Last week, I was looking through Amazon Instant Video to find new movie releases. I came across the film adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You and I decided that I had better read the book, before watching the movie. Book before movie, that's the natural order of things! I've read one other novel by Tropper and now I'm convinced that I need to make my way through Tropper's other books. He's a fantastic writer.
PLOT - Our narrator, Judd Foxman is having a rough couple of months. He has moved out of his home after catching his wife, Jen, in the middle of afternoon sex with his boss. Without a wife, home or job, Judd is further blindsided, when his father passes away from cancer. Judd must return home for the funeral and to sit shiva with his dysfunctional family, none of whom know about his current situation.
LIKE - I have a soft spot for family dramas that are infused with inappropriate humor and situations. Tropper nails this. This story is absolutely hilarious one moment and in the next, had me in tears. It was an absolute emotional roller coaster, filled with uncomfortable and honest observations about relationships, families and human nature. I loved the characters, especially Judd, who is an everyman caught up in a whirlwind of crazy. It's no surprise that Jason Bateman was cast as Judd in the film adaptation, as this is exactly the character that he always plays.
DISLIKE - I loved this book. The only negative was something that I brought upon myself by looking up who was cast in the various roles in the film adaptation. Once I had the actors in my head, it was impossible to disregard them as I read the novel. This was especially true of Adam Driver, who was cast as Judd's irresponsible younger brother, Phillip. Driver has such a distinctive voice and mannerisms, that as soon as I read it, he became Phillip in my head.
RECOMMEND - Yes!!!! This is Where I Leave You, is a fantastic story and in a general sense, if you've never read Tropper, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his books.