Friday, October 28, 2011

The Leftovers; Tom Perrotta


Author:  Tom Perrotta
Publication Year: 2011 
Publisher: Macmillian Audio 
Edition: audio book
Reader: Dennis Boutsikaris ( very good) 
Source: Library
Date Completed: 10/27/2011
Setting: Mapleton, (state unspecified)
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

The Leftovers is a story about the people of the town of Mapleton, who lost family, friends, neighbors and other loved ones when one day they suddenly just disappeared.  It wasn't just some people from this town, but millions of people around the world were also affected.  Their "sudden departure", leaves many believers of the Rapture phenomenon who were left behind stunned and wondering, why the departure seemed to be random. The departed included, non Christians, and non believers alike, while many of the believers found themselves among the "leftovers", here on earth.  Now that everything has changed, those who remain are left to carry on with their lives.

The story begins a few years after the Rapture, with Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, trying to help the members of his town to heal. Yet on the home front Kevin's own life is crumbling. His wife, Laurie, has left home to join a cult called the Guilty Remnant, a group whose purpose is to remind people that the world is coming to an end.  His daughter Jill, once a straight A student is also floundering. She gets involved with the wrong gang of kids at school and her grades begin to fail. Son Tom, decides to drop out of college to follow another cult leader named Holy Wayne, who has multiple young wives.  Even Kevin finds himself confused . He becomes somewhat obsessed with a woman by the name of Nora Durst, who lost her entire family to the "sudden departure", and who can't seem to understand why she was a "leftover" forced to start her life over without them.

Despite the religious overtones, this story really wasn't about religion at all, in my opinion.  As the stories of these people are entwined, it is interesting to see just how each person emerges from their situation in different ways. Each just trying to find a new life that will work for them given what has happened.  I liked this book, but didn't love it. It was definitely thought provoking, and I was glad that I read it.  The audio book was read by Dennis Boutsikaris, one of my favorite narrators. He did a terrific job. The Leftovers, made me think about how much of what some of these people experienced was not so different from losing a loved one unexpectedly, or why when one person dies in a serious car crash, another person in the same car has their life spared. Tom Perrotta has way of making readers think about the big picture in his novels, there is always something to ponder after the final page is turned.

20 comments:

  1. Oh, I want to read this one! I have only read one other Perrotta novel, The Abstinence Teacher, but I liked his style and his use of humor and irony. I saw the movie version of Little Children.

    Sue

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  2. I got this book at SIBA and I'm really excited about it! I'm glad to see it's so good.

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  3. This story sounds so fascinating to me! I'm very interested in reading it!

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  4. I have this book waiting on the shelf. I hope it wows me more than it did you.

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  5. I've disliked Perrotta in the past, but dammit, this sounds so good, and if you liked it, I'm going to have to try it. You know how I hate giving authors second chances! grumble grumble. :)

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  6. Ooh, I need to read this. At first I read "millions of random people disappeared" and I was like "Oh no, my story!" (because that happens in one of my stories), and then you kept going and I was relieved. Nothing like my story at all. =D

    Anyway, this sounds good. It shall be to my extensive to-read list!

    Thanks for the review! =)

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  7. I've read Perrotta's Little Children and liked his writing style. This sounds like a very interesting topic.

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  8. Glad to see that you liked this one. I have been hearing mixed reviews, but know that eventually I will be picking it up.

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  9. I'm reading this right now...and loving it!

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  10. I'm interested in this one too. Glad to hear it worked for you.

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  11. Have you read some of Perotta's other books? I read Little Children years ago and liked it.

    The narrator for this book is new to me - I am always looking for narrator recs so I will have to put him on my list!

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  12. I didn't realize that Boutsikaris did audiobook narrations. I like his acting work, so I definitely want to give him a try with audiobooks.
    I have an ARC of this one, which I have yet to get to, but I am off to see what else Boutsikaris has narrated.

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  13. I have this book, and am eager to read it. I have heard varying things, but since Perotta is a favorite of mine, I have high hopes. Great review today!

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  14. I have only read one of Perrotta's books, The Abstinence Teacher, but I intend to read more, including this one!

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  15. Back in the day, I attended a religious school that would occasionally show movies of about the Rapture. It used to really freak me out when I would come home and my Mom (who had a tendency to leave things midstream) would not be around, but have a drink out and the TV blaring.

    Anyway, this sounds like a great read!

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  16. I have been hearing lots about this lately. I hope to read it at some point. Good review!

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  17. I like thought provoking books and this one sounds like one to add to my shelves!

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  18. I have this waiting for me to read, just need to find the time to do it. Thanks for your review.

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  19. I'm glad to hear this one still worked on audio. I loved it, and Perrotta is among my favorite authors.

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  20. An author I really want to try. Everyone seems to have a positive response to his books.

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