Book Twentyfour: The Leftovers

The Leftovers, Tom Perrotta

This was so very depressing, and yet so very good. The premise is that a rapture-like even occurs where a significant number of the world's population simple vanishes into thin air (it's not stated explicitly in the book, but I would guess it's around 3% or so) and the rest of the world is left to figure out what happened and what to do next. And the people who were taken were not necessarily Christian and not necessarily good people. The plot focuses on a suburban town, mostly one family, and bounces around telling stories about multiple characters and their intersecting stories.

But this is really not a book about the rapture or religion, even though religion is discussed. I think it's about how people deal with the inevitability of death. Do you give everything over to religion? Do you lose hope? Do you stop caring about the things you did before? Do you join a cult? Or do you simply ignore what's happening and keep on keeping on? I like this concept very much. And I like Tom Perrotta's writing and the world of characters he created.


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