September 11, 2011 |
THE LEFTOVERS A Novel Tom Perrotta St. Martin's Press: 356 pp., $25.99 The two most moving scenes in Tom Perrotta's sixth novel, "The Leftovers," come late in the book. In the first, Kevin Garvey - abandoned husband, distracted father, mayor of the affluent suburb of Mapleton - tells a woman he's been dating that he's just heard from his college-age son for the first time in months. "Were you close?" she asks, herself a bit distracted. "He was my little boy, I was always so proud of him," Kevin answers and bursts into tears.
October 21, 2007 |
Don't touch that! Not with your hands, not with your mouth. Not if it's someone else's, and no, not even if it's your own. These are hardly the lessons Ruth Ramsey wants to pass on to her high school students, but such are the responsibilities of "The Abstinence Teacher." Ruth is the sex ed teacher in Stonewood Heights, which was once a typical affluent, blue-state suburb, full of educated parents, SUVs and Subarus, latte shops and well-attended soccer games.
October 24, 2007 |
Some drank themselves nearly to death. Others spiraled downward on their own. Still others spent years spinning in neutral, cursing their studio overlords. By and large, literary writers working for Hollywood have not had great luck at it. The character of Barton Fink, the pretentious playwright of the Coen brothers film who provokes a murder and a fiery inferno without producing much decent dialogue, is a comic exaggeration of a long, uneasy tradition. Until Tom Perrotta came along, that is.
July 24, 1994 |
BAD HAIRCUT: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta (Bridge Works Publishing: $18.95; 208 pp.). Watergate, the oil crisis, disco, international terrorism, the Brady Bunch--no, the Seventies are best forgotten. For those who can, at least; forgetfulness isn't possible for Tom Perrotta, a child of that uninspired decade who's able, providentially, to turn Seventies dross into Nineties gold.
March 20, 2008 |
The deal Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa ("Little Miss Sunshine" and "Election") option "The Wishbones" by Tom Perrotta, his poignant 1997 comic novel about the romantic problems of a wedding musician. The players Berger and Yerxa producