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The Leftovers

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  43,817 ratings  ·  5,787 reviews
What if — whoosh, right now, with no explanation — a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That's what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published August 11th 2011)
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Farren It is the same general story, but I preferred the show only because it was more in depth. I think they added some great stuff, like scenes with Nora a…moreIt is the same general story, but I preferred the show only because it was more in depth. I think they added some great stuff, like scenes with Nora and the priest that weren't in the book. The book does do a better job of explaining the Guilty Remnant than the show and I am glad to have read it, though. The season does cover the whole book and since there is no second book, season two will be "reboot" of season one, according to HBO.(less)
Tina I would be disappointed if there was.

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Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Tom Perrotta, I don't know. Your characters always start out so intriguing at the beginning of your books, but then you throw too much weird superfluous stuff into the mix. Couldn't you have focused a little more adroitly on two or three things, instead of the five or six lives you thought worthy of documentation? Couldn't we have done away with the seemingly tacked-on Christine/Tom/baby/Holy Wayne business and maybe had a little more about with the cult members killing each other, since one plo ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Millions of people vanish in the blink of an eye leaving everyone left on Earth feeling like God just told them, “It’s not you, it’s me….”

It’s been three years since the Sudden Departure, and the mayor of Mapleton, Kevin Garvey, is trying to get the town back to a feeling of normalcy. However, Kevin’s family was profoundly impacted by the disappearances. His wife Laurie has left him to join a cult of white-clad chain smokers called the Guilty Remnant who silently stalk people while son Tom dropp
Elyse  Walters
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't disappointed AT ALL!!!!!

After enjoying. "Commonwealth", by Ann Patchett recently, I wanted another contemporary type novel involving community- social graces/human dealings. This fit the bill: families falling apart....relationships....struggles....tragedy....emotional & tack.

I wasn't too concerned about 'context' of Tom Perrotta's novel "The Leftovers", because his 'content' was sooooo friggin-gripping-engaging. I was aware of a bigger story going on throughout this nov
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This is about the cult of cults, a very fascinating topic. Its something that baffles me, and thinking about joining a collective of weirdos (which is the reason I naturally avoid malls and Wal-Mart) gives me the willies. Anyway, the thing about Perrotta is that his work, as terrific or as pedestrian as it is, is insanely readable and "getting into it" is easy and fun. His books are given the usual three stars by me, but it really means something that some of his novels have made terrific films ...more
Alias Pending
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
SHORT REVIEW: What Conan the Barbarian was to High Fantasy, The Leftovers is to Mid-Life Crisis Fantasy. No, that's too kind.

SHORT REVIEW #2: A book so OK it hurts.

ANOTHER SHORTY: I liked this better the first time, when it was called American Beauty.

LONG REVIEW: Reading this book was like heading down a playground slide made of glass. It starts off fun, but soon the smooth, featureless texture is burning your skin and all you can see is the cold, rocky ground waiting for you at the end. And the
Peter Derk
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Have you ever read one of those books where it feels like the middle part of a trilogy, like all the action happened just before the first page and then kicks into gear right on the last page?

I guess it doesn't matter if you've read one like that or not. That little description makes sense enough, right?

Okay, how about this:

When I get a pizza, the first slice is awesome. Because I was so hungry and anticipating it. And then you get into a cycle of diminishing returns about three slices in. Then
Stacia (the 2010 club)

Never, have I ever wanted an author to pull a George RR Martin the way I wanted it to happen in The Leftovers.
WHO WANTS TO BE A MARTYR? the caption asked.

Yeah...there was not as much of this as I'd hoped.

Up until the last few pages, I was somewhat enjoying the book, happy sunshine (oh wow, I accidentally typed happy sunshit and had to correct that. I might have just coined a new term.) and all. Okay, so there wasn't actually a whole lot of happy or sunshine going on, but compared to
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This is quite the literary year for ordinary families becoming enmeshed in extraordinary, indeed, catastrophic, situations. Erik Larson, in The Garden of the Beast, portrays an all-American family at the cusp of the horrendous Hitler years. And now Tom Perrotta one-ups him by introducing the Garveys…a suburban family who was left behind in the aftermath of a Rapture-like event.

