cover image One Last Thing Before I Go

One Last Thing Before I Go

Jonathan Tropper. Dutton, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-95236-7

In Tropper’s latest comic novel (after This Is Where I Leave You), 44-year-old Drew Silver, the washed-up drummer for one-hit wonders the Bent Daisies, refuses lifesaving surgery to fix a torn aorta—he realizes, after all, “that the lives of everyone close to him seem to improve dramatically once they leave him behind.” Eight years ago, Silver’s band hit it big, he behaved badly, and his wife, Denise, filed for divorce. He has never forgiven himself for losing his family, and since the split, he has languished by the Jersey Turnpike in an efficiency hotel and drummed his life away at weddings and bat mitzvahs. To make his imminent demise even worse, it’s just weeks before Denise remarries (Silver’s doctor), and Silver’s Princeton-bound, 18-year-old daughter, Casey, reveals that she’s pregnant. Silver has decided to let nature run its course, but a ministroke leaves him unwittingly voicing his desire to “Be a better man,” sparking a joint effort to reunite their family. Though Silver’s charm doesn’t translate on the page, Tropper fans can rest easy—plans are in the works to bring Silver to the silver screen. (Sept.)