In which I miss the point. Or not.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
3
words: sad, quasi-post-apocalyptic, clever
Ever
since listening to this audiobook, I keep hearing how the humor in the story
outweighs the pathos.
I just
don’t get it.
The
loneliness in this book was palpable. It was painful.
So
here’s the set-up: One day a whole bunch of people just vanished, in a left-behind/rapture
sort of event.
And
this story is about the people who remain in the strange world that develops in
the aftermath, where some people join odd cults and others try to act like
their lives are still normal. (Good luck with that, guys.)
Perrotta’s
vision of such a world is pretty darn fascinating, and he tells the story through
an intimate look at the lives of a few characters.
I listened
to much of the audiobook on some long runs, and one of the times I was on the
loveliest path in the sunshine and dappled shade. My eyes were seeing a world
that was bright and green and vibrant, and my ears were hearing a story that
was desolate and seemed hopeless. It was a really strange disconnect.
Of
course, I’m totally missing the point because Perrotta apparently instilled so
much humor in the book, it lightened the whole thing up. (Tom, where is all that humor?)
Maybe
I ran right past it.
Readalike:
I got a strong Richard Yates vibe from this book. If you’re a Revolutionary Road fan, give this one a
whirl.

3 thoughts on “In which I miss the point. Or not.

  1. I liked Election and I liked the one (blanking on title) in which the guy finally marries his high school sweetheart after 15 years. He's in a band that plays at weddings. Arrgh, why can't I think of the title?! Also, I like Richard Yates in measured doses. Maybe I'll give this one a try.

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