Author: Tom Perrotta
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Listening copy via library
This isn't YA by any means, although older teens might be interested in it because of the upcoming HBO television series.
I was interested in it because I grew up in a house where the Rapture was a given and I wanted to see what Tom Perrotta did with it.
What he did with it was to make it clear right away that it isn't the Rapture. Some people, readers as well as characters, may argue otherwise, but I think Perrotta wants this to be SOMETHING ELSE.
SOMETHINGE ELSE is more challenging than the Rapture because there's no Biblical guideposts for what happens next, no Mark of the Beast, no Anti-Christ, no Apocalpyse.
SOMETHING ELSE means life will go on, pretty much as before, if you can get over the loss.
And that's what the story is really about. Loss. How people cope, or don't cope, with losing something. Could be losing your whole family. Could be losing a way of looking at the world. Could be losing a future you thought you knew.
There's social commentary and there's even humor, but the pervading drive of the story is people choosing how to deal with their loss. The main characters center on the Garvey family, none of whom disappeared in the Sudden Departure, but all of them cope with the disappearances in vastly different ways.
Dennis Boutsikaris gives a pragmatic, almost casual, reading, which underscores the everydayness of the lives' of the characters. Because even after 2% of the world's population disappears, the trashcans still need to put out on the curb.
Full Disclosure: I have a friend who worked on the HBO show.
Also: If the HBO show does take off, I have already have prediction for how the series ends. (Are you listening, Damon Lindelof?) There's another Sudden Depature. Cue end credits.