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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
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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on July 22, 2014
An interesting idea and a good read, but the ending was a little disappointing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2014
I have such mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it was completely engrossing. I couldn't put it down. On the other hand, when I came to the last page I was so confused I checked to see if this was just part one in a sequel. When I realized it wasn't, I felt really let down. I don't need books to have happy endings but I generally require some kind of ending. This one just stopped! I was reminded of Hazel's book obsession in The Fault in Our Stars, but at least this one doesn't end in mid-sentence.

I really thought Laurie was headed for some kind of reunion with her family – or at least with Jill. And where exactly was Nora headed? And where did Tom go to? I guess, like in real life, stories don't just wrap up - like the people who disappeared in The Leftovers, there is no rhyme or reason to reality, and maybe that's what the author was getting at.


Good book. Crappy ending. Can't wait to see what HBO does with it.
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