Customer Reviews for

The Leftovers

Average Rating 3.5
( 180 )
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(40)

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(43)

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(33)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Incredible

This is one incredible book. If you've not preordered your copy, I seriously urge to do so.
The plot is so bizarre and yet remains believable because it deals with its very human aftermath, the way that people deal with being left behind. While in the case of this set...
This is one incredible book. If you've not preordered your copy, I seriously urge to do so.
The plot is so bizarre and yet remains believable because it deals with its very human aftermath, the way that people deal with being left behind. While in the case of this set of characters it's because of an "act of God", their reactions are as familiar to us any of us who's ever lost a loved one in any way. The way the book is structured, with many different viewpoints is complex and yet wholly satisfying, as we learn about situations between a couple, for example, from both sides. The plot is fast-paced, although it is literary fiction, so don't expect action stunts. I never found myself anywhere near bored.
The characters themselves are fabulous. Well developed and carrying their own emotional baggage, they overspill from the pages. Not all of them are lovable at all times, as people are not in real life, but we do get to understand them, and even cheer for them when they accomplish something unexpected. They make the story what it is, not the plot itself.
I can't recommend it highly enough, this is one book to which you have to treat yourself in the fall.

posted by Valca85 on August 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Perrotta's decision to skim over the Rapture itself is a risky one, but in the end, it works.

The story is simple. In a Rapture-like event, several of the inhabitants of Mapleton disappear. Without any warning, while doing everyday things, they just.vanish. The story begins a few years later. The folks that were left behind have picked up their routines again, b...
The story is simple. In a Rapture-like event, several of the inhabitants of Mapleton disappear. Without any warning, while doing everyday things, they just.vanish. The story begins a few years later. The folks that were left behind have picked up their routines again, but they are not the same people they were before the event and they constantly ask the same question over and over again. Why? They're alive, but do they want to be?

I have to tell you, it took me well over 100 pages to get into this story. I'd say, at around page 225, I started to get into it. Why did it take me so long? Well, the story is told by several different characters, and although it was never confusing to me, I found it hard to relate to them initially. They weren't all that likable. There is a weird religious cult which I really did not get, a fanatical preacher-type guy who takes on many wives, etc.

Plus, the decision to begin the story three years after the event took some acceptance on my part. I felt as if I missed out on something, which may have been Perrotta's point. These characters walk around in a trance, going through the motions, yet they aren't happy. At one point I asked myself, will these characters ever be happy? Those who know me personally, know that I do not need happy characters in a story. In fact, I am a big lover of dysfunction in literature but even I wanted them to be a little bit happy.

That's why this next sentence will surprise you.

Strangely, I found myself liking the book quite a bit. The last few pages were very satisfying (to me) and all the little quibbles I had with it, didn't seem to matter anymore. I guess you could say that I lost myself in the ending. I think I traveled to three different rooms in my house just to ensure an uninterrupted finish and Perrotta did not disappoint!

Overall, a pretty good read if you're willing to invest a little bit of time.

posted by TiBookChatter on August 24, 2011

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perrotta's decision to skim over the Rapture itself is a risky one, but in the end, it works.

    The story is simple. In a Rapture-like event, several of the inhabitants of Mapleton disappear. Without any warning, while doing everyday things, they just.vanish. The story begins a few years later. The folks that were left behind have picked up their routines again, but they are not the same people they were before the event and they constantly ask the same question over and over again. Why? They're alive, but do they want to be?

    I have to tell you, it took me well over 100 pages to get into this story. I'd say, at around page 225, I started to get into it. Why did it take me so long? Well, the story is told by several different characters, and although it was never confusing to me, I found it hard to relate to them initially. They weren't all that likable. There is a weird religious cult which I really did not get, a fanatical preacher-type guy who takes on many wives, etc.

    Plus, the decision to begin the story three years after the event took some acceptance on my part. I felt as if I missed out on something, which may have been Perrotta's point. These characters walk around in a trance, going through the motions, yet they aren't happy. At one point I asked myself, will these characters ever be happy? Those who know me personally, know that I do not need happy characters in a story. In fact, I am a big lover of dysfunction in literature but even I wanted them to be a little bit happy.

    That's why this next sentence will surprise you.

    Strangely, I found myself liking the book quite a bit. The last few pages were very satisfying (to me) and all the little quibbles I had with it, didn't seem to matter anymore. I guess you could say that I lost myself in the ending. I think I traveled to three different rooms in my house just to ensure an uninterrupted finish and Perrotta did not disappoint!

    Overall, a pretty good read if you're willing to invest a little bit of time.

    37 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Love Perrotta...but this is not his greatest.

    He does really well writing about relationships and how people interact with eachother. He set this 3 years after the rapture occured and how a small town deals with loss and change. I just kept waiting for something to happen and then I realize I'm at the end of the book and this is it. I actually think this was slightly worse then The Abstinence Teacher because there was too many plotholes and lose ends. What happened to everyone? Not one character narrative was concluded. The story just literally droped off. Like this review-

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Incredible

    This is one incredible book. If you've not preordered your copy, I seriously urge to do so.
    The plot is so bizarre and yet remains believable because it deals with its very human aftermath, the way that people deal with being left behind. While in the case of this set of characters it's because of an "act of God", their reactions are as familiar to us any of us who's ever lost a loved one in any way. The way the book is structured, with many different viewpoints is complex and yet wholly satisfying, as we learn about situations between a couple, for example, from both sides. The plot is fast-paced, although it is literary fiction, so don't expect action stunts. I never found myself anywhere near bored.
    The characters themselves are fabulous. Well developed and carrying their own emotional baggage, they overspill from the pages. Not all of them are lovable at all times, as people are not in real life, but we do get to understand them, and even cheer for them when they accomplish something unexpected. They make the story what it is, not the plot itself.
    I can't recommend it highly enough, this is one book to which you have to treat yourself in the fall.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Aimless

    Not enjoyable. Characters were not well developed, the use of gratuitous sex added nothing to the story line and the ending left me with many more questions than answers....

