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Customer Review

275 of 310 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Departures., July 26, 2011
This review is from: The Leftovers (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
EDIT: For those liking the TV show and interested in reading this book, I can tell you that they are pretty different. The show is more in your face, the book more subtle. That doesn't mean you shouldn't read the book too, but please know they are quite different including different characters. Also, if you are looking for the Christian Rapture in this book, you will be disappointed.

My only experience with Perrotta prior to this was two movies - Little Children, which I liked, and Election which I didn't. (EDIT: Re-watched Election, liked it much better the 2nd time.) His books definitely seem like something up my alley, but I'd never been compelled to pick one up.

This one sounded ideal for me. I love the different portrayals authors make of those "left behind" or in this case, "Leftover."

The prologue, for me, was genius. Absolutely hilarious. I thought it was setting the stage for what was going to be an uproarious social satire. It was not. Though there were moments of humor beyond the start, they were few and far between. What I found most about this book was that it was subtle.

For a long while it felt to me like "The Stepford Wives: The Rapture Years". I'm not a plot point type of reviewer, so this is nothing that you can't read on the jacket copy. There was an event, and a lot people disappeared from the planet. But this isn't some kind of 12 Monkey's type world. It's about normal people, with cell phones and jobs, coming to terms with what happened, and moving on with their lives. The aftermath of the aftermath if you will.

I was feeling really critical of the book because for a long time it felt so emotionless. Some people lost entire families, yet there was no grief. I didn't feel connected to anybody, and the back of the book said "a colorful cast of characters" and I just wasn't getting it, at all (with one minor exception.)

And then it sort of transcended and all came together. And what felt subtle and emotionless as I was going through it, left me feeling ultimately as though I'd been on an emotional journey the whole time.

Being unfamiliar with Perrotta's work, I'm not sure if this is par for his course. But I think that this book has potential to feel disappointing at points through the course of reading it. If it feels like that, I'd encourage you to stick with it. The book rarely veers from its subtlety, and I'm not promising a great ending ... But the way in which it evolved was quite masterful.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 27, 2011 5:38:37 AM PDT
Thanks for this review. I felt similarly whilst reading "Little Children." It kind of sneaks up on you and his writing has a slow burn to it. I can't wait to read this book and I definitely recommend LC if you want to read more of Perrotta.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2011 7:58:41 AM PDT
good to know! I was feeling a bit paranoid this morning wondering if it was just me.

Posted on Aug 5, 2011 10:41:13 PM PDT
Kcorn says:
I'm intrigued. Having read Little Children,I definitely had the impression that the author gradually grows on readers. I also find it interesting that there are such a range of opinions from the 4 reviewers of this book. So far. I am going to give it a try.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 8:17:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 8:17:50 PM PDT
kaduzy says:
Why didn't you like Election? I am not here to start a fight, just genuinely curious.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 9:44:10 PM PDT
I don't remember anymore. Just didn't do anything for me at the time.

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 10:42:49 AM PDT
Wow, I thought that was a great review, I've never read any of Perrotta's fiction, I'm listening to him right now on Fresh Air, and I think your review might just make me try him!

Posted on Aug 29, 2011 9:44:12 PM PDT
Good review, but I strongly recommend going back and watching Election again. One of the funniest, wittiest movies ever with a tasty dark humor undertone.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2011 10:33:45 PM PDT
kaduzy says:
Agreed! Fantastic movie. Might not be for everyone, but since you can't even remember why you didn't like it, I'd say it's worth a second chance.

Posted on Aug 30, 2011 7:36:12 AM PDT
OK, I'll give Election another go.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2011 3:54:55 PM PDT
kaduzy says:
Fantastic! I look forward to hearing your verdict, whether it's negative or positive.
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