Customer Review

191 of 232 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A great concept, dumped in the trash, July 24, 2012
This review is from: The Leftovers (Paperback)
I was so excited by the prospect of reading this book after hearing an interview with the author. The concept sounded amazingly original, fresh, loaded with possibilities for exploring religious, societal and personal themes. I've never been more disappointed by a book. It's actually painful what he did with the execution.

After creating this extraordinary setting of a Rapture-like event, but one that also contradicted the expected features of the Rapture, Perrotta then sort of drops the whole business. Oh, there's plenty of grief over lost relatives and friends--which Perrotta, with his unpretentious, easy-to-read but slightly flat writing style, can't make the reader quite feel--but this could just as well have been a story about the aftermath of an epidemic of cholera sweeping the nation. It''s a story about a few people from a town trying to cope when they've lost loved ones. That's all. The whole idea of the mystery of what happens when millions of people simply vanish (apparently, wearing their clothes; interesting, huh?) and its ties with certain religious beliefs, that's pretty much ignored. What's the point? Some people join cults, though only in one case does it sound remotely reasonable that this might actually attract people. Teenagers get messed up. blahblahblah. There is one truly touching moment, when one character gives another a simple gift inscribed with words like "Don't forget me." If Perrotta had grabbed that kind of moment and made many more of them, he might have really had something here.

Whether the characters are religious or not, something supernatural has happened here. You'd expect people to be a little more engaged in trying to figure out what it might mean. Aliens? God? Alien gods? And why isn't anyone remotely fearful about whether there might be a recurrence and that they might lose more people--or vanish themselves? It's a horrifying, scary thought yet also one to open up the mind and soul--for once it has been proven to the entire world that supposedly impossible things do happen. Nope. Nobody gives any of this a thought.

Unlike other readers, I'm not bothered by the lack of a tidy ending. It would rob the book of mystery and power to explain the whole thing away--that is, if it had any mystery or power to start with. I was more bothered by the cute little coincidences. She was JUST about to join the cult when along came....She was JUST about to leave town when along came....

I'd love to see this book undergo a Rapture-like event, and I don't mean that to be cruel. If it simply disappeared, the slate might be wiped clean for Perrotta to take a stab at doing it right.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2012 12:02:27 AM PST
SayWhen says:
Maybe the book was a flop because his sole intention was to mock the whole concept of the rapture.
A really ineffective vehicle for simply dealing with loss.

Any explanation he could have offered for the disappearance would have put his book in the fringe category, so he couldn't go in that direction if he wants to sell any more books.

How sad the he links kindle readers to cult website. Pathetic really. Was that his attempt at being Dan Brown?

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 11:59:38 AM PDT
Agreed. Very flat affect. The gun never goes off.The non-rapture is treated as just a mcguffin-it activates the plot but is otherwise not important. I can't complain that Perotta didn't write the book I wanted. But I can fast-forward.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2014 4:25:23 AM PDT
Greg says:
If the book was a flop, I wonder why HBO is making a series out of it? I came here because I'd never heard of the book but know of the upcoming mini-series event. I almost always read the book before watching the movie/series. But seeing reviews all over the board, I might just give this one a pass and watch the show.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2014 6:16:02 AM PDT
SayWhen says:
HBO can buy the rights and do anything they want with the storyline. They're not obligated
to follow the book.
Anything irreverent is popular theses days; that's why HBO is making a series.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2014 9:13:44 PM PDT
"Flat affect." A perfect description. I wish I'd thought of it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2014 9:16:01 PM PDT
Honestly, there's a good story buried in that book that never gets told -- and huge part of the problem is, frankly, extremely bad editing. I figured there are at least 150 wasted pages out of a 355 page book that really don't contribute anything to the story, but which do make you want to tear out your hair with frustration.

But, like you, I'm not going to write off the TV show. But I'll watch one episode at a friend's house who has HBO. I'm not spending any more money on this.

Posted on May 19, 2014 6:00:54 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2014 6:01:53 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2014 6:03:50 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2014 6:36:47 AM PDT
Greg says:
What are you talking about? I said I planned on watching the HBO show, but probably won't read the book. I've got a stack a dozen thick in my "to read" list. The bad reviews on the book are steering me away.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.2 out of 5 stars (694 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (144)
4 star:
 (159)
3 star:
 (167)
2 star:
 (130)
1 star:
 (94)
 
 
 
$15.99 $12.70
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 495,702