Tuesday, March 6, 2012

{read: Envisioning the Rapture} The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

This book has an interesting premise but failed to deliver on it. After a Rapture-like event in which a large number of seemingly randomly selected people disappear, families and friends are left to carry on. Many of those left behind are shocked that they weren't selected as paragons of goodness and light, and one man, a priest, goes so far as to dig up the dirt on all those who were taken and publish it. A group called the Guilty Remnant starts up, filled with people who wear white, don't talk, and smoke cigarettes. They follow people around and stare at them so that they don't forget about the Rapture-like event. While these things were funny and interesting in the beginning of the book, they wore thin as the book went on. I had a hard time getting involved in the stories of Nora, a woman who lost her husband and two small children, and Kevin, whose family didn't lose any people but suffered collateral damage when his wife went to join the G.R., his son went to join another group led by a fanatic, and his daughter shaved her head. To me, this was just another book about the quiet desperation of suburbia. I almost didn't finish it, but I was hoping for a great ending to make it all worthwhile. While the ending wasn't quite what I expected (in a good way), it wasn't enough payoff for the rest of the book.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (St. Martin's Press, 2011)
My rating: 2 stars

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