How would you react after a Rapture-like event took place and you remained? How would you rebuild your life? Would you be filled with despair or hope? These are just a few of the questions posed in this intriguing, imaginative and intelligent new book. The story is told through one typical family in a small, suburban community. It is filled with honest human emotions. The author doesn’t make judgments or express any particular political or religious view, but lets the events unfold as the characters learn about their loved ones, and more importantly about themselves. One minor issue I had was the author jumps quite often and quickly between characters even within chapters and it does get a little confusing. But overall, I thought it was one of the best books I have read this year.
Rated of 5
by Kristi E. (Highlands Ranch, CO)
Compelling Story, Relatable Characters
I found this novel a compelling exploration of how we go on coping (or not) in the face of unfathomable loss. Although the novel is set after millions of people disappear from Earth in the "Sudden Departure," -- a Rapture-like event that is never fully explained -- what Perotta is really writing about is how ordinary people come to terms with loss, loneliness and a world that seems meaningless. He explores many of the same themes as Jonathan Franzen in "Freedom," but with a gentler tone and (I believe) more empathy for his characters. Despite the dramatic event that sets the novel off, this is really a novel of the domestic sphere, where men, women and teens struggle to find meaning and connection in their lives.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I was not fully satisfied with a couple of the storylines where I felt the characters' motivations and actions (Laurie's, in particular) were not fully plausible. But all in all, The Leftovers is a strongly-written portrayal of highly relatable characters finding their way back to connection.
Rated of 5
by Ann O. (Kansas City, MO)
An Extraordinary Story
All it took for me to fall in love with Tom Perrotta’s “The Leftovers” were these first two lines: “Laurie Garvey hadn’t been raised to believe in the Rapture. She hadn’t been raised to believe in much of anything, except the foolishness of belief itself.” Perrotta creates instantly believable characters placed in an unbelievable situation and carefully weaves a story that under the pen of any other writer might sound implausible. Last night at 1 a.m., with 30 pages left, I reluctantly headed to bed, but a half hour later, I had to get up and keep reading to find out “what happens” to people I had grown to know and love. Even when I read the last paragraph, I didn’t want it to end. That’s an amazing book!
Rated of 5
by Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)
Another page-turner from Tom Perotta
I love this author. He has the rare gift of being satirical but warm at the same time, with underlying humor that never veers over into parody. His characters feel real. This is perhaps his best book yet, and also his most ambitious. All of his imaginings of the various ways people would react to the dilemma for some and tragedy for others of being the leftovers seemed exactly right, ranging from general hopelessness to outrage to new fanatical cults to resignation. I also liked that he did not try to explain the event, and did not treat it as a religious phenomenon. It was just something that happened with no warning and so – now what? I cannot recommend this book more highly.
Rated of 5
by Lesley M. (Mesa, AZ)
The Leftovers is a glimpse into the lives of people who have been left behind after their loved ones have disappeared (as stated in Revelations in the Bible). The story follows a list of characters and how they cope with their life as it is now, shattered, changed. The characters are interesting, believable and the story's theme puts you into the character's role....how would you live after this type of life altering event happened? Great book; hard to put down!
Rated of 5
by Julie G. (West Hartford, CT)
A Stunning Scenario
Tom Perrotta has created a novel brilliantly blending science fiction and reality. While the premise of the book; that millions of people have been plucked from the earth is fantastic (although not utterly far fetched for some very religious souls), the remaining peoples' responses to The Sudden Departure are so real as to make the story utterly believable. While reading the book, I wondered how the author could possibly end it; the ending he created gives a sense of new beginning and hope, and is perfect.
Rated of 5
by J W. (Davis, CA)
Tom Perrotta's use of a 'sudden departure' of a large portion of humanity is a stroke of genius. Most of us have dealt with loss, grief and tragedy, but this vehicle for an exploration of how we react to that loss and grief is very clever and unexpected. My only complaint is the lack of continuity to character development in the beginning of the book. As the story unfolded that ceased to be an irritant. A good read.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...