave you" with Tina Fey Jason Bateman and Jane... Read more
Flipping love this guy's books. Am off to read another now. And I only found him via the Tina Fey movie This Is Where I Leave You. Read morePublished 3 months ago by SL Dublin
This book was sad, poignant and the funniest book I have read in a long, long time. Seriously there were a few pages that made me cry and I felt really bad for Doug and Russ. Read morePublished 4 months ago by lanora
I have read all of Tropper's novels and love them all. They are all in the same genre -- angst of people in their 30s -- but each has its own unique characters and plot twists. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert W. Bly