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229 of 242 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, Funny, Sad--a SIX star book!
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,...
Published on June 28, 2009 by E. Griffin

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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Yes...But Breakout? No.
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...
Published on July 6, 2009 by Diane B. Wilkes


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229 of 242 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, Funny, Sad--a SIX star book!, June 28, 2009
By 
E. Griffin (Wilton, CT, USA) - See all my reviews
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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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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is Where You Got Me, July 9, 2009
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Walrus (Austin, Texas) - See all my reviews
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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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Yes...But Breakout? No., July 6, 2009
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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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, March 7, 2010
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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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New author to me and what a delightful read!, November 28, 2009
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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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83 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a sad waste of time, December 26, 2009
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This book is about Judd, a 35-ish year old man whose atheist father's dying wish is that his dysfunctional family sit Shiva after his death. A few weeks before his father's death Judd walked in on his own wife having sex with his boss, so Judd spends the book mourning his father's death and the end of his marriage.

This book is like the relationships it chronicles: easy to be charmed with, until you scratch the surface. Then you realize that you have a front seat view of a man with the libido and emotional depth of an immature 16 year old male.

When Judd mourns his 9 year old marriage, the only meaningful interactions he relates from his marriage throughout the whole book are: the day his wife and he met and how beautiful she looked, how he always worried about how other men might steal her from him because of her beauty, what sex was like, and how they argued, oh, and how beautiful she always looked. Meanwhile, Judd fantasizes about having sex, compulsively it seems, with almost every woman in the book, whether it be a woman driving past him in a car, or the teller at a bank. (I read this book on my Kindle, and, out of curiosity, I did a search on the word "ass" - because it seemed to be his favorite subject - and got 9 pages of hits.)

Regarding the rest of his family, Judd says at the beginning that they "banter, quip and insult our way through birthdays, holidays, weddings, illnesses." The disrespect that the family has for each other is suffocating. Three of his 4 family members cheat on their partners, Judd has sex with his brother's wife. This is all supposed to be funny, but there wasn't a shred of human decency - or growth - in any of the characters. The book ends as an emotionally vacant book would.

I clearly am not the demographic that this book was written for. I think that the demographic who might enjoy this book might be males, and women under 30.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A close copy of his last book, March 10, 2010
I regarded this book more favorably until I immediately read his 2007 "How To Talk to a Widower" after reading this. These 2 books are extremely similar. I feel like I read the same book twice in a row--same narrative voice, same sibling, mother, father relationships, same ubiquitous, unnecessarily crude, sex scene descriptions, same "lost" younger figure who redeems himself (younger brother in this book, stepson in prior book). Shiva references in both. Same yearning for father's blessing. Premise is the same in both books--coping with the extreme shock and pain of losing the female love of his life. Conclusion in both is the same--hope that the narrator will find joy and experience love again. Same dissolution of "interim" female relationships enjoyed while "healing." Surprise pregnancy of both. Same word choice in many places. So, what's the next book going to be? Another slight variation of these 2? I could do that.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what's the fuss?, December 15, 2009
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I am not usually the lone voice of dissent on books, but on this one I am. I bought it after reading all of the great reviews. I found the whole thing to be just a little too clever for its own good, like I was reading a script for a movie rather than a novel. "Look at his wacky mother! Isn't she hilarious!?!" "Oh no, here comes that crazy little brother of his . . . what zaniness will ensue now?!" I really wanted to like this book, and I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy it that much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, January 12, 2010
This was my first read of a Tropper novel. His prose is tight, dialog believable, and characters well-developed. I enjoyed it very much.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Tropper At His Finest, July 20, 2009
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To sit down with a Jonathan Tropper book is like inviting an old friend into your home, someone whom you cherish, someone you know can make you laugh out loud and make your cry like a baby with his wonderful stories. This Is Where I Leave You is no exception.

Judd Foxman's father has just died after a long illness. But Judd's wife has recently left him because she's having an affair with Judd's boss. Consequently Judd has left his employer, quite understandable under the circumstances. As you can see, Judd has more than his share of things on his mind. Add on to this the fact that Judd's father's last wish was that the family sit Shiva. And not the three day kind that is currently more popular, but the entire week long Shiva.

So Judd, his brothers Paul and Phillip, his sister Wendy and their mother, along with assorted husbands, wives, significant others and some small children all meet at the family home to begin a week long grieving process. Never a particularly affectionate or demonstrative family after the children grew up; this enforced closeness wears a bit on the nerves of those present.

What follows is a wonderful story of family and all its foibles and its troubles--all the things that most families deal with. Jonathan Tropper is an incredible author. His writing is so clear, you can visualize every character. You know them; you went to school with most of them, you loved to talk about them behind their backs. Maybe you even married one of them. You love them or you hate them, but you most definitely do not feel indifferent to them. This is the kind of book you want to read with your best friend, sharing the laughter and the tears, quoting back great lines to each other.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a family, had a family, is part of a family, or may some day have a family. And isn't that all of us?
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This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel
This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper (Paperback - July 6, 2010)
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