August 19, 2009

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

As a rule, I try to always finish a book once I have started it. You never know when you'll hit that magic moment where the story suddenly grabs you and you are transported into the author's world. Unfortunately, I just couldn't do it this time and I called it quits on this one before I had made it five chapters.

I originally picked up Tropper's novel because it sounded quirky and fun. The main character, Judd, has recently discovered that his wife has been having an affair for the last year with none other than his boss and to top it all off....she's pregnant. Oh, and did I mention that he finds out that charming little last detail on the same day that his father dies? Yeah, things are are not great in Judd's world. His father's last request was to have his entire family, mom and kids, all live together in the same house for an entire week, so Judd heads to the funeral to bury his dad and "sit shiva" with his mother and siblings. Let the dysfunction ensue!

Sounds interesting, right? I thought so too. What I did not expect was for the majority of the first handful of chapters to be taken up with extremely vulgar and unnecessarily detailed descriptions of Judd discovering his wife's affair. He is unfortunate enough to actually walk in on her in bed with the boss-man....on the wife's birthday no less. Let's just say the birthday cake Judd is holding, complete with candles aflame, ends up in a rather uncomfortable spot for boss-man. Sure, it sounds funny, but reading about this encounter for page after page with one f-bomb after another sprinkled in among the dirtiest little details describing the scene quickly became too much for me.
Perhaps those of you with a stronger constitution can give this the ole college try and dispute this review. Let me know that if I had only hung on a little longer, I would have discovered a true literary gem. I'm anxious to hear what the rest of you thought of this one, as it was just too foul for my palette.

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