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The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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The Leftovers (2011)

by Tom Perrotta

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1,1481087,114 (3.46)71
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Okay, I have to say I am a little disappointed by this book! A ton of people vanish out of thin air. Some believe it is the rapture, while others are not so sure.

The story rotates between the different characters and their life stories. Just when you are getting to know these people and are invested in their lives...BOOM...the story is over.

It was an abrupt ending and just seemed like Tom Perrotta was tired of writing about these people and decided to end it quickly.

I was left wondering where the vanished had gone, with no answer. I am hoping that this is just the first novel and there will be another to follow.

If not....I will be very disappointed! This was the first book I have read from Tom Perrotta. I did enjoy what I read, I just don't like the ending AT ALL!

I don't want to completely trash this book! It was an enjoyable read-which is why I gave it three stars-but the ending was why I only gave three stars.

The characters were an enjoyable bunch to read about. They were very memorable.

Be prepared to be let down if you are looking for answers to where the vanished are. If you want to read a book about quirky memorable characters and don't care for much of a conclusion than you will enjoy this book.

*For those of you who don't know, this book has been made into a television series that airs on HBO. The first and second episode have already aired, the next episode will air this Sunday. This is going to be one of those rare occurences where the show/movie is better than the book. ( )
  chellebuck79 | Nov 6, 2014 |
Wild ending! ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
Wild ending! ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
The author's style of narration is exciting. It made me want to know what happens next. Excellent plot and choice of characters. I only wish that there was a satisfying ending to the book. It's one of those open-endings that leave room of lots of speculations. The story for sure sticks with the reader. The HBO adaptation for the new hit series by the same title is slightly different from the original plot in the book. I'm looking forward to watching season 2 on HBO since season 1 ended with the way the book ended. ( )
  Emanbella | Sep 8, 2014 |
I cannot believe I´m saying this but the HBO adaptation is better than the book. ( )
  thiscatsabroad | Aug 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (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.
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"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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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