This wasn’t a bad book, per se, I just REALLY felt like I’d read it before, so much so that when I learned from the jacket that it was being made into a movie my kneejerk reaction was “but why? I’ve seen this plot a hundred and eleventy twelve times.” Patriarch of a fractured and imperfect family dies, and the grieving process helps the family come to realize truths about each other and heal old wounds. That’s right up there with the hero’s journey and rags to riches in the pantheon of cliches. If the book hadn’t been well reviewed and described as funny, that description would net a hard pass from me.
Which brings up another complaint, but of the reviewers rather than the author. Who describes this book as funny? There were moments of absurdity and irreverence, but I was sold a false bill of goods in thinking I was getting a trifle or a side splitter. I haven’t had so much tonal dissonance since The Royal Tenenbaums marketed itself as a comedy and then featured a graphic suicide attempt.
If you know what you’re getting into here, it’s not a bad book. It very much reminded me of The Nest, which pregnancy hormones led me to over rate as a five star book, and this is an objectively better written book. But I feel like I ordered blueberry pie and got a forkful of chicken pot pie instead.