To his credit, Tom Perrotta drinks no Kool-aid. Before the event occurs, one character says this about the Rapture: “It
James Thane
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
What if there suddenly were a "Rapture" or something like it, where millions of people around the world disappeared in an instant, vaporized into nothingness? How would those left behind cope with such an amazing and inexplicable development?

Such is the premise of Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, which focuses on the small town of Mapleton and on the family of the newly-elected mayor, Kevin Garvey. Everyone in town has been affected by the event and large numbers of people have been traumatized, th
May 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
What the shit did I just read?
Truly, I’m at a loss for words. [Brain just mush; mush-begets-mush]
I don’t think this will be a review in the typical sense, more of a purging. Exorcism. Cleansing. Absolution.

[Backstory: my Better Half reallyreallyreally loves the show The Leftovers. I refuse to watch on the simple grounds that I don’t watch television. I read, why would I watch TV? No matter. She wants to talk to me about the show and I don’t know a thing about it. She says, ‘it was a book—I’ll b
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Tom Perotta’s newest book would not be a typical choice for me. I saw the movie "Little Children" starring Kate Winslet, so I was curious when this book came out. The fact that life after The Rapture was central to the story made me that much more curious. I was not disappointed.

In The Leftovers, Tom Perotta explores what would happen if The Rapture actually took place. The book opens just a short time after millions of people have just disappeared from the earth. Perotta’s characters show a var
Larry H
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Most of Tom Perrotta's novels have been wry examinations of society and its foibles. Election, Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher each did a terrific job in chronicling the positives and negatives of human behavior. His characters aren't always sympathetic, their motivations aren't always understandable, but his books always make you think.

With his newest novel, The Leftovers, Perrotta ponders an interesting question: what if the Rapture happened, but not all of the religiously devout w
Mohammed Arabey
The idea 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I mean, half the people just vanished... and no Avengers here to save 'em in the sequel..

The Message (Moral) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dealing with the loss, the grief, religion zealous, feeling lost..

The Characters 🌟🌟🌟
Most of them needed more developments..may be it's the plot..

The Story (Plot) 🌟🌟
May be if it were just a novella would have been much better..

More in a review to come -in Arabic though,

Mohmmed Arabey
From 2 Aug. 2018
To 8 Aug. 2018
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this audio would be decent laundry-folding entertainment, but I seriously underestimated Mr. Tom Perrotta and his awesome ability to tell a rad story!!!! This book was killer!!!!! The premise is this: A rapture-like event occurs and 2% of the population is vaporized. And it appears to have been a totally random sampling: people of all (or no) religious beliefs are taken, nice people as well as some real a$$h*les. The people who are left really can't make sense of it. Some folks get the ...more
I laughed! I cried! I dreamed dreams and saw visions!

Oh wait, no I didn't.

I enjoyed it briefly. Then I got to halfway and started wondering if it were going to go anyplace. Then I got farther and started wondering if it were ever, ever going to go anyplace. Then I wondered if it were going to end. Then I saw it was going to end, and I wondered if it were going to have a climax. Then, like a dull night at home, it didn’t.

If this book were food, it would be carob. Carob chip cookies. Great sell
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book takes on some weighty issues but leavened with comic twists. The author plays with issues I've dealt with as I get older; my life is increasingly influenced by absences, by who and what I have lost; the people who have disappeared from my life or roads not taken. Yet I also mistrust my memories of events; what was real and what were simply stories that I told myself? These are my 2 am musings.

The novel also explores how people deal with losses and what things they tell themselves to ge
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

A strange phenomenon has swept the globe. People, seemingly chosen at random, simply vanished.

After what is dubbed the “Sudden Departure,” those remaining are left to deal with the aftermath. The Leftovers focuses on the residents of a small town called Mapleton. Some, like Kevin, have decided to move on with life – and are maybe doing a little better or feeling a little more needed than they were before the Sudden Depart
Auntie Terror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Wiswell
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Though promoted as a novel about The Rapture or a Rapture-like event, fifty pages in you realize The Leftovers isn’t. Tom Perrotta’s novel is about human reactions to tragedy. We don’t know why millions of people disappeared, can’t recognize a methodology or pattern to the mass disappearances, and spend none of the book pursuing answers. Perrotta tells us multiple times that no one can figure it out. Sorry, world: you just lose, and now your citizens deal with it.

