This book was wildly ridiculous, inappropriate, and implausible. But I loved it. Judd's marriage has crumpled after he catches his wife having an affair with his obnoxious shock jock boss, and his father has just died after a long battle with cancer. Although raised religiously ambiguous, Judd's father has requested that his family sit Shiva (the practice of mourning in Judaism) for the customary 7-day period. Judd and his motley crew of grown-up siblings are brought together for the first time in years to live under the same roof in order to honor their father's dying request. They are all a little bit dysfunctional and inappropriate, but the tragic circumstances force them to remember what it's like to be a family.
This book was a quick, easy read. Although a little dark, dramatic, and overly sexual I thought the story was hilarious. Some people have criticized the book for sounding like a crazy rom-com that Jonathan Trooper penned in hopes of getting picked up for a movie. And, to that I say, so? It actually has since been optioned for a movie, but is still in the way, way early pre-production period. I actually think it would make a great romantic comedy with the right cast and, as a sucker for that genre, I didn't mind that the book read like a novel version of a Seth Rogen flick.
The characters are all a bit nutty and selfish, but at the same time strangely realistic. The story itself gets a little cumbersome and crazy, especially considering the fact that it's all taking place during a week-long period of time when people are supposed to be mourning, but it kept me laughing. Trooper does a good job touching on the weirdness of growing up, and the necessity of letting go of the past even when it seems like it happened simultaneously yesterday and a million years ago. My subway commute flew and I was sad to see the book end. To me that's a good read.
This book is definitely a: If you See Something, Say Something
*My fool-proof rating system for books
If you See Something, Say Something: Must-Read
Delayed Due to Train Traffic: Decent-Read
We are Being Held by the Train Dispatcher: Skip it!
*possibly not fool-proof