This Is Where I Leave You

Last week Jonathan Tropper released his sixth book, “One Last Thing Before I Go“…it has not gotten good reviews.

I stumbled upon Tropper by combing the Amazon reviews. A book takes a long time to read, I don’t want to waste my time. Something I read on the site convinced me to take a risk. And I ended up reading all of them. They were easy, I loved the sensibility, but they seemed to be movie scripts, you know, starving fiction writer tries to sell book to Hollywood to strike it rich.

Except for “This Is Where I Leave You.” “This Is Where I Leave You” is a step beyond, it’s like not having made it yet in Tinseltown, Tropper decided to write for himself.

And he succeeded.

I’ve recommended this book to many. If you like Tom Perrotta, when he was writing “Joe College” and “The Wishbones,” before he tried to elevate himself to the rarefied air of “serious writer”…you’ll like “This Is Where I Leave You.”

But that’s not why I’m writing about the book. Hell, few people read novels anymore, it takes too much time, it’s too much work, even romps about relationships and family like “This Is Where I Leave You”… No, the reason I’m writing about “This Is Where I Leave You” is because this week, three years after it was released, “This Is Where I Leave You” is number 10 on the “New York Times” Fiction Combined Print and E-Book Best Sellers list. Hell, it’s number 8 on the Fiction E-Book Best Sellers list. And that’s important. You see it used to be books disappeared, there were winners and losers, and if your tome wasn’t the former, it would be shipped back to the publisher and pulped, ultimately dropped from the list, it’d be like you didn’t even write it.

But now, with electronic publishing, books can last forever.

In other words, after three years of percolation, “This Is Where I Leave You” is finally a hit. Deservedly so.

Now books are not like music. There’s no radio. Only consumption. There’s no airplay enticement. But could this be the future of music too?

In other words, if you do something truly great, could it eventually find its audience?

Don’t think it was any different in music. Availability of anything but the hits in retail shops was always low, and every record collector knows about cut-outs, that’s what makes records so rare.

But nothing’s rare online.

Music is made for today. But what if it was made for tomorrow?

What I mean by that is, if instead of trying to crack the chart, go for immediate success, you woodshedded, slowly built a career of quality, maybe word of mouth could spread your music.

Now it’s much easier to make music than write a book. Less effort is required. Then again, everybody’s writing a book these days, and it doesn’t take much to put it up on Amazon… But to write a great book is nigh near impossible. And you can’t force someone to listen to a book, it’s not a three minute affair, but an hours-long procedure…but if someone dedicates their time and loves what you’ve written, they tell everybody they know. It’s kind of like going to summer camp, you can’t forget it.

Just maybe we’re going to see an end to this vapid era we’re enveloped in. Hell, album sales are tanking, because no one expects a long player to be any good.

And the change is gonna come from the audience. The audience builds acts, spreads the word, supports you.

Too much music word of mouth reaches a dead end. Because the stuff that is recommended just doesn’t work for the person receiving the information.

Then there are exceptions.

Are you one of the exceptions?

One Last Thing Before I Go

This Is Where I Leave You

Joe College

The Wishbones

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