And isn't 'real' life full of those humorous and absurd moments as well? The story isn't tied up neatly and perfectly in the end but I did come away with the sense that Doug is ready to embrace and face what life throws his way. I don't know why it took me so long to get back to read another book by Jonathan Tropper.
There was something simply sizzling about Tropper's writing - razor sharp, witty, raw, funny, painful, astute I guess part of my fear was diluting that particular reading experience, but after a very informal online chat a I don't know why it took me so long to get back to read another book by Jonathan Tropper. I guess part of my fear was diluting that particular reading experience, but after a very informal online chat about Tropper I decided I was way overdue to go back and read one of his older books. There was a lot of familiar Tropper ground in How To Talk To A Widower - a down on their luck male protagonist experiencing a great loss you can take a good guess at it given the title desperately trying to clamor his way back to a some semblance of a "normal" life.
This being quite difficult to do with himself often being his own worst enemy, but not helped along by his highly and equally dysfunctional family and friends. My fear of dilution did come true, but yet I still find it nearly impossible to fault Tropper for writing such amazing works that are so honest painfully honest about the human condition and that leave you laughing and crying during the same reading session. But a extremely solid effort, that officially and quickly boosts Tropper onto my "favorite author" list. Not my favorite JT novel, but still good and filled with his usual sarcasm and wit.
He truly does have the knack for writing about a difficult subject and turning it into something quirky and humorous. Jul 02, Michael rated it liked it Shelves: Doug Parker is a year old widower. He lost his wife Hayley who was older in a plane crash and has spent the last year avoiding life in Jonathan Tropper's "How to Talk to a Widower. His twin sister Clair is pregnant and leaving her husband, his father suffered a stroke and has good and bad days and his younger sister met her fiancee at the shiva for Hayley.
And Doug Parker is a year old widower. And that's before you get to a rebelling step-son and Doug's decision to try living life again--if by living you mean, sleeping with the wife of a good friend, dating again and falling for the guidance counsellor at his step-son's school. Tropper channels a Nick-Hornby-like vibe with first-person narrator Doug.
How to Talk to a Widower
Doug makes choices he admittedly knows are wrong, but continues the path due to his perceived pain and anguish over losing Hayley. Doug is, at times, selfish and the story is about his growing up. It's about coming to grips with the pain and realizing that Hayley would want him to continue living his life. Now, it all sounds a bit dark and it is. But Tropper has filled this book with so many memorable characters that there are light moments sprinkled in the story to keep the reader from getting totally depressed.
The circus of women around the newly-dating Doug is worth the price of admission alone. Funny, sarcastic and sardonic all at the same time, "How To Talk to a Widower" is an ideal book for guys and the women who want to understand them. And don't let the new cover fool you. It looks like a light romance novel, but underneath is a story of a guy dealing with his demons.
And while there is some romance, I wouldn't say it's a romance in the strictest sense of the word. A single sentence by Jonathan Tropper can cause a reader to roar in laughter, while crying sad heartfelt tears. The protagonist of this novel— Doug Parker— was tragically widowed at the age of 28, after losing his wife in a horrific accident. And so am I. Sometimes the only truth people can handle is the one they woke up with that morning. You can tolerate your own, but you simply can't stand anyone else's.
I want to rock and roll all night, and party every day! The song ends too soon, before anything transcendent can occur, before we can be saved by Rock and Roll. I think we are all familiar with the stereotype of the so called "modern" writer: Sometim I think we are all familiar with the stereotype of the so called "modern" writer: Sometimes, the two are combined to results unknown.
If you watch TV you propably saw such writers on popular shows. Ten years ago Carrie Bradshaw was the queen - she was intelligent, independant and wrote her own column in a popular newspaper, which eventually got published in a book form. Now, Hank Moody seems to have taken over, I don't known why, most propably because he's played by David Duchovny. Jonathan Tropper is such a guy.
His novel has to deal with the complicated relationships between men and women, and unlike many others when he tries to be funny he is funny, when he tries to be observant he is observant, and when he tries to be poingnant he is poignant. Tropper describes the overwhelming sense of loss so beautifully and truthfully that it's impossible not to relate to the pain and sorrow of the main character. We care for him deeply, and simply wish that the guy could be happy, once again. What stops me from giving this book a perfect rating is its purely American or rather Hollywood mentality.
