Saturday, February 7, 2015

(10)One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper


Drew Silver has screwed up his life in truly epic ways.  He is a washed up musician who makes ends meet by living off of the royalties of his one hit song and  playing wedding gigs and Bar Mitzvahs.  He lives in an efficiency hotel with the other guys who recently have gone through divorce and their days are spent poolside lamenting their wayward lives.  Silver misses the life he once had, the rockstar hero-worship.  He misses his ex-wife, who is about to marry a good guy who has looked after Denise and their teen daughter Casey.  Then one day Casey visits her dad to drop a bombshell.  She is pregnant. Her future at Princeton is questionable. Silver is convinced this happened because of his failure as a parent.  To top off the wonderful week Silver discovers that his own health is at risk and if he doesn't have a life-saving surgery he will die from his torn aorta.  Those around Silver don't understand why he refuses to have the surgery.  But why would he want to extend a life where the highlight of his week is going to donate at the sperm bank.  While Silver is trying to enjoy his final days, his family is trying to convince him that his life is worth living.  What will he decide- to live or to die?

Silver is kind of a pathetic main character.  I just get that "sleazy" vibe from him and his efficiency hotel room, but no matter how pathetic he may be, his family loves him.  His father is a Rabbi, who will be the one officiating Denise's upcoming nuptials.  Which may seem weird, but it is obvious that Silver's family still adores Denise and completely blame Silver for their divorce.   There were a few times when I questioned whether Denise would go through with the marriage.  Then there is Casey, does she have the baby or does she have an abortion? I was almost hoping for a "happy every after" for all of them - instead we were left with an ending that causes the reader to go "WTF?"   The author writes the ending in a way that leaves it up to the reader to interpret what happened and I wasn't all that pleased with that kind of ending.  I want to know what happens, because sometimes my imagination doesn't take me to pretty places.

Bottom line, I have been a big fan of Jonathan Tropper and his incredible sense of wit for years.  Having said that, I was a bit disappointed by One Last Thing Before I Go.  I did not laugh as much as I had hoped and that ending was not nice at all.   But, it is Jonathan Tropper, so definitely worth the read.  Just go into it know it is not one of his best works.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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