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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise. I liked it!
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...
Published 23 months ago by T. Maurice

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's the Big Idea
As I read The Leftovers, I kept envisioning how my little piece of suburbia would be impacted if a random number of us just vanished. Would the community and families be brought closer together or would the event create even more social schisms? Author Perrotta terms the disappearances "the Sudden Departure" while a few of his characters call it the Rapture. To his...
Published on Nov. 21 2011 by Jeffrey Swystun


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise. I liked it!, Jan. 5 2013
By 
T. Maurice "tmaurice" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Leftovers (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's the Big Idea, Nov. 21 2011
By 
Jeffrey Swystun (Toronto & Mont Tremblant) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Leftovers (Hardcover)
As I read The Leftovers, I kept envisioning how my little piece of suburbia would be impacted if a random number of us just vanished. Would the community and families be brought closer together or would the event create even more social schisms? Author Perrotta terms the disappearances "the Sudden Departure" while a few of his characters call it the Rapture. To his credit, the book explores religion without it dominating the entire exercise.

Instead we view reactions and the action primarily through the Garvey family. They are believable enough but the angst we witness is surprisingly bland. In fact, dysfunctional life continues with this one inexplicable event replacing the other things that would otherwise occupy people or cause them to complain, such as, terrorism, the economy, global warming. As the novel progresses, we witness the suburbanites slide back into Cheever territory with affairs, lust, idleness, and a McDonald's-like comforting routine. The book evoked memories of The Ice Storm and American Beauty.

Most interesting to me were the new organizations that boomed following the Sudden Departure. There are the Barefoot People, the Healing Hug Movement, and the much more disturbing Guilty Remnant. These constructs are plausible as people search for meaning. Without a doubt the book is thought-provoking and it's first half engrossing. However, the remainder of the book failed to engage with the author seeming to lose his big idea.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, no ending, July 16 2014
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Kindle Edition)
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. I'm curious to know if there will be a sequel to the book because the story is pretty interesting. I need answers!!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing if depressing read, Nov. 25 2014
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Kindle Edition)
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 despite all the tacky ways they disappoint each other and themselves.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Perrota's best, Aug. 20 2012
By 
J. da Silva (Vancouver, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Hardcover)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story, I hope Tom Perrotta is planning on ..., Oct. 9 2014
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Kindle Edition)
Interesting story, I hope Tom Perrotta is planning on following this up... It kind of started dwindling near the end, no real direction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars do you want to understand the TV show?, Aug. 29 2014
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Kindle Edition)
The book filled in all the gaps from the TV show and was different enough to keep my interest. We'll written. Easy read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 22 2014
By 
Dr. Tom Corbett "dvd bear" (Hamilton Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Leftovers (Paperback)
An interesting idea and a good read, but the ending was a little disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aftermath of a great disappearance., Sept. 10 2011
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Leftovers (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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worst book ever!, Aug. 18 2014
This review is from: The Leftovers (Paperback)
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 just ends with no explanation for any of it. The entire book was meaningless, i suppose perhaps that was the writers point that the departure was meaningless? Just like his book? I am actually a bit peeved I got sucked in by the show only to be utterly disappointed at the fact that nothing happens, you wait, and wait and wait, and....... nothing it ends just like that. I would skip this one and stick with the show thank goodness the script writers had enough sense to change it and make it interesting.
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The Leftovers
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (Hardcover - Aug. 30 2011)
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