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Review & Giveaway: The Leftovers

The Leftovers

The Leftovers
By Tom Perrotta
(St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, 9780312358341, August 30, 2011, 368pp.)

The Short of It:

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

The Rest of It:

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.

If you’ d like to win your own copy, check out the giveaway info below!

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided by the publisher.

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Giveaway Information

This giveaway is for one copy of The Leftovers and is open to the US only. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on August 31, 2011 (pacific). I will email the winner!

This giveaway is now closed!