How to Talk to A Widower

How to Talk to A Widower

Book - 2007
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"Beautifully crafted", "Fantastically funny." "Compulsively readable." Jonathan Tropper has earned wild acclaim---and comparisons to Nick Hornby and Tom Perrotta--for his biting humor and insightful portrayals of families in crisis and men behaving badly. Now the acclaimed author of The Book of Joe and Everything Changes tackles love, lust, and lost in the suburbs--in a stunning novel that is by turns heartfelt and riotously funny.

Doug Parker is a widower at age twenty-nine, and in his quiet suburban town, that makes him something of a celebrity--the object of sympathy, curiosity, and, in some cases, unbridled desire. But Doug has other things on his mind. First there's his sixteen year-old stepson, Russ: a once-sweet kid who now is getting into increasingly serious trouble on a daily basis. Then there are Doug's sisters: his bossy twin, Clair, who's just left he husband and moved in with Doug, determined to rouse him from his Grieving stupor. And Debbie, who's engaged to Doug's ex-best friend and manically determined to pull off the perfect wedding at any cost.

Soon Doug's entire nuclear family is in his face. And when he starts dipping his toes into the shark-infested waters of the second-time around dating scene, it isn't long before his new life is spinning hopelessly out of control, cutting a harrowing and often hilarious swath of sexual missteps and escalating chaos across the suburban landscape.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Delacorte Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9780385338912
Characteristics: viii, 341 p. ;,22 cm.


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Jul 12, 2017

Jonthan Tropper is on my approved list of Jonathans, which also includes Ames and Richman. Unapproved Jonathans: Safron Foer, Franzen, Taylor Thomas. On the fence: Lethem.
Over six novels, Tropper has staked out his territory: comically dysfunctional families, a fizzy cocktail of humor and pathos, sympathetically out of sorts males, mild to major tragedies.
I really liked "This is Where I Leave You," which was turned into a suck-y. I found "How to Talk to a Widower" to the weakest of his books that I've read. Maybe it's because after reading five of them, they start to blur together. And maybe because there is just too much plot here. Protagonist Doug Parker has lost his wife in a plane crash and is writing a successful column about his grief, as well as sorta raising his stepson, who is having trouble at school and whose dad doesn't like Doug. Meanwhile his twin sister is pregnant and has left her husband, while his other sister is marrying a man she met while sitting shiva for Doug's wife. Then Doug starts dating, gets involved with a married woman, and develops a crush on his stepson's guidance counselor. Phew.

Jul 05, 2016

A moving and hilarious take on coping with grief and that awkward phase of life when you're too young to be so run down and too old to tolerate B.S.

May 29, 2013

I loved the main character as someone you can relate to and feel for. A great read. Every book by this author is a winner!

smc01 Aug 23, 2012

This book made me laugh and cry. I really cared about the characters, even though some of their antics are a bit hard to believe. I think it's a fair portrayal of recovering from the loss of a loved one. The humour certainly helps the reader to bear the sadness.

Dec 24, 2010

Engaging writing style with a wryly humorous insight into relationships and emotions. Definitely adult content. A book about love and loss.

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