8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Don't let the film put you off,
This review is from: Little Children (Paperback)
There is a problem with seeing the film adaptation of a book before you have actually read the book, in that it gives you someone else's perception of the characters which it can be difficult to shake off.
The film of this book made me feel slightly uneasy; as is so often the case, however, the book is a more complex, multi-layered affair which adds up to a subtle black comedy satirising the aspirational middle classes of suburban America, with their obsession with appearance and tangible achievement and holding up their flaws to an unforgiving light.
There are times when the satire is a little heavy-handed; the passage towards the end of the novel, when Mary Ann's background is being filled in, is more than a little blunt and sits uneasily with the rest of the piece. I also fear that those of us who are not very familiar with America will miss out on some of the cultural references (the climactic American football match was more than a little opaque to me).
Ultimately, however, this book's ambit is not limited to a single nation; it is a witty, original take on life and love, desire and forgiveness which shows the unpleasantness, lies, deception and malice which often lurk just beneath the surface of eminent respectability.
I should not think Perrotta will be getting any voiceover work with Starbucks any time soon.