Lucky for us Tom Perrotta changed his mind about writing the "Leftovers" as a comic post-apocalypse novel. This books is so much more. Yes, there are comic elements but these characters are real and it's fascinating to see ourselves in the different ways they respond to a Rapture-like event.
A creative, thoughtful, somewhat cynical look at a post rapture world where people are disillusioned, still a bit stunned, kind of depressed, kind of searching, trying to keep living while exploring new identities and trying to discern if there are boundaries anymore. All anyone knows is that hordes of people - family, friends, coworkers, even pets - were there one minute and gone the next and no one knows why or what really happened. No Christian context. No cataclysmic, environmental events/wars, etc. Perrotta briefly considers the consequences of losing a giant chunk of the population in an instant but mostly just tells the stories of how people are getting on and creating meaning by joining cults, taking on new jobs, ditching school, forming questionable relationships or retreating into obsessive rituals. Narrator Dennis Boutsikaris strikes just the right understated tone to complement Perrotta's writing that is ironic, humorous, poignant, insightful. A moody lighthearted book if there ever was one.
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