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This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel Paperback – July 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2009: Jonathan Tropper writes compulsively readable, laugh-out-loud funny novels, and his fifth book, This Is Where I Leave You is his best yet. Judd Foxman is oscillating between a sea of self-pity and a "snake pit of fury and resentment" in the aftermath of the explosion of his marriage, which ended "the way these things do: with paramedics and cheesecake." Foxman is jobless (after finding his wife in bed with his boss) and renting out the basement of a "crappy house" when he is called home to sit shiva for his father--who, incidentally, was an atheist. This of course means seven days in his parent's house with his exquisitely dysfunctional family, including his mom, a sexy, "I've-still-got-it" shrink fond of making horrifying TMI statements; his older sister, Wendy, and her distracted hubby and three kids; his snarky older brother, Paul, and his wife; and his youngest brother, Phillip, the "Paul McCartney of our family: better-looking than the rest of us, always facing a different direction in pictures, and occasionally rumored to be dead." Tropper is wickedly funny, a master of the cutting one-liner that makes you both cringe and crack up. But what elevates his novels and makes him a truly splendid writer is his ability to create fantastically flawed, real characters who stay with you long after the book is over. Simultaneously hilarious and hopeful, This Is Where I Leave You is as much about a family's reckoning as it is about one man's attempt to get it together. The affectionate, warts-and-all portrayal of the Foxmans will have fans wishing for a sequel (and clamoring for all things Tropper). --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Tropper returns with a snappy and heartfelt family drama/belated coming-of-age story. Judd Foxman's wife, Jen, has left him for his boss, a Howard Stern–like radio personality, but it is the death of his father and the week of sitting shivah with his enjoyably dysfunctional family that motivates him. Jen's announcement of her pregnancy—doubly tragic because of a previous miscarriage—is followed by the dramas of Judd's siblings: his sister, Wendy, is stuck in an emotionless marriage; brother Paul—always Judd's defender—and his wife struggle with infertility; and the charming youngest, Phillip, attempts a grown-up relationship that only highlights his rakishness. Presided over by their mother, a celebrated parenting expert despite her children's difficulties, the mourning period brings each of the family members to unexpected epiphanies about their own lives and each other. The family's interactions are sharp, raw and often laugh-out-loud funny, and Judd's narration is unflinching, occasionally lewd and very keen. Tropper strikes an excellent balance between the family history and its present-day fallout, proving his ability to create touchingly human characters and a deliciously page-turning story. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296367
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

276 of 294 people found the following review helpful By E. Griffin VINE VOICE on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is Where I Leave You is a wonderful book will make you laugh out loud and bring tears to your eyes--truly an incandescent story about love of all kinds and forgiveness.

Judd Foxman is separated and heading towards divorce, unemployed, and living in a basement apartment, all of which are directly related to the affair his wife Jen is having with Wade, Judd's boss. Then Judd's father dies of cancer, leaving a final request that his entire family sit seven days of Shiva, and Judd and his siblings return to the suburban home where they grew up.

During the seven days of mourning, a variety of family dynamics play out. The relationship between Judd and his brother Paul is dominated by old resentment, and awkwardness with the fact that Paul's wife is one of Judd's past high-school girlfriends. Judd's sister Wendy takes the opportunity of being home to reconnect with her past love, while Phillip, the baby of the family and chronic screw-up, brings home his much older fiancé. Judd's mother Hillary is a psychiatrist who wrote a bestselling book about parenting, and her infamous directness adds more tension and humor.

While grieving for his father, Judd is also immersed in feelings of anger, betrayal, and helplessness brought on by the affair between Jen, his wife, and Wade, his boss. Once Jen tells Judd she is pregnant, Judd refuses to speak with her, leading both Jen and Wade to show up at Judd's childhood home, adding more complications and stress.

It would spoil too much of the story to tell more about any of the funny parts, but there are many throughout the book. Simultaneously, the book is bittersweet as the family mourns the Dad they loved and take small steps to mending their own relationships. This is Where I Leave You is exceptionally well written with great character development and emotion, and is a book that deserves to be read by everyone.
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Walrus on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My wife handed me this book saying it was a *must read*. I started it immediately and found I could not put it down. "This is Where I Leave You" has to be the most intense, funny, true to life piece of literature I have read in years. It is not only funny, but "laugh out loud" funny. In this novel, Tropper's writing style is sharp, biting, smart, sentimental, funny, and tender. He envisions the world the way most of us do, and expresses life with incredible wit and honesty.

The story begins with the death of Mort Foxman. His death has reunited the Foxman clan for a week of sitting shiva. In the course of battling their own demons, and one another, each family member is called to reflect upon life events that have formed the basis of their lives together and their subsequent identities as individuals. The results are hilarious. I've heard that this book has already been optioned for a movie. With the right casting this story should prove to be an exceptional cinematic experience.
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105 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Diane B. Wilkes VINE VOICE on July 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tropper mines old themes with his new book, This is Where I Leave You. Love relationship with college soul mate? Check. Father whose love is silent and unspoken and strong? Check. Sex with old high school fantasy? Check. Issue with athletic brother and other sibling rivalries? Check. I could go on.

I've been a fan since Plan B. Tropper writes with warmth and insight and great, great humor. Some scenes are hysterically funny. This is Where I Leave You is par for the course. As long as he keeps writing lines like, "Penny's honesty has always been like nudity in an action movie: gratuitous but no less welcome for it" and shows an old friend who has become a rabbi warming up the congregation like he's in a rock venue ("What's up, everyone?" he says. "Good shabbos, Elmsbrook!"), he'll always have a follower in me.

In this variant on a theme, the protagonist, Judd, is sitting shiva for his father with his neurotic, somewhat bizarre family: his strong-willed therapist mother, his older, once star athlete brother, his sexually adventurous sister, and the baby of the family who is the classically spoiled screwup.

Judd has other problems--he's jobless and more-or-less homeless, as his wife has cheated on him with his prior boss.

How Tropper makes his story funny and hopeful is a sight to see. One change in this book is the thick haze of sexual obsession that permeates it. Is that what "breakout novel" means now? If so, you could do worse than read This is Where I Leave You. Three and a half stars...
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Masters on March 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'd never read anything by Tropper before, nor heard of him. So it was with some trepidation that I picked up this book. I am so so glad I did! It's funny, insightful, thought-provoking and sad. I fell in love with all the characters in this book. Tropper has a gift for making the characters extremely three-dimensional,and you'll find yourself laughing and crying right along with them. One of the most "human" books I have ever read, and one of those rare gems that make you never want to get to the last page. Wonderful!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. O'Connell on November 28, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a Kindle user and used the Kindle to look up NYTimes best sellers. I read the first 3 chapters as a sample and I have not laughed that hard since my first Dave Barry book! What an excellent writer Tropper is! The story itself has merit and depth, but his delivery is what makes this book fantastic! How someone could take a death and turn it into a real life (honestly, I know families that are like what he described, don't most of us!?) story I could not put down, is amazing. I honestly have not laughed out loud at a book like this in years! This guy takes you inside his head, which is clearly a mix of insanity, curiosity, random, and with some darkness yet VERY cleverly walks you through 7 very interesting days with his family. I then went back and read "Book of Joe", and "Everything Changes", but clearly "This is where I leave you" is the best I read of his works, making me a fan and waiting for the next book.
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