Wednesday, March 22, 2023

TV show vs. book: Fleishman is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

TV show vs. book: Fleishman is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
I recently watched Fleishman is in Trouble on Hulu, with Jesse Eisenberg and Claire Danes, so I definitely wanted to check out the book version afterwards. 

First off: I absolutely loved the series. To be fair, I'm a sucker for any series' with voiceovers (i.e. Sex and the City, etc.) but the cast here was phenomenal, as well—Eisenberg played Toby Fleishman, the main character, and Danes played his soon-to-be ex-wife, Rachel Fleishman. In addition, Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls) played Libby Epstein, one of Toby's good college friends, and the narrator of the story, and Adam Brody played Seth Morris, another college friend. 

It turned out the TV show actually stayed pretty true to the novel. Libby is again the narrator, which is interesting because she and Toby hadn't been close for a while; it was only now (present-day) that they had become close again, since he was in the middle of a divorce and realized he hadn't been keeping in touch with his friends, especially his good college friends. 

I would give the TV show 5/5 stars and I'd give the book 4.5/5 stars. In the third half of the book, we finally see things from Rachel Fleishman's perspective, and realize that Toby may have been an unreliable narrator—by that I mean, although he told the story from his perspective, we were missing Rachel's half of the story, and it's then that the reader gets to find out what's been going on with her, and why she has been literally missing for the past three weeks. (Claire Danes did a fabulous job with this in the TV show, also)

The book tends to wax on a bit long near the end, which is why I deducted a half-star, but other than that, it was a very good read—I couldn't believe it was the author's first book, as well, as she is very talented.

I also found this gem online yesterday—the author did an online-only follow-up to Fleishman is in Trouble, called Fleishman is in Lockdown, which premiered on in July 2020. It was a great mini-sequel and it was fun see what Toby Fleishman would have been up to in 2020 during the height of the pandemic; my only complaint is that we get no update on his ex-wife, Rachel. 

Overall, I highly recommend both the book and TV show versions of Fleishman is in Trouble, and you can find the TV show currently streaming on Hulu.

Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.


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