Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers (2011)

by Tom Perrotta

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2331166,447 (3.42)75
  1. 10
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you appreciated the "what if" quality of The Leftovers and its examination of a changed society in which people are struggling to accept the new normal, you may want to read the dystopian classic Brave New World.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 75 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Really interesting premise and an unusual twist on the idea of the Rapture. The "action" of the murders seemed gratuitous and added for effect--
violence just for the sake of adding something to the story.
I read this close in time to reading "The Returned" and it was an interesting juxtaposition. ( )
  kellyn | Jun 27, 2015 |
I don't recommend this book, at all. ( )
  lucyfort | Apr 30, 2015 |
For all that reviewers have picked up on the science-fictional McGuffin of this book--millions of people unexplainedly vanishing in an instant--I haven't read anything of them identifying this novel for what it is: a post-9/11 book. The ones are taken and the ones who are left are so random that the remnant is left not only with the loss but with the survivor's dilemma: "Why?"

While in the wake of a "mass extinction" event, everyone's life will never be the same, everyone deals with grief in his/her own way. Some barely cope; others manage to carry on in, a little wiser perhaps, in their own way.

Of course, since the beginning of human history, people have had to deal with the grief of mass losses--the Europeans in the aftermath of World War I, the Russians after World War II, the Armenians, the Cambodians, the Ugandans. But why The Leftovers seems particularly a post-9/11 book is that the way the characters cope with their grief in this book is peculiarly narcissistic, i.e. peculiarly American. Perrotta once again demonstrates he keeps a keen finger on the American pulse and reads it well. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
Boring as shit. You'd think that a book about the aftermath of the Rapture would be an interesting read. Especially one that now has its own fucking HBO series based on the book. But no. It's boring as shit. So is the HBO show. I tried watching it. Watched a couple episodes and said "Fuck this noise! This is bullshit." Because the story is just so retarded. I mean, there's little to no conflict in this fucking book. Which is just stupid, because, damn... The Rapture just happened, people! Fucking freak out, man. What the fuck. Go crazy. Shoot someone. Do something, for fuck's sake.

But no, the story just blathers on about nothing. Just regular suburban Real Housewives of bullshit. I just can't take it anymore. So, fuck "The Leftovers" in its dirty asshole. Because, its bad, and it should feel bad. ( )
1 vote gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
I really mean to give this 3.5 stars. I am not sure if I can say that I REALLY liked it. Is this a story that one is supposed to REALLY like and to have received some kind of enjoyment out of ? I think its more of a story that is supposed to make one think. As in deep, intense thoughts. The kind that when its all said and done you are emotionally exhausted and have to retreat to sleep to recover from. Yes. Sleep.

I read that this was a "Post Apocalyptic" book. In the beginning I thought really?? Everything we know seems intact, but as I read on, that is the "thing", things are really not intact. People are struggling to hold on, to pretend that nothing happened. To make sense out of something that there is no sense to be made of. I asked myself, what would I do? Would I just shrug and move on. I am in no way religious, so The Rapture doesn't hold much meaning. But Aliens on the other hand....maybe I would join a cult waiting for the Aliens....but in all seriousness I can see groups as described in the book sprouting up and perfectly "reasonable" people joining them, seeking some kind of meaning.

And then I ask myself as a non-believer what is my family went poof...what would I do, how would I cope?

And then I find myself comparing the book to the HBO Show. Its great that the author also writes the screen play. I can see it. I am glad to have read the book, I got the deeper sense of some of the characters, a more compelling back story than what was presented on TV. And I like the TV show, not like as in mindless enjoyment, but like as in the book, stepping outside my personal comfort zone. Making me uncomfortable and makes me think deep intense thoughts.

I almost feel like we have just part of a story. That there is more to be told. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
One might argue that The Leftovers is missing the details of the Sudden Departure that provide the book’s premise, but that is irrelevant to Perrotta’s purpose. In a post-9/11, post-economic-collapse world, we do not require an apocalyptic event to underwrite the plausibility of sudden, catastrophic change. Perrotta’s true interests — and the novel’s rich gifts — lie in exploring the way that traditional suburban structures of meaning fail to cohere under the pressure of such changes
Perrotta suggests that in times of real trouble, extremism trumps logic and dialogue becomes meaningless. Read as a metaphor for the social and political splintering of American society after 9/11, it’s a chillingly accurate diagnosis.
It is the portions of “The Leftovers” where Mr. Perrotta avoids the more cartoony and melodramatic aspects of his story (having to do with the Sudden Departure and the Guilty Remnant) that are by far the most persuasive. And it is these same sections that showcase his gifts as a novelist: his talent for depicting the ordinary (as opposed to metaphoric or supernatural); his affectionate but astringent understanding of his characters and their imperfections; his appreciation of the dark undertow of loss that lurks beneath the familiar, glossy surface of suburban life.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Nina and Luke
First words
Laurie Garvey hadn't been raised to believe in the Rapture.
"Is there anything else you want to know? It's kind of a relief to tell you about it."

Nora knew what she meant. As distressing as it was to learn the details of Doug's affair, it also felt therapeutic, as if a missing chunk of the past were being returned to her.

"Just one thing. Did he ever talk about me?"

Kylie rolled her eyes. "Only all the time."


"Yeah. He always said he loved you."

"You're kidding." Nora couldn't hide her skepticism. "He hardly ever said that to me. Not even when I said it first."

"It was like a ritual. Right after we had sex, he'd get all serious and say, This isn't about me not loving Nora." She uttered these words in a deep, manly voice, not at all like Doug's. "Sometimes I said it along with him. This isn't about me not loving Nora."

"Wow. You must've hated me."

"I didn't hate you," Kylie said. "I was just jealous."

"Jealous?" Nora tried to laugh, but the sound died in her throat. It had been a long time since she'd thought of herself as someone other people could be jealous of. "Why?"

"You had everything, you know? The husband, the house, those beautiful kids. All your friends and your nice clothes, the yoga and the vacations. And I couldn’t even make him forget you when he was in my bed."

Nora closed her eyes. Doug had been foggy in her mind for a long time, but all at once he was clear again. She could see him lying beside Kylie, naked and smug after fucking her, earnestly reminding her of his family commitments, his enduring love for his wife, letting her know that she could only have so much, and nothing more.

"He didn't care for me," Nora explained. "He just couldn’t stand to see you happy."
Whern your words are futile, you are better off keeping them to yourself, or never even thinking them in the first place.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

What would happen if The Rapture actually took place and millions of people just disappeared from the earth? How would normal people respond? The residents of Mapleton use a variety of coping mechanisms in this thought-provoking novel about love, connection, and loss.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
332 wanted4 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.42)
1 19
1.5 5
2 45
2.5 9
3 128
3.5 51
4 174
4.5 15
5 38


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 98,393,807 books! | Top bar: Always visible