Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This Is Where I Leave You
This Is Where I Leave You
By Jonathan Tropper
This is Where I Leave You, the story of Judd Foxman. He's father, Mort has just passed away. Judd and Jen, his wife are having marital problems. She is having a affair with Wade, his boss, the radio jock. Judd finds out she is pregnant. On the same day he's father dies.
He's family is Jewish. He's mother tells the family by the request of their father to sit Shiva(seven days of mourning). Their father is not religious or traditional at all. There are Jewish rituals that are followed, covering mirrors, sitting on stools, no bathing,no fun at all. There are family, friends aquaintances, that visit during the seven days. The shiva is sat by mother, wife, brother, sister, and children. If you are interested visit here.
The family is dysfunctional. This where the fun begins. The family must sit together for seven days on stools. Many visitors come a calling. You can hear the criticism, and whispers by the family members. They have not sat and come together for many years. There is family can't sit together for two minutes without bickering. Sparks start flying.
Judd is the narrator, you hear him through out the book. Phillip, is the younger brother, that messed up his life. Paul is the older brother, Judd lost his virginity to Phillip's wife many years ago. Wendy is the sister, that still has a crush on the boy next door. She hit him over the head many years ago. He has memory loss to this day.
Their mother, Linda holds a PHd, a psychologist, we find out later in the book who the family suspects as her lover. The mother loves to use shocking words to get attention of the family.
If during the shiva that it falls on Friday night through Saturday night. The members go to services. shiva week. During services there is some mad cap comedy that reminds me of one of Sandler's movies.
As the cantor drones on, I stick my hand into the pocket of Dad's suit and discover what feels like a old, twisted, tissue but turns out, upon further inspection, to be a fat, bone fide, home rolled joint.
He then goes down to the bathroom. Now read on...
It was in Dad;s suit. Dad was a stoner? Phillip says, so much of life makes sense.
Then ..Then a few minutes later, we're sprawled at our timey attached desks, while the three dimensional letters of the hebrew aleph-bet taped above the blackboard float over us in the smokey haze.
Then it goes on during the shiva week, sex, drugs,sex, every kind of raunchy act you can think of.
I liked the way the book was set up for each day of the seven. Each section of the book was for the day of the week of the Shiva. You could not wait to find out what happened the following day. Finally there was no family issues settled. But alot of hugs and kisses and understandings.
The story is rauchy, "R" rated,full of sex, funny, hilarious. You start cracking up right from the first sentence. Best of all entertaining. I started reading this book at the Dr.'s office.
I had to have a three hour glucose tolerance test the day I started the book. The patients and the staff thought I must have been nuts. Because I had a smirk on my face, and laughing out loud, and calling out oh my g-d without realizing I was speaking out loud. I am sure they were ready to send me away in a straight jacket any moment. I did not realize I was cracking up and smirking the whole time I was there.
Some parts of the book sounded like my family. I don't think my mother would go to all those lengths to have the family sit together. Sitting throught Shiva would be the biggest punishment for her. She is a cultural Jew.
If you can get over the raunchy and sex parts, Which I did. After awhile it just grows on you and you forget that, and just keep on laughing.
This book was just bought up to movie rights. I don't know if I would see it. As I don't like these kind of movies. But I definately loved this book. It was so hilarious. Go check it out at a Bookstore near you!!
You can read a review by my blogging friend Marie, The Boston Bibliophile here.