Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

3.5 Stars

A strange phenomenon has swept the globe. People, seemingly chosen at random, simply vanished.

After what is dubbed the “Sudden Departure,” those remaining are left to deal with the aftermath. The Leftovers focuses on the residents of a small town called Mapleton. Some, like Kevin, have decided to move on with life – and are maybe doing a little better or feeling a little more needed than they were before the Sudden Departure.

Kevin’s son, Tom, decided to follow a different path and was led to a charismatic new prophet who turns out to be not such a holy man after all, but rather is one of the creepiest of creeps

leading Tom to yet another new-formed group known as the Barefoot People.

Kevin’s wife, Laurie, chose yet another route – joining a cult known as the Guilty Remnant.

Others, like Kevin’s daughter Jill and his new love interest Nora, are spiraling just trying to figure out their place in this new world. This is the story of how these ordinary people move on in the face of extraordinary circumstances.

Before reading The Leftovers, I had only read one Tom Perrotta book - Nine Inches. I’m not really a fan of the short story to begin with, so while that book had me intrigued by Perrotta’s style, it also left me wanting a little lot more. Months passed and someone recommended this book to me. I have confirmed my suspicions – Perrotta can choose any topic from a hat and roll with it to create something pretty fabulous. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a real life-changer, but the story flows and the characters are plentiful and interesting. Just don’t go in thinking you’ll get an answer to the “why” when it comes to people disappearing – it never happens (personally, I prefer it that way). One final thing I was reminded of while reading this book is that I should probably watch “Election” again and I definitely need to get off my duff and read the book.

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