Advance reader reviews of The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.

The Leftovers

A Novel

By Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    368 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book


Page 4 of 4
There are currently 25 member reviews
for The Leftovers
Order Reviews by:
  • Katherine T. (Atlanta, Georgia)


    The Leftovers
    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 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.
  • Glenn H. (Las Vegas, NV)


    Not your ordinary post apocolyptic story!
    I have read many post apocalyptic stories laced with barren landscapes, political decay and human crisis and happily, although unexpectedly, I can note that this is not one of those stories. In fact there is very little reference to these items at all - but enough to frame the story and set an intriguing backdrop. This is a character driven story about the everyday challenges of starting over, albeit starting over in the face of spectacularly peculiar events. It is a story about finding purpose and re-defining perspective and dealing with others as they face the same challenges, often times with startling, sad and unusual results. Not your ordinary post apocalyptic story and so much better because of it!
  • Suri F. (Durham, NC)


    To much telling, not enough showing
    It can be no coincidence that this book appears on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I think it is meant to ponder the way we've coped with our losses in the intervening time. A worthy topic.

    The problem is that Perotta rarely gives us the opportunity to stand beside the characters as they explore their new world. Instead, he jump cuts from on character to another as they recollect an event that took place outside our view. When he allows us to actually witness the action, it can be powerful. He just doesn't do it often enough.
  • Jill S. (Chicago, IL)


    Into Thin Air
    What if -- whoosh! -- with no explanation, millions of us simply vanished? And what if there were no rhyme or reason to WHO disappears (John Mellencamp and J.Lo, Vladmir Putin and the Pope). What happens in the aftermath to those who are leftovers?

    No one knows and Tom Perrotta doesn't even speculate. He wisely leaves it to the imagination of the reader. His focus is not on the apocalyptic event but on how one particular family zigzags forward. It's an ambitious theme: how diminished we are when something vital is subtracted from our lives. Maybe a little too ambitious. The grandness of the so-called Rapture is always lurking in the background, making the players who strut and fret their last hours on stage seem rather meaningless. But maybe that is, indeed the point. Still, at the end of the day, I wanted to know MORE about "the end of the day."
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.