Reader reviews and comments on The Leftovers, plus links to write your own review.

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The Leftovers

A Novel

by Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2011, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2012, 384 pages

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Suri F. (Durham, NC) (06/29/11)

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) (06/28/11)

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."

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