Review: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

leftoversI started watching this HBO series and liked it, but it’s kind of slow-moving and dry, so I watch an average of one episode every two months. However, I got the ebook on Amazon for cheap, I can’t remember how much it was at the time, but my threshold for buying an ebook is like 2 bucks so let’s so with that.

I really liked the book, especially with some experience with the characters already. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s a brief synopsis… one random day, like a third of the Earth’s population just vanishes into thin air. Like, here one moment, gone the next. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Religious zealots try to explain it away as The Rapture, but there is no discriminating factor in who disappeared. Criminals, children, old people, entire families. A group called the Guilty Remnant (GR) and other cult-like groups start to form to try to make some sense of the disappearances.

The book centers around a few characters in the town of Mapleton, namely Kevin Garvey, the town’s mayor, his wife who is now a GR member, his teenaged daughter and son who are both dealing with the vanishing in different ways, and a woman named Nora Dunne whose entire family vanished. Chapters alternate between these storylines.

Two things I wish were different about the book. 1. I wish the author offered some logical explanation for what happened. Or that it happened again. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.) and 2. It was a real “WTF? That’s it?” kind of ending. I hate books that end ambiguously. Not that I wanted the whole thing to be wrapped up in a bow like a Thursday night sitcom episode, but I wanted something different than what I got.

I’m probably due to watch another episode of the show soon, so now I have the entire book as a reference. So far the show has stuck fairly close to the book. I’m sure it will veer off course soon, and I’m hopeful that the tv show might provide more answers than I got from the book.

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