Dusted Off: How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

How to Talk to a WidowerHow to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

this isn’t the review the book deserves, but it’s all I can come up with at the moment…

Twentysomething Doug Parker, after two years of marriage to a woman with a teenage son, becomes a widower who can’t let go of his grief (and doesn’t want to anyway). He withdraws from life, from work, from family, and from the angry stepson who lost as much as he did.

Events–and overly-amorous neighbors–conspire to drag him, kicking, screaming and swearing, back to the land of the living (with all its attendant glories and problems).

I’m fairly certain this isn’t Tropper’s best novel, but it’s probably his most effective–he can bring you from the verge of tears (or over the verge) to laughing out loud and back again in less than 5 pages. That’s true even on a re-read like this was for me. I love this book.

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5 Stars

Dusted Off: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

This Is Where I Leave YouThis Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is everything you want in a Tropper novel–and then some–an awkward fistfight (actually multiple fights this time); an emotionally withdrawn father; a meddling mother; a female confidante/best friend/sister; a death…and it all works–pain, grief, wry observations, some 80’s references, and plenty of laughs. Actually you get most of that in the second chapter–probably the saddest, funniest, most disturbing sex scene I’ve read.

I went with 4 stars rather than the 5 I’d probably have given it because this isn’t Tropper at his best, but it is him being very, very good–which still makes it better than just about anything else out there.