Everyone is beautiful, succesful and rich. Doug, the main character, is of course handsome, has a beautiful, protective sister, makes out with his hot neighbour, and even his mom is a hot chica. There are too many subplots that are so interesting but never completely fleshed out: Doug's stepson is a predictable hipster whose dilemmas are solved way too easily, the melodramatic transformation of some characters screams "screeenplay!
However, for the sheer amount of emotion Tropper manages to cover in this work the book is worth reading. While not terribly memorable, it is definitely funny, poingnant and moving - a feat which many writers failed to manage, and which Tropper conveys smoothly and with style. I will most certainly read his other works. May 01, Abigail Hillinger rated it liked it Shelves: This one was supposed to be amazing. I read it in a few nights and while I couldn't put it down, I felt robbed toward the end of the book.
I turned the last page and thought, "That's it? But he put too many subplots into a relatively short book, generalizing the characters he had because there were simply too many to go into: I wish he had either omitted some characters or expanded on them much more, as in giving an additional pages.
I'm going to give this book another read--maybe I expected too much off the bat--and I would definitely still recommend it to others, because Tropper really IS, as I said, a great author. I just hope I get to see more character analysis in his other books. Jun 29, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: There are a few parts of the book that can bring tears to your eyes, but Doug is a young widower Most of the book is quick witted and funny. Doug is in his 20's and marries a women about 11 years older than he is her name is Hailey, spelled the same as my daughter with a teenage son.
She dies about 2 years into their marriage. The story is mainly the year after his wife's death. Doug's relationship with his teenage step-son, pregnant twin sister whose life is coming undone, anot Great story. Doug's relationship with his teenage step-son, pregnant twin sister whose life is coming undone, another sister who is planning a perfect wedding, drunk actress mother but who is loving, father whose mind is going, friend of his wife's that wants to do more than bring him meals once a week, and dealing with his overwhelming grief.
Which involves lots of alcohol, throwing rocks at bunnies, crying outbursts, and movies during the day. No boring parts in this book! Jun 11, Nikki rated it liked it Shelves: After reading all of Tropper's books, its interesting to notice his progression and certain kinds of scenes that are unique to him. Tropper loves setting up utterly ridiculous scenes, usually involving family, that are totally hilarious, I believe there was one in book of joe involving a family dinner and a parrot.
I really like his writing style. This book is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, going from truly sad to laughing out loud a few pages later.
Synopsis - Jonathan Tropper
All in all I think this is a great read After reading all of Tropper's books, its interesting to notice his progression and certain kinds of scenes that are unique to him. All in all I think this is a great read, out of all of his books I'd say this is 2, book of joe still claims the top spot in my opinion. It's the kind of book that makes you want to call your friends and read passages out loud, the kind that makes you forget where you are and you laugh out loud and get annoyed when people make you stop reading to try to explain what made you laugh, seriously, you need to just read the book.
The only real ending is death, and trust me, no one dies happy. I really enjoyed it. It was a great comic novel, good dialect, good progression, a lot of heart. I even talked about how Tropper trumped Jonathan Coe, who is regarded as one of the great comic writers of his generation. So I was looking forward to reading this.
Tropper feels like a nice break between my heavier reading, something to read through quickly, but without having to compromise on good writing much like how I feel about Jodi Picoult. But I was sorely disappointed. The book was boring and predictable, the writing mostly mundane. There was a couple of good lines, but mostly it was an exercise in whether I could keep reading after being disappointed again and again. The ending tried too much to shock and then appease, when in reality it did neither.
As soon as I finished this book, I walked to my nearest Oxfam and gave it away. Aug 15, Allison rated it it was amazing. I bought this book Monday morning and was done by it on Tuesday afternoon. One of those perfect miracles in which I enjoyed every last thing about it: It would make me laugh and then out of nowhere, it would have me tearing up.
Just a perfect combination of everything that makes me want to read. Apr 01, Jennie rated it liked it Shelves: Very low impact, but Jonathan Tropper's book are perfect light reading. I was reading this in a cafe the other morning and my server was a young Russian woman. She asked what I was reading and when I showed her the cover she said, "Oh yes, he has good books. They are like girl books, but not too girl. It's chick lit for smart people.
Well this was nice. I admit to shedding a tear at the end, but I suspect that was just as much sleep deprivation together with life of the characters. I enjoyed it and it would be a goo beach read if someone needs one: Nov 21, Tatyana Naumova rated it liked it Shelves: He writes the most perfect and likeable beta males. I cannot help falling in love with his male protagonists. Doug isn't any different. He's so beautifully lost that it awakens the helper syndrome in me. This story has some similarities to "This is Where I Leave You" - for example the eccentric mother, the "How to Talk to a Widower" is my second book by Jonathan Tropper and it did not disappoint.
This story has some similarities to "This is Where I Leave You" - for example the eccentric mother, the crazy siblings and the heartbroken hero. But Tropper still manages to keep the story fresh and different and there is no mistaking this main character with the others. Again, it's real life with real life dramas and it's refreshing to read. It's not a polished story with a happily ever after. Life doesn't suddenly perfect by meeting a love interest - the characters still struggle, still question things and still might end up alone.
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I could go on forever praising this book and Jonathan Tropper's writing. Fact is, he's got a new fan. And if you like sarcasm, humour, emotions and actually a story with depth and a message, read his books. This book was indeed poignant, as the cover blurb claims it to be. And so am I The story of Doug, a 29 year old widower who loses his considerably older wife of 2 years, to a plane crash.
Even after a year he has not come to terms with his loss, and day after day he reminisces over their short life together, and tries to pull himself together. And this is described with scathing humor and sarcasm directed at self, while he is on a futile attempt This book was indeed poignant, as the cover blurb claims it to be. And this is described with scathing humor and sarcasm directed at self, while he is on a futile attempt to mask his raw pain in bumbling acts of foolishness.
To add confusion, Hailey's 16 year old son, Russ, becomes a juvenile delinquent, has issues with his biological father and comes to live with Doug, whom he considers a pal. Doug's cranky and classy sisters, Claire and Pooh, add to the mayhem.. I loved the way Doug portrays his day to day attempt at surviving the emotional and physical loss of a loved one, and how he tries to pick himself up, but often with deleterious effects. I liked all the characters, even the minor ones, but one thing I rant at, is the amount of drama in the book.
Towards the end it seemed as if Doug and CO. On the whole, a quick and easy read.. I love, love, loved this book!
- Remarkable Sergeants: Ten Vignettes of Noteworthy NCOs.
- HOW TO TALK TO A WIDOWER by Jonathan Tropper | Kirkus Reviews?
- How to Talk to a Widower Reader’s Guide.
Doug talks about his questionable hygiene in the wake of his mourning and amidst his grieving — life goes on. Your heart does break to read about what Doug has lost. But ultimately Doug is a prickly character. He has to go there to come back, so to speak. But grief has changed him. Their interactions leave you with butterflies in your stomach, and the relationship has a restorative quality for Doug whose real personality starts to resurface as the romance progresses; Sometimes you walk past a pretty girl on the street and there's something beyond beauty in her face, something warm and smart and sensual and inviting, and in the three seconds you have to look at her, you actually fall in love, and in those moments, you can actually know the taste of her kiss, the feel of her skin against yours, the sound of her laugh, how she'll look at you and make you whole.
And then she's gone, and in the five seconds afterwards, you mourn her loss with more sadness than you'll ever admit to. Be warned — you will cry. But you will also laugh, loudly. Among my favorite parts of visiting England is the chance to walk into British bookstores and browse through an entirely NEW range of English-speaking authors.
Last time I was in England, I picked up three new books to read during my trip. This one, Jonathan Tropper's "How to Talk to a Widower" was my final purchase, selected at Heathrow to keep me company for the flight home. It didn't take me long to discover the irony of my choice -- Tropper's an American author painting a picture of family li Among my favorite parts of visiting England is the chance to walk into British bookstores and browse through an entirely NEW range of English-speaking authors.
It didn't take me long to discover the irony of my choice -- Tropper's an American author painting a picture of family life that I sense is uniquely American. So much for reading outside the box. Still, I can't regret the choice, because anything that can make you weave between stifling teary sniffles and shaking with suppressed laughter as you're crammed into the center seat of the center row of a Boeing flying across the Atlantic