One of my favorite book genres is/was post-apocalyptic fiction, but ever since reading The Road, I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore. Mainly because The Road was soooooo good, it set the bar for all other end-of-the-world reads, but also because now that I’m a parent, I don’t want to imagine a world where my children either aren’t in it, I’m not in it, or my family is suffering.
So why did I decide to pick up The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta? Probably because of the author’s interview on Fresh Air (click the link above to listen). The novel isn’t really post-apocalyptic fiction, though, but post-Rapture fiction. The premise sounded intriguing, about a small town dealing with the sudden departure of 80 of their residents. In the aftermath of what some believe is The Rapture, religious fanatics emerge and cults form. The book follows a mayor whose wife and son are both swept away by extreme religious beliefs that they didn’t have prior to the event.
Perrotta also wrote Little Children and Election, so his style and humor is very dark, which I enjoy.
I’m only a couple chapters in, and it’s a library rental, so if I finish it before its due date, that will be a miracle.