How to Talk to a Widower.
Booklist Reviews 2007 May #2
Mixing pathos and comedy in equal measure, Tropper (Everything Changes, 2005) tells the story of "slim, sad, and beautiful" Doug Parker. A year after his wife Hailey's death in a plane crash, 29-year-old widower Doug is still grieving heavily and has abandoned all pretense at civility and discretion. When people ask him how he's doing, he makes the mistake of actually telling them the truth, which inevitably includes a catalog of his antidepressant medications and his ongoing nightmares. Yet people keep making demands on him: his sweet, emotionally bereft stepson wants Doug to adopt him; Doug's twin sister, Claire, wants to set him up on a series of blind dates; and his agent is pressuring him to write a book as a spin-off of his wildly popular magazine column on mourning, but Doug refuses to become the "poster boy for young widowers." With superb comic timing, Tropper keeps the sappiness at bay by juxtaposing tender scenes that often feature Doug's reminiscences about meeting and marrying his wife with very funny, often vitriolic dialogue.
LJ Reviews 2007 March #1
Not yet 30 and already a widower, Doug Parker must contend with a demanding twin sister who wants him to start dating and a stepson who would rather live with Doug than his own dad. With a reading group guide; optioned by Paramount -Pictures. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
LJ Reviews 2007 May #1
"I had a wife. Her name was Hailey. Now she's gone. And so am I." That's the mantra of 29-year-old Doug Parker in this latest from Tropper (Everything Changes). Doug spends endless days immersed in drinking and generally doing nothing. Oh, that's not quite true. He sits on the front steps of the home he shared with Hailey and throws rocks at the rabbits that march across his lawn. He also writes a column called "How To Talk to a Widower" for M magazine. Who wouldn't feel sorry for Doug? But pity, he's learned, "is like a fart. You can tolerate your own, but you simply can't stand anyone else's." Women, like meatloaf-toting neighbor Laney Potter, want to heal him; his family, especially discontented twin Claire, want him to snap out of it; and Hailey's 16-year-old son wants Doug to become his legal guardian. Tropper has the twentysomething guy thing down to a science. His prose is funny and insightful, his characters quirky and just a bit off-balance but decent enough to take to our hearts. Ultimately, a series of perhaps unexpected events (including meeting Russ's very cool young guidance counselor) just might bring Doug back to the land of the living. A wonderful read; highly recommended. Paramount Pictures has already optioned the book. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/07.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
PW Reviews 2007 April #3
A portrait of a modern guy in crisis, Tropper's third novel (Everything Changes ; The Book of Joe ) follows Doug Parker, whose life is frozen into place at 29 when Hailey, his wife of two years, is killed in a plane crash. Unable to leave the tony suburban house they once shared, he spends his days reliving their brief marriage from the moment he found her sobbing in his office over troubles with her first husband. At the same time, Doug's magazine column about grieving for his wife has made him irresistible to the media (book deals, television spots and the like are proffered) and to a wide array of women who find him "slim, sad and beautiful." Though stepson Russ is getting in trouble at school and Doug's pregnant twin sister, Claire, moves in, no amount of crying to strippers can keep Doug from the temptations of his best friend's wife or Russ's guidance counselor. Alternately flippant and sad, Tropper's book is a smart comedy of inappropriate behavior at an inopportune time. (July)[Page 27]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.