The Movie Was Finally Produced! This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

I reviewed This is Where I Leave You when it was released in 2009.  I was elated to see that the book was made into a movie (as I suggested that it should be in my book review).  I went to the movie over the weekend and it was nearly as good as the book.  I was pleased to find that the movie really held true to the book.  The humor was sarcastic, and yet, heartwarming.  The cast included:

Jason Bateman
Tina Fey
Adam Driver
Rose Byrne
Corey Stoll
Kathryn Hahn
Connie Britton
Timothy Olyphant
Dax Shepard
Jane Fonda

I was so impressed with the movie that I would give it 5 stars.  Certainly, some of the performances should be considered for Academy Awards as the acting was really great.  I especially loved Tina Fey’s role, Wendy his sister.  Congrats to Mr. Tropper!

For those of you who did not have the opportunity to read my original book review, I have posted it below.

Book Review: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

leave-iAuthor:  Jonathan Tropper

Publisher:  Dutton/Penguin

ISBN #:  978-0-525-35127-8

Type:  Fiction:General

Pages:   339 Hardback

Publish:  August 6, 2009



The Story

“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.”

(Synopsis from the front cover of This Is Where I Leave You)

The Review

jonathan tropperThe back cover of this hardback reflects praise including, “outrageous,” “smart,” “winning,” “utterly magnificent,” “genius,” “darkly comic,” “wickedly observant,” “brutally honest,” “pageturning,” and “engaging.”  What my review will say is, “Yes, all of the above.”  Not  a one of those praise words do I disagree with!  I DEVOURED THIS BOOK!  There is such honesty in which this book is written, that it entranced me.  The characters embraced me into their world of heartbreak and redemption.  This was a book that I couldn’t wait to crack back open and discover the next turn of events in the lives of the Foxman Family.

Rarely do I read a story that so accurately reflects both the humor and sorrow lying in the hearts of an American family.  Like other families, the Foxmans have hidden hurts and resentments that divide the siblings to their own separate walks of life.  The mother’s struggle to bring her family together to reconnect, leads to the opening of old wounds as well as avenues of forgiveness.  Tropper delivers both a family’s history and present-day experience in one well-timed, original story that made me feel like the fly on the wall… observing it all.  And, there’s not a piece of it that I wanted to miss.

I have read more than my fair share of books about broken marriages and family heartbreaks from a heroine’s point of view.  The protagonist in this story is Judd Foxman.  He led me to understand how a man may experience the real heartaches of life and what made him “tick.”  And, how I rooted for Judd as he navigated his way through a cheating wife, the loss of his career, the death of his father, and the survival of his dysfunctional, yet endearing, family in a 7-day shiva mourning period.  By the time that I was 3/4 of the way through the book, I knew that I would come to miss reading about the Foxman Family and had hoped for a movie version of this fantastic book.  Good news… it was optioned by Warner Brothers, so that is a possibility.

Although the ending of this saga was perfect, one can always hope for a sequel to know what became of Judd’s life (can you see me with fingers crossed?).

So, what could I add to the adjectives on the back cover?







“A Best of 2009!”


The Rating

10By now, you have the general idea that I LOVED the book.  What I wanted to make sure that I shared for my “PG” or “PG-13″ readers is that this book is written for adults and does contain adult (sexual) content and mature language.  For me, this only enhanced the truth of the story and didn’t bother me at all.  However, for those who prefer to avoid that, please keep this in mind.  If none of that stuff bothers you, I highly recommend it!

This book will most definitely be on A Novel Menagerie’s Best of 2009 List and I can’t wait to share this book with my best friends.  If you don’t win a copy, grab yourself a copy and enjoy it on your summer break!

My rating, genre:Fiction-General, is a 10 out of 10!

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