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Jonathan Tropper 

When: Fri., Aug. 24, 7 p.m. 2012

In May, Jonathan Tropper inked a seven-figure deal with Paramount Pictures for the film rights to One Last Thing Before I Go, with the movie tentatively set to be directed by none other than J.J. Abrams. The book, Tropper's sixth, wasn't even set to be published for three more months. That's the kind of otherworldly success that would be both intimately familiar and heartbreakingly out of reach for the book's protagonist, Silver, a washed-up musician with a single big radio hit, a bitter ex-wife, and little else to his name. He's suddenly faced with a fatal medical condition that either threatens to end a life that doesn't seem particularly worth saving or promises to turn it around entirely. (You can guess which one happens.) One Last Thing is a perfect slice of late-summer reading, composed of equal parts pathos and light; it's easy to see how it could make a great movie. Tropper reads at A Great Good Place for Books (6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland) on Friday, Aug. 24. 7 p.m., free. 510-339-8210 or

— Ellen Cushing


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