I started reading Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers this past weekend and I’m really enjoying it. I’m a huge fan of Perrotta from Election, the book that the Alexander Payne film was based on, and Joe College, the first and only book I’ve ever stopped reading because it hit too close to home. My copies of both of these books (also, possibly Little Children) are all signed because the author did a great reading while I was at Rutgers. One of the signatures is directed at my girlfriend at the time because I was embarrassed to admit how many books I’d brought to the reading.
The Leftovers tells about a Rapture-like event that causes millions of people to disappear. However, the disappearances don’t follow any rules (people of all religions and creeds, good people and bad people alike vanish). It’s this lack of understanding that perhaps hurts the survivors the most.
The book is mostly set a few years after the event and Perrotta uses the disappearance as an analogue to 9/11 and the Wall Street collapse. For me, some of the recession connections work the best as all the young characters complain that they were “raised for a world that no longer exists.”
They’re planning on turning the book into an HBO series. I’m a little wary because Damon Lindelof is in charge and this seems like the exact kind of thing he could ruin by turning it into a “mystery,” but, reading it, it really does seem like it would be perfect for a show. I mean, the first chapter would make an incredibly pilot.
Anyway, just writing this to say I’m liking it. I’m only 100 pages in so it could go off the rails for all I know but, so far, it’s pretty fantastic.