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The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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The Leftovers (2011)

by Tom Perrotta

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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. ( )
  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 |
interesting premise - the "Rapture" from a secular viewpoint ( )
  anitatally | Feb 4, 2015 |
The premise for The Leftovers was a definite attention grabber. Who wouldn't want to read a book about a supposed rapture? I desperately wanted to know what happened to those left behind— how would they cope. Apparently in various stereotypical ways: cults, drugs, running away, pretending everything is as normal as it ever was, etc. They all seemed plausible to me just not unique; even with Holy Wayne and the Guilty Remnant. All I could think was, Of course cults are going to pop up. Of course people are going to want to make things how they were before.

As bizarre as this book could have been... it simply wasn't. In a way it felt like I was just reading a suburban family novel. Not something that's as peculiar as the rapture. There wasn't any attention grabbing, holy-shit-what-just-happened action or dramatic, gut-wrenching, cry-your-eyes-out scenes. It was very unremarkable. Even when the G.R members start being murdered it was uneventful.

There were a lot of different ways that this book could have went especially since we were given many different characters. Yet, everything seemed ordinary and monotonous. I felt like the characters never really changed or grew from who they were in the beginning.

I really wanted to love The Leftovers, but it’s just one of those books where you love the premise and everything that it could have been only to be let down by the story itself. ( )
  Serenity_Tigerlily | Jan 27, 2015 |
Not what I was expecting. ( )
  nancymyers | Dec 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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.
 
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For Nina and Luke
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Laurie Garvey hadn't been raised to believe in the Rapture.
Quotations
"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."

"Really?"

"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.
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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)

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