How would you cope?
This book was not at all what I expected...but it was much better! I love the way the author told the story of real people "coping" under extraordinary circumstances. Reading this book has made me want to read more books by Tom Perrotta. It will stay in my mind a long time. I loved it!
Rated of 5
by Mary B. (Vernon Hills, IL)
Hopefully not "Leftover" on the remainder shelves
I had previously read Little Children by the same author. I really enjoyed the style, structure, themes and was looking for something else by him. The concept on this one sounded great. A possible Rapture occurs in which a number of people simply vanish. This leaves the people left behind with questions and grief over those who left. It seems to affect all of them in different ways and people come up with different ways to cope. Some joint cults, others have a bit of a makeover, and others go on pretending things are normal. It's a great look at grief and how we deal with loss. Brilliantly some of the characters leave by choice and others by the event. It gives a full picture of why people leave and how the circumstances change our reaction. Is there a big difference between whether a wife is zapped up or she can't deal and moves across town to the cult house? Do you mourn a husband who literally disappeared after he emotionally disappeared years ago? I really enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it. The book was well-written and paced. It was a real page-turner for me. I will definitely be looking into more books by the author.
Rated of 5
by Julie Z. (Bennington, VT)
The Leftovers--great for a book group
Having read Tom Perotta's Little Children, I knew this would be another slice of suburban life. However, this is not ordinary life. It's life in the aftermath of a worldwide "disappearing", or rapture, of a large number of the worlds' population. The odd part is that the people who vanished seem to have been randomly selected.
Perotta focuses on a few who try to continue as before, and others who choose to live in reaction to this event. The omniscient narrator follows the lives of young people as they come of age, as well as several adults, male and female.
I think this would make a great choice for a book discussion. The characters are real people--teens, parents, spouses, and everyone has had to face an unexpected life event at some point or another. Plus, we have all wondered about the afterlife, and have heard about millennial groups, and have thoughts on the subject.
Rated of 5
by 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."
Rated of 5
by 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!
Rated of 5
by Katherine T. (Atlanta, Georgia)
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.
Rated of 5
by Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)
An apocalypse for the rest of us
The landscape in Tom Perrotta's book is very different from anything I would describe as "post-apocalyptic". In fact, he could be describing suburban America today. I actually found that to be the strength of the book. He didn't try to deal (at least not much) with the theology of the rapture (or Sudden Departure, as he called it). There is a little bit of folks dismissing what happened as not being the "actual" rapture, because they're convinced that when the time comes, of course they'll be one of the ones to disappear and not be a leftover. But, for the most part, Perrotta just takes that event--whatever it really was--as a given. He doesn't really try to explain it. And that's good, because any explanation would fall flat. It's already in the past, and his characters are grappling with the question of how do you go on when so many loved ones have just vanished but everything else is the same as it ever was.
News Corp will officially split into two companies June 28(May 24 2013) As expected, News Corp has announced it will officially split its publishing and entertainment businesses on 28 June.
Its board approved the...