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The Leftovers Hardcover – Aug 30 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Aug 30 2011
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada; First Edition edition (Aug. 30 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307356388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307356383
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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."
TIME

"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.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 10 2011
Format: Hardcover
Tom Perrotta's novel, "The Leftovers", is the story of a small town in New England, populated, at present, by those not chosen to vanish in a Rapture-like mass disappearance. The "Disappearance", as it was called world-round, sort of took people like a plague or a flu epidemic might - people here and there, and in some cases, almost full families. Those people "left over" cope with their continued existence on this earth in different ways. Some were disappointed they weren't taken - why weren't they "chosen"? - but most were glad to be left alive, even if they missed friends and relatives taken. Some can't cope with the guilt of being left while a sister, daughter, husband, etc were taken instead.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. The description didn't really get me excited but I chose to read it because of the reviews. It was a "New York Times" Notable Book, "Oprah Magazine" Favourite Book of the Year and one of NPR's Top Ten Novels of 2011. I was not disappointed. It was thought provoking and captured me from the first few pages. I read this book within 24 hours - a far cry from the three weeks it took me to finish the last book I picked up.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
The Rapture was supposed to happen last year on May 21, 2011. As far as anyone knows, it didn't and for the most part, the human race is carrying on as usual.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few years ago, I read Perrota's "Little Children" and "Abstinence Teacher" and I enjoyed them very much. They read like a movie. Besides, all characters seem immensely believable - painfully similar to people around us. All in all, plots, images and characters made for excellent novels.

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.
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