Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Last Thing Before I Go

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Jonathan Tropper; his fifth novel, This is Where I Leave You, was the first book I reviewed on TLP.  I stand by my original statement of Tropper being cut from the same cloth as the decidedly male-centric Nick Hornby; this is another novel about the plight of the middle-aged, middle-class suburban male in today's world.  
Drew Silver is having a tough week: his ex-wife is getting remarried to a cardiac surgeon, his 18-year old daughter just told him that she's pregnant, and he has been told (by his ex's fiancee) that he needs a stent put into his heart or else he will die within a matter of months.  After years of having nothing to live for and secluding himself from everyone who loves him, Silver decides to not have the surgery, using his remaining weeks to rebuild some of those bridges long ago burned.  
The novel moves along at a swift pace, and the characters are moderately likable, if not incredibly flawed.  Tropper is at his best when exploring the inner workings of the male mind, as with Silver's realization that his father (a rabbi) has never raised his voice until recently or that his daughter has told him about her pregnancy because he's the one person who she doesn't mind disappointing.  I can't help reading his books as though they're already being scripted for films, as they feel a bit Hollywood.  There's a big revelation, love triangles, scripted ending.  I'd visit Tropper's books for summer reading, as there's not too much here to really scratch your head over.  

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