Author Jonathan Tropper
Genre Literary Fiction
Category Women's Fiction
Summary Doug Parker is 29 and his beautiful, slightly-older 40-year-old, wife dies tragically. He spends a year in mourning (of the sleeping and drinking copiously variety) and then, after some pushing and shoving by his sister, gets back in the saddle. And did I mention that Doug is also the proud step-father to a grief-stricken 16 y.o. son Russ, who is channelling said grief into rage and marijuana?
First Line "Russ is stoned. You can see it in the whites of his eyes, which are actually more of a glazed pink under the flickering yellow porch light, in the dark discs of his dilated pupils, in the way his eyelids hang sluggishly at half-mast, and in the careless manner in which he leans nonchalantly against the pissed-off cop that is propping him up at my front door, like they're drinking buddies staggering out into the night after last call."
Review I cannot review this book. I can simply say that this book made me laugh and cry copiously. And, immediately after finishing, I wanted to start it all over again. Also, I've bought one of Tropper's other novels (just the first of many).
Read. This. Book.
Here's one of the sections that made me laugh:
Even if that didn't seem funny, Read. This. Book.
[Backstory: He's waiting for a first date to return from running one of her two sons to the ER for a stomach virus and is looking for a bathroom]
"The hall bathroom is full of bath toys, and there's a strange, donut-shaped contraption on the toilet seat, ostensibly to keep the boys from falling in when they're crapping, and it doesn't look terribly sanitary so I decide to use [the date's] bathroom, which could be construed as an invasion of privacy, but I've mopped the puke off her floors and I'm baby-sitting her [other] son, so we've got to be past all of that, right? Besides, she specifically told me to make myself at home, and at home I don't crap on a plastic piss-stained hemorrhoid donut with Cookie Monster smiling creepily up at me like a puppet with a bathroom fettish," (p. 226).
Recommendation Fans of smartly-written novels by other beautifully-sarcastic guys such as Jonathan Franzen and Joshua Ferris.