East Bay Book Club Message Board › Meeting Recap: February 2013 Contemporary Book Discussion (The Leftovers by
Union City, CA
Tonight's discussion on The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta had some interesting comments on a variety of topics. Here's a quick rundown of some of the discussion questions presented and the comments in response.
Is the novel about religion?
- It's more about relationships and families.
- The only religious character, Holy Wayne, turns out to be very un-Christian.
- After the Departure, holes in relationships become more evident.
- Characters expecting some kind of system of social order and justice are most likely to join the Guilty Remnant.
Is the novel a comedy or a tragedy?
- One person thought that it's probably a tragedy and definitely not a comedy.
- Another person thought the author was trying to be funny in some parts.
About Laurie Garvey:
- Laurie joining a cult, even without losing her family to the Departure, seems unrealistic. Several other people in the discussion seemed to agree.
- This is an example of how characters' feelings were not explored in depth.
On Tom Garvey:
- This character might be the most developed of them all.
- What's debatable is whether Tom did the right thing in leaving a baby at a doorstep. On one hand, the baby might be better in someone else's hands. On the other hand, he's putting a life in jeopardy.
About the book's ending:
- One person liked how it was unresolved for the most part.
- Another person thought the ending circles back to the beginning.
- Most people had a negative impression of the book. A few people either loved it or thought it was OK.
- Positive aspects of the book: interesting plot premise, visual imagery (like with the cult), dark humor, a fast read
- Negative aspects of the book: more potential for exploration, weird twists (like cult members killing each other), mundane characters, hard to decide whether to laugh or cry, not a true dystopian novel like other books of that subgenre, seems like it's intended to be adapted by Hollywood
Overall, it was another fun discussion. :-)