Book: Plan B
Author: Jonathan Tropper
Type: Tropper’s debut novel, and it shows.
Ben is 30 years old, and he isn’t too thrilled about it. He’s about to divorce Sarah after just a few years, he’s stuck in a rut at his job writing for Esquire, and he’s probably still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Lindsey. Oh, and he also just found out that his good friend from college, dreamy action movie star Jack Shaw, has a major coke addiction problem. Ben and his friends from NYU – Chuck, Allison and, of course, Lindsey – get together to plan a celebrity-size intervention for Jack. Let’s just say it doesn’t go quite according to plan.
They lose Jack. Of course they lose Jack.
Plan B has all the elements of a typical Tropper novel: A thirty-something divorcé slash writer, a lonely man, unrequited love with a practically perfect ex, a cast of kooky old friends, some cursing, and absent father figures. But these elements just didn’t come together in the hilarious, raunchy, sentimental roller coaster ride that is Tropper’s now-established style. Instead, Plan B‘s dialogue was shallow, the romance was dull, and the character whose recovery we’re supposed to be rooting for, Jack Shaw, comes off as kind of an asshole. Also, it was about 100 pages too long.
We’ll cut Tropper some slack this time. It was his first novel and his work seems to be improving with time. So skip this one and read his beautifully intense Book of Joe or laugh-out-loud This Is Where I Leave You instead.
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