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Where is everyone?
on 3 September 2011
This book has a strange range of both writing style and plot line. There is an interesting quirkiness and humor in the beginning which disappears as rapidly as the people who have disappeared in the story line. One of the main characters, Laurie is introduced as one who didn't believe in much of anything and then,
"God's intrusion into her life couldn't have been any clearer if He'd addressed her from a burning azalea."
Perrotta does a good job in showing the apathy and malaise of those that are left after millions on earth have suddenly vanished. The earth and society just seems to continue otherwise and we are told non believers and `bad' people were among the vanished so the question arises for everyone, Is this the Rapture?
This is a story of a very few people in the town of Mapleton, one family in particular and how they seem to fall emotionally apart. There are no electrical shortages, cell phones still work as does the internet, and TV shows, society is the same except no one seems to feel they have a future and then of course there are the prophets and new religious movements to contend with. Schools close for awhile, but then open and life ....sort of goes on. The agony of not having the ones you care about near you and others do is well described. What becomes fascinating are how the characters are trying to order their lives. It is an emotional meltdown done in a realistic manner, in what would probably occur if this event was to happen; but it does start to drag and there really seems little depth in the characters despite their psychological agonizing.
There are places where we are left wondering...because there is no real mention of the rest of the world, although it too has been affected. There are places where the writing jumps in time and remembrance, back and forth and not until you continue reading is it sorted out
If you are a fan of apocalyptic novels, this might appeal, however it does not have the normal "excitement' of that genre. In some ways this novel is mundane and others, not - it delves into a few humans' psyche, but they seem to suffer as if they were they only ones affected, there seems to be more embarrassment at being, for example the woman whose husband and two children disappear, not because of any religious beliefs...people stare and feel sorry for her, so she is uncomfortable. One starts to lose sympathy for these people even in such a horrendous situation. There is a depth lacking that should have come with this type of storyline.