Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers
Turning the little moments of suburbia into graceful and intriguing scenes
What would happen if the apocalypse did occur now, but not in the way anybody predicted? Tom Perrotta tackles a tantalizing and thought-provoking premise wherein the Rapture occurs but very little answers are left behind. Seemingly random adults and children disappear without a trace and without any indication of why some were chosen and others left behind. Those who are left behind struggle with their new reality, some by choosing strange new religions and cults like the Guilty Remnant, a silent robed sect that smokes in order to demonstrate that health is no matter when the world is about to end. Listeners looking for an apocalyptic sci-fi novel may be disappointed, as Perrotta somehow turns the end of the world into an everyday affair, but the author of Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher is an expert at turning the little moments of middle-aged upper-middle-class suburbia into graceful and intriguing scenes. The Leftovers has a large cast of characters and so listeners with short attention spans, especially those who listen to the story in bursts, may have a few moments where it’s difficult to remember which character is which. However, it all comes together in the end, all except the whys, hows and whats of the Rapture, but that turns out to be surprisingly irrelevant.