the leftovers-tom perrota

“I’m not saying I fixed her or cured her, or anything like that. To this day, she’s still sad. Because there’s not some finite amount of pain inside us. Our bodies and minds just keep manufacturing more of it. I’m just saying that I took the pain that was inside of her at that moment and made it my own. And it didn’t hurt me at all.” (67)

“As she grew stronger, though, she began to realize that it was the Reverend who was falling apart. There were nights when he seemed just as despondent as she was. He wept frequently and kept up a running monologue about the Rapture and how unfair it was that he’d missed the cut.” (110)

“…wondering if Josh was one of those emotionally stunted guys who would turn out not to be worth the work you’d have to put in to get him to come out of his shell.” (331)

this came out of the last big holding binge of the year, when i put the series on hold, and decided to read the book first. it got a lot of attention because i guess the show is big? it was a book that people wanted to talk about a lot, and that seems to be the case of tv-related books. i’m glad that me carrying it around let so many people know that it was a book first, yea-books! i just took that series off hold because a) my disc drive is now rejecting all discs and b) i knocked 6 off my list because i cancelled all the dvds! look at me, making headway on my resolution, even while going out more and meeting more people in the past month than i probably have in the past three years.

i liked the movie adaptations of perrota‘s books, which is not the same thing as liking his books, but since i haven’t read them, nor was i aware that they were based on his books, it would seem that we have arrived at a moot. i guess i’ll be wondering about the tv show for at least a little while longer.

what i do know about this book is that i did like it, even though i feel like i’m not getting everything. most specifically, i don’t feel like i understand the author’s intention, or even his slant. i see what’s happening, kind of, with the watchers/witnesses, the idea of miracle children, the non-rapture, and new life after loss and it’s certainly timely, and not too far out of current and recent past experience, but i don’t get a sense of what’s really being said. could it be that it’s truly neutral and written with the intentional offering of freedom for the reader to interpret?

if so, that would make it the most revolutionary religious text that i’ve read since frey‘s take on the second coming.

“Kevin wanted to object on principle-he was pretty sure most people thought of their own youth as some kind of Golden Age-but in this case she had a point.” (92)

“Now he really did look like an underwear model, if there was a world where underwear models had hairy pipe-cleaner legs and bad muscle tone.” (281)

“Watchers were paired up by lottery and rarely worked with the same partner twice in a single month. The point was to strengthen the connection between the individual and the group as a whole, not between one individual and another….Without proper guidance, it was all too easy for them to lapse into familiar patterns, to unwittingly re-create the relationships and behaviour patterns they’d left behind. But if they were allowed to do that, they’d miss out on the very thing they’d come for: a chance to start over, to strip away the false comforts of friendship and love, to await the final days without distractions and illusions.” (244)

What a beautiful bird, they kept telling one another, which was a weird thing to say about a dead thing without a head.” (188)

“He was surprised to realize that he felt no satisfaction, no vengeful pleasure at the thought of Holy Wayne rotting in prison. All he felt was a dull throb of sympathy, an unwelcome sense of kinship with the man who’d broken his son’s heart.
He loved you, Kevin thought, starting at the mug shot as if he expected it to reply. And you failed him , too.” (308)

“Not because you didn’t love them anymore, but because you did, and because that love was useless now, just another dull ache in your phantom limb.” (209)

sometimes, it’s not too late to stop something before it starts when you can see where it’s going. it doesn’t mean that you love that person any less. it just might mean that you don’t like them that much. but you still have nothing but all the best wishes for her/his happiness. take care. everything is all good, no need to worry.

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