Friday, September 9, 2011

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

When a catastrophic event hits Earth and millions of people disappear without a trace, it seems the Rapture is more than a rumor. For those left behind, life is a struggle to rebuild. There's Kevin, a husband who's wife left him to join a silent cult movement with no clear purpose, and whose daughter is getting more distant by the day. There's Thomas, who drops out of college to follow religious cult leader Holy Wayne, until the day a mysterious girl shows up his doorstep. And there's Nora, who is just trying to find her way in a world of grief completely unfamiliar to her. As life moves on for these people and those around them, their paths cross in significantly small ways.

I consider myself to be a fan of Tom Perrotta. After reading Joe College while actually in college, I was bitten by the Perrotta bug and have been an avid reader and follower of him ever since. It seemed every book since that first taste has gotten better and better. This newest, however, left me feeling a little lost. Some parts were absolutely amazing and had all the qualities of great writing and deep characterization that I love about Perrotta. But the book never moved along at a steady pace, and each chapter needed too many pages to ramp up to the story for me to really feel like I was constantly involved. I did like how the individual stories subtly intersected with each other with little details that weren't quite made apparent until the next chapter. Perrotta obviously took great care to plot out the lives and happenings of these characters to make sure the plot was believable. The Leftovers was still a great read, but I prefer Perrotta's other books over this one.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

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