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Customer Review

107 of 141 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 review is from: This Is Where I Leave You (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2010, 3:27:34 PM PDT
Tweeds says:
"The disrespect that the family has for each other is suffocating" - well said. EXCELLENT review!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012, 10:40:15 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 20, 2012, 10:41:24 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2014, 12:32:41 PM PDT
Amazon Lover says:
Well, the one thing we agree on is it is not written for you. Disrespect is in the eye of the beholder at times and you both are clearly blessed with families who must have no drama. For the rest of us, the book (while a little contrived for entertainment purposes) resonates with a family bond that isn't dependent on being polite and proper. The characters are flawed individuals, like most of us. It is far from suffocating but a welcome openness.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014, 8:48:09 AM PST
SERIOUSLY??? Thanks for the spoilers! Writing spoilers without warning is just disrespectful towards other readers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2015, 2:51:02 PM PST
Lindsey says:
I have family drama and have a family bond that isn't dependent on being polite and proper, however I feel the same about this book as this reviewer. The book was like a slapstick comedy to me, no real substance just a lot of improbable situations and reactions to get a cheap laugh (a fat person breaking a chair, that's new!) and vulgarity for the sake of being edgy. I didn't find it believable or relatable, even though my family is rife with drama.

Posted on Jul 19, 2016, 3:50:26 PM PDT
Steve Dallas says:
1. Those who post "reviews" laden with spoilers without warning of them are slime.
2. Judd doesn't "have sex" with his brother's wife -- she rapes him (Having been celibate for months, he admittedly doesn't put up much of a fight). So that's TWO of the 4, not three.
3. Some of the language could have been avoided, but that's the author's style.
4. Yes, it's not the Cleaver family, but the author is the calm center of it and certainly several notches above the others. Did you really find Judd to be "indecent?" He was faithful to his wife and she detonates his world, hence his own dysfunctional (at times) behavior. And he never defends same, just copes with it.

Posted on Jul 14, 2017, 10:55:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2017, 11:03:14 AM PDT
ck5 says:
Thank you. Wish I had read your review before start reading the book. Those who commented your review a spoiler should know that if all the interesting part of a book can be summarized in less than 20 lines then it says a lot about the content. Some people may want to pick up the book because of it.
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