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    slow, depressing, monotone

    I kept reading waiting for the "-and then..." it never came. disapointing but well written read. After all I did finish it.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Very interesting premise - mediocre execution.

    I'm not a lit expert, so take his with grain of salt.

    I expected top-notch sci-fi, or philosophical/religious explorations in this novel, which has a great premise. There are some good expositions of the various human responses to the premise - what would happen if many people suddenly disappeared, as if the rapture happened - except they were not all Christian, they were not all saintly, in fact the disappeared seemed to be just a random selection of human individuals.

    Was there a common thread? Was there an explanation of the common factor? Without giving the ending away, I was disappointed by the final chapter. But then, I may have had the wrong expectations.

    I also find the author's prose style less than exhilarating. That is compared to a Dickens or a Hemingway, so again, you may find this your cup of tea. That is, easy reading and common dialog.

    Out of ***** I'd say **1/2 - I did read it end-to-end to find out how it all resolved. It resolves with a twist or two.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting book

    It's been three years since the Rapture-like event during which millions of people all over Earth randomly disappeared. Whatever triggered the Sudden Departure, though did not discriminate between religions, race, age, or behavior. There was no rhyme or reason to explain who was taken and who remained.

    Survivors use different methods to cope. Some, like Laurie Garvey are convinced that the event truly was the Biblical Rapture and join the Guilty Remnant, a cult whose members are never seen in public without a lit cigarette, and are determined to do whatever is necessary to remind everyone that the end is nigh.

    Her son, Tom, drops out of college and ends up in a cult of his own. After he meets one of the "wives" of his cult leader, his views slowly begin changing, but he's still chasing dreams and searching for answers.

    Her daughter, Jill, has gone from a model student to a party girl who comes home late and is failing classes.

    Laurie's husband, Kevin, is busy trying to keep his family together while helping the town to move on. Just when he thinks he will be able to move his own personal life forward, things come to a screeching halt.

    I liked that this book was unpredictable. There wasn't a lot of foreshadowing in the story, which made for an interesting read. A few little clues are okay, but I like some surprises. I didn't really like the way the story ended, but I think that was more because I didn't agree with some of the character's decisions than because of any lack in the story itself.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    Excellent

    I really enjoyed reading this book, highly recommended.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    It was okay.

    This is my first book where I've been prompted to actually write a review. This book was very easy to read. It was an enjoyable reading experience, just not a great story. This is unfortunate because the concept is great. I was not left feeling satisfied in the end. I WANT to like it, and I don't dislike it, it was just...a book.

    (Spoilers?):


    I think my issue with it was that the story went nowhere. There was no wrap up. You feel like this might be part of a series. If it were, I probably wouldn't continue reading because the characters weren't particularly engaging.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    excellent

    Wonderful read! It's not my normal taste in books so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A lot of build up and then a fizzle

    Ok, I was hooked and it held such promise in the beginning. I waited anxiously to see how all the characters were going to tie together. In the end......nothing. The book stops in mid thought. Various characters are left in flux and have no summery of why they even existed in the story. Random acts by the characters were done in the last few pages that were never explained. A complete letdown.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Hmmmmm.

    Tom Perrotta is very good at developing characters you can fully imagine, and get to know. I was very excited to read this, and expected it to be much more creepy that it was (my mistake). The world is normal, and then one day, folks just vanish - disappear. I love his take on the whole Rapture thing, and the reactions that society had reference the seemingly random choosing of people to disappear was brilliant. Working with, around, and sometimes against the religious theme, Perrotta delved into the stories of those left behind. Some joined cults (where smoking was mandatory), some became the Barefoot people (no shoes, please), and some just tried to live as normally as they did before the disappearance. I think I was a bit disappointed in the ending, because I had it figured out pretty early on. However, I would say the rest of the novel was not bad, and I did enjoy some of the characters. I think on the whole, I was expecting a bit more. Good premise though!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Easy read

    The book gives interesting ideas of what could be, but tends to be choppy middle to end. There were a couple of surprises, it held my interest about half way then I began to rush the read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Refund?

    How do I get a refund????

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2014

    recommend if you enjoy thinking

    When I finished this book, my only disappointment was that I did not know more about what happened to the characters further in the future. Perhaps the author will do a sequel?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Book that doesn't end.

    I hadn't read anything by this author before, but I thought the story idea sounded very interesting. Unfortunately, because of the way he set it up, I felt like I was just getting interested in the characters when the last page came around. I didn't feel like I got closure on any of them, and the book was almost 300 pages long. I wouldn't recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Not a Good Book

    While the premise is interesting the characters lack endearing and real qualities and I found it confusing as to who is speaking. The plot rarely develops and questions go unanswered – some really big ones. The Wayne hype vanishes as soon as it’s introduced and each characters' tale ends in an unfinished package tied with a cheap bow. I forced myself to finish the book and remain disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    I want my money back too!

    This book was hugely disappointing to me. It had such promise and could have gone several great directions but it went nowhere slowly. Read the other reviews and choose wisly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Disappointing finish

    Interesting premise with a lot of promise, but the book is lacking. Character development was thin. And the ending was abrupt with many loose ends in my opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Good read

    Very readable....understandable characters. Perrotta made an impossible to imagine apocalypse imaginable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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