Study Guide

This Is Where I Leave You Dissatisfaction

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Judd Foxman is one red sports car and a young girlfriend away from having a midlife crisis. His wife is gone, his dad is dead, his career is over, and he's macking on the girl who got away. Oh yeah, and did we mention that he has a kid on the way? After spending a life indulging his own adolescence, Judd finds himself woefully unprepared for the challenges of adult life. But look at it this way: Judd is standing on the edge of the cliff with his old life behind him and his new life ahead. This Is Where I Leave You shows him hesitating before taking that leap—but can you really blame him?

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Which characters (besides Judd) feel dissatisfied with their lives? Why do they feel that way?
  2. What causes Judd's midlife crisis? On a similar note, what additional problems does his breakdown cause?
  3. Are Judd's feelings of dissatisfaction justified? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think Judd is in a better headspace at the end of the novel? Has he solved his midlife crisis, or is he just beginning it?

Chew on This

Judd's profound dissatisfaction isn't merely about Jen—it's about the feelings of inadequacy brought about by his dad's death.

While Judd isn't exactly living on easy street, he's dissatisfied because he's immature, not because his life is falling apart.

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