We go to inspirational speeches,
Oct 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers is a book that I really want to like. It has all of the elements of a book I enjoy, a large cast of characters, an interesting plot, and yet this book for me is a complete fail.

The story is basically as follows: the post rapture - only more secularized. We’re not sure why or if the rapture actually occurred. Though, to be fair it doesn’t really matter, what matters is that people were here one moment and then gone the next. Some people are able to cope and move on,
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This one comes from the author of Election and Little Children. Yeah, those movies you sort of forgot about. After listening to an NPR interview with Perrotta, I ran out and bought the book despite it being hardcover. He came off so intelligent and likeable on the radio, and his ideas were so provoking, I couldn't help being drawn to the book. While sometimes I found his writing a bit colloquial, I really enjoyed this novel and hated to see it end. The book takes place after a Rapture-like event ...more
Suzanne Hard
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this crazy thought experiment, where everyone is struggling to make sense of the sudden departure, grieving their lost loved ones, and trying to find meaning in their lives, when the usual structures and measures are disrupted or destroyed. Perrotta's take on the role of family and connection are what is most interesting and hopeful in the book. ...more
Emma Scott
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Okay so this book veered away from the show around the 75% mark and didn't come close to any of the wicked cool bizarre shit that happens in it. I love that show hard, but this book is its own entity and while I was a little disappointed at first, I got over it and was able to appreciate it for what it is. And that's only fair anyway.

The Leftovers follows five characters through the aftermath of a vast, unexplained Sudden Departure in which 4% of the earth's entire population has vanished witho
Dara Jackson
First off I won this on a First Reads Giveaway as an Advanced Reader's issue. I really wanted to like this book. The premise sounded interesting: a Rapture-like occurrence and how the people left behind cope. I've never read anything of Mr. Perrotta's before, and chances are good that I will not be reading anything else of his if they are all like this one. Actually two stars may be generous, but I liked the concept, just not the book.

It was not what I was expecting, which in itself is not a bad
Jonathan K
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
While an interesting story idea, I personally found the pacing far too slow, characters dull and the religious elements overdone. As the saying goes, each to their own!
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars - It was good.

Liked it, but didn’t love it. My GR friend Carmen summed it up perfectly and succinctly, “ The characters are very three-dimensional and fleshed out. It was very well written, but not especially compelling or meaningful.” You can read her review here.

Favorite Quote: There's not some finite amount of pain inside us. Our bodies and minds just keep manufacturing more of it.

First Sentence: Laurie Garvey hadn’t been raised to believe in
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
When one picks up what is supposedly the masterwork of one of the most lauded literary minds of the generation, one has... high expectations. Or I did, at least.

The concept of The Leftovers is simple: one day about a tenth of the population just disappears. Is it the Rapture? Is it some metaphysical phenomenon that can't be explained? Were they abducted by aliens? And fucking why? The rest of us just have to go on without closure, constantly wondering at the truth and trying to cope. Perrotta u
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4,5/5. Great book! A slow pace book for sure but an incredible one! Grief! That's all there is here. The author find a pretext to put everybody in the book into a grieving process. Then, we follow those characters seeing how they manage their part. Cult, sex, drugs/alcohol, work, isolation, socialization, taking care, being useful to society, abusing society and vulnerable people, etc. Almost very possible aspect of living through grief is present here and it procures a very well executed book, ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
No one predicted it this time, not even Harold Camping. This Rapture took everyone by surprise. Millions suddenly just vanished. But something seemed off. For one thing, Hindus, Buddists, Jews, atheists and Jennifer Lopez were among the missing, while many pious, God-fearing Christians were ... "left behind".

In the wake of the tragedy that quickly becomes known as the "Sudden Departure", many of those not "taken" struggle with feelings of survivor's guilt and a sense of futility. Others try to
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta 1 15 Mar 05, 2018 12:07PM  
Bookworm Bitches : April 2015: The Leftovers 29 101 Feb 11, 2016 07:55PM  
Alternate Realiti...: Leftovers on HBO 3 33 Dec 07, 2015 07:40AM  
TV adaptation of The Leftovers 3 31 Oct 20, 2015 08:21AM  
The Leftovers 6 32 Oct 13, 2015 06:22PM  

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Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO series. His work has been translated into a multitude of languages. Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and lives outside of Boston. ...more

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