Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Last Thing Before I Go: By Jonathan Tropper



You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down. 

So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more.


I’ve read everything Jonathan Tropper has written, from the humorous to the touching, and yet this book is different from anything else he’s ever written. You can still tell he’s written it if you’ve read enough of his books. It still centers around a non-practicing jewish man in his 30s-40s who has screwed up his life in some way shape of form. It contains humor, touching moments, and leaves the reader with a sense fulfillment in having read a book that you instantly are happy you read, and know was not wasted time.

But this book was different as well. The first fifth of the book is incredibly depressing, not that Tropper doesn’t usually start off in chaos and sadness, his last book This is Where I leave you Now takes place with a family sitting shiva for their deceased father. But this book starts with a depressed, lonely, divorced man who has lost everything of value to him. His marriage, his daughter’s respect/love, and his career. He is a man sitting in neutral at the low point in his life, and has been for years. And it’s not until the book gets about a fifth of the way in that Tropper begins to lighten the mood with some of his famous awkward family dynamic humor.

But this humor almost seems to come to little to late to effectively cut through the sadness that has already set into the story. Of course, Tropper may be trying something new, losing some of his telltale witty and awkward situations for a more serious book about life and death and the effect everyone has on everyone else, whether they know it or not.

This review may not sound happy and promising, but let me be clear, I very much loved this book, it is just not what I was expecting. I would easily recommend it to family and friends and fully plan to, but for those who are curious and read This is Where I Leave You Now, or Plan B, or Book of Joe and loved them for their humor and high degree of writing know, this is incredibly well written, it just wont have you rolling in the aisles. But it, like its predecessors, will still leave you breathless as it tugs at your heart strings, making you both sad to see it over, and happy to have chosen to have read it.


Publisher: Dutton Adult

Published: August 21, 2012

Price: $26.95

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/One-Last-Thing-Before-Go/dp/0525952365/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345598288&sr=1-1&keywords=jonathan+tropper

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