the leftovers by Tom Perrotta

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Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

Two summers ago, while working at an internship with an animal pharmaceutical company, I lived with one of my best friends, Kari and her husband. We had decided we needed a new show to watch over dinner that could be ‘our show,’ and stumbled upon HBO’s new summer premier of The Leftovers. Every Monday, we would be impatiently, and excitedly waiting for dinner so we could watch our show! The first season was a lesson in pain and misery with the conclusion of almost every episode leaving us wondering if we would put ourselves through next week’s episode. Upon the conclusion of Season 1 we decided we would more than likely forgo Season 2. Alas, curiosity got the better of me and upon starting the next season I was initially relieved that even the dark and depressing theme song was given a much needed renovation. However, could the show miraculously change gears and loosen its iron clad grip on the grim suffering experienced by the characters and audience alike? The change of scene worked wonders for the plot and the season had maybe one bad episode! With my renewed intrigue I decided to add the audiobook to my list and perhaps predictably the book was as filled with as much mystery and inconsolable grief as the series. Perrotta did not answer any questions surrounding the ‘Sudden Departure,’ with his book unapologetically neglecting the bigger picture event and focusing on the lives of a few select characters residing within a small Massachusetts town. Overall the leftovers is well written, sad and thought provoking, however do not expect many of your questions to be resolved by the end of the book.

Additional Insight (May Contain Spoilers):

  1. I was surprised how much the series followed the book, even with respect to how Season 1 ended. There was a bit more supernatural in the series, especially with Kevin’s dad who doesn’t exist in the book.
  2. The casting for the TV series couldn’t have been better! Each of the characters really fit Perrotta’s descriptions, especially Holy Wayne and Christine. Kevin is a bit more attractive than portrayed in the book, not that I’m complaining. Hello Justin Theroux!
  3. The inner workings of the Guilty Remnant was explained in much better detail in the book. I love Patty’s character in the series, however in the book she is just a side character. Meg and Lorie’s relationship in the book was completely different! The ending with Meg being a chosen martyr was mind blowing. Her current character in the series is beyond annoying, so perhaps the series probably should have stuck to the script in this aspect and eliminated her character after Season 1. Maybe they felt like they couldn’t kill off Liv Tyler?
  4. I’m now impatiently waiting. Still eagerly anticipating Season 3!



  1. I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I liked the show (though I kind of tapered off in the middle of season 2 somewhere); I was especially disappointed with the lack of answers in the book, which is why I’d even bothered to pick it up in the first place. Thanks for sharing your review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually read this book when it first came out. I loved it. I couldn’t wait for the show once I heard it was being made. I wasn’t sure about the show at first, but I love it now.
    I really enjoyed the book. I’ve read his other novels, too. They are all pretty decent.

    Liked by 1 person

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