While being caught smoking weed at Kaddish (a religious ceremony to celebrate the live of their newly deceased father), Judd’s sister jokes with him and their two other brothers, “You guys are so going to hell!”
Seriously, this was just one of many lines and times in the book, This Is The Way I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper, that had me laughing so hard I was wiping tears from my face.
What Does Goodread’s Have to Say:
The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.
Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.
As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.
This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.
So what are my thoughts:
Refreshingly humorous from start to end even in the light of the fact that the story revolves around the fact that Judd and his siblings are coming together to public indeed morn their father. The first sentence is just one of many occasions in the book that the author treats the reader to these laugh out loud moments.
And after reading many books that have had an overlying theme of loss and even making me cry the saddest of tears, such as Me Before You or The Fault in Our Stars, it was honestly a pure delight to read a book that was generously laden with appropriate and amazing comedic timing.
Even as early in the story, as Judd finding out his wife did indeed cheat on him with his shock joke radio boss (can’t help but think of Howard Stern here), we are treated to how he found them together in fact doing the deed, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. See in most scenarios, you would feel sorry for this poor guy, but you can’t help, but love how he handled the situation with a lit birthday cake. Trust me, you do not want to miss this one.
The main character and his family are definitely dysfunctional (his two brothers, sister, mother and deceased father, too), but then again who in this day and age isn’t just even slightly? Ask my friend, Bill, who writes a whole blog about this, here. Make no mistake there is a lot of dysfunction out their roaming around in all our lives, which Bill indeed blogs all about by doing this topic justice.
And then does this book with serving us just the right amount of dysfunction that we can all relate on some level or another. Even if you can relate, you can empathize, as well as just can’t help but laugh on cue with the main character’s plight.
Take it from me, I truly didn’t want this one to end and am now so excited to see the big screen version (when it comes out) with Jason Bateman and Tina Fey when it is released later in the year now. Most times the book is always better then the movie, but still I have hope that movie adapt will live up to the book counterpart. Either way, I will definitely being seeing this one when it comes out to compare and contrast.
My final thoughts though are to definitely recommend this to read, whether you plan on seeing the movie or not. I would say read the book before though if will be seeing the movie version, because you seriously can’t go wrong with it.
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