The Leftovers Hardcover – Aug 30 2011
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A New York Times Notable Book
“Striking. . . . The Leftovers is, simply put, the best Twilight Zone episode you never saw. . . . Beautifully modulated narration. . . . His lines have a calm and unshowy clarity.”
—Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review
“Tom Perrotta is incapable of writing a bad book; I’ve loved all his books so far. . . . Trust Perrotta to find very trenchant things to say about our cultural condition by means of this inventive premise. . . . Perrotta is one of our most underrated writers, and deserves the widest possible audience.”
—The Huffington Post
“His most ambitious book.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Praise for Tom Perrotta:
"He's the Steinbeck of suburbia."
"His brand of bracing, suburban fiction, domestic realism laced with biting satire, is a delight, with depths at which film can only hint. Writing with clear, subtle prose and winning emotional directness, Perrotta has been chronicling the American heart and soul, its follies and foibles, for almost a decade, without misstep."
—The Globe and Mail
“An American Chekhov whose characters, even at their most ridiculous, seem blessed and ennobled by a luminous human aura.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“That rare combination: a satirist with heart.”
—The Seattle Times
About the Author
TOM PERROTTA is the author of six works of fiction, including The Wishbones, Election and Joe College. His novels Election and Little Children were made into acclaimed and award-winning movies. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Perrotta opens his novel three years or so after the disappearance. Life has continued but most people are changed as they look around themselves and still miss their loved ones. Change has come by necessity to the small town of Mapleton. Kevin Garvey, a self-made millionaire has lost his wife, not to the Disappearance, but to her joining a cult-like group, the "Guilty Remnant" - a group dedicated to keeping the Disappearance in people's memory. His children have also drifted off to their own lives. But, besides the Garvey family, Perrotta introduces other characters in other situations, all whose lives intersect in some way. It's an interesting book, but strangely lacking in energy. The characters move with slowness as they try to reclaim their lives, or to make new ones. And that slowness is reflected in the writing style. I think Perrotta wrote this way on purpose and it is effective in a strange way. Somehow the writing matches the lives of the characters. "The Leftovers" is a good book that perhaps makes readers think about life after a tragedy.
The book follows several central characters (most from an immediate family) through their journey after "The Rapture" - or was it something else? Time is divided into Before and After and we watch as some characters rebuild their lives while others just simply give up. All struggle with what the apocalyptic event means. Very little time is spent on the "How" or "Why" this event occurred. Instead, the writer focuses his energy on the "What happens now?" to the ones left behind.
In Tom Perrotta's latest book, The Leftover 'the Sudden Disappearance' or 'The Rapture' has occurred. In fact, it happened three years ago and not everyone left behind has remotely recovered.
To begin, the Prologue provides a nice segue into this excellent novel about the 'what if' should a certain Biblical event occur. We are first introduced to Laurie Garvey who decides to leave her family for the Guilty Remnant (G.R.), a cult that claims it isn't a cult. They all wear white, smoke cigarettes and act as Watchers, people whose very presence is supposed to remind those going about their lives that the end is still coming and not to forget what happened on October 14th.
In Laurie's wake is her ex-husband Kevin, self-made millionaire and present mayor of Mapleton, a sleepy New England town still reeling from the Rapture. There's also Jill and Tom, Kevin and Laurie's two kids. Jill has become a bit of a slacker at school, hanging out with Aimee, the pretty girl-gone bad while Tom is busy traveling across America, escorting Christine, one of the six brides of a pseudo-Messiah (a man who has the interesting talent of taking people's pain away by hugging them) that needs to get to Boston, to hide out and have her Messiah's baby.
We are also introduced to Nora, a woman who lost her entire family in the Sudden Disappearance. Attractive, lost and the tragic celebrity of Mapleton.
The book is pure-Perrotta.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about "The Leftovers". The premise of this book - the rapture - is a difficult one. This time, we are supposed to imagine characters living in this science fiction scenario and reacting to the rapture. For me, it was difficult to empathize, believe or like the characters.
Still, if I didn't fall in love with this novel, I still recognize Perrota's talents as a good writer. In short, a three star novel.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is pretty boring.The premise is interesting but nothing happens.Published 14 months ago by A. Gosselin
What kept me engaged with a bunch of otherwise uninteresting characters was a hint throughout of some kind of epiphany or redemption that subtly remains possible to the last page... Read morePublished 14 months ago by P. R. Stamp
Interesting story, I hope Tom Perrotta is planning on following this up... It kind of started dwindling near the end, no real direction.Published 16 months ago by Elliott Roessler
The book filled in all the gaps from the TV show and was different enough to keep my interest. We'll written. Easy read.Published 17 months ago by Liz
I decided to read the book as I love the TV series. There is such a contrast between the two. This was a waste of a day in my opinion, nothing happens, nothing is explained and it... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jacqueline Homier
An interesting idea and a good read, but the ending was a little disappointing.Published 19 months ago by Dr. Tom Corbett
I bought the book after seeing the first episode of the new HBO series. It was a good read and well written, but it lacked any sort of ending, it was like the text just stopped. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kara