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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)
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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. Wilkinson, Joanne
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