What if — whoosh, right now, with no explanation — a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That's what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened — not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children."
What a interesting topic, right? The concept is compelling. What would happen to the people "left behind?" What would their lives be like? Would things go back to normal or would a significant shift occur? Would civilization go crazy or would people push on and try to forget that they didn't "make the cut" in the Rapture?
The story is unique and I enjoyed the book on a certain level, but The Leftovers fell flat for me in a few ways.
I wanted to see how scientists were explaining what happened. I wanted more from the religious side. I didn't necessarily want EVERYTHING explained away, but I wanted to SEE people curious and inquiring a bit more. I mean with so many of the world's population just up and vanishing, you'd imagine that there would be more investigating and whatnot. I didn't expect the whole book to be about that, but a chapter at best, would have sufficed.
I had a hard time "liking" many characters. I understand that most of the characters were damaged or in mourning for their past, but it's a hard task finding one character that isn't sort of a douchebag in some way.
Yes some characters, like Kevin, Jill, and Nora, aren't as bad as others. But the rest are kind of scuzzy. Laurie abandons her family. Aimee is..well Aimee probably was supposed to be a sympathetic character in a way, but I just didn't like her. Tom is decent, but again, he abandoned his family in exchange for a cult leader (What's up with the cults in this book?).
I mean logically I understand that people need solace in times of crisis and they will seek out whatever makes them feel whole again, but The Guilty Remnant and the cult of "whatshisname that likes to hug and sleep with teenage girls" just didn't make any sense to me. (Maybe that's the point?)
Anyway, as much as I seem to have hated it, I didn't. I can't say it was my favorite or that I would re-read it ever, but it wasn't a horrible read. Definitely a unique take on the "end of days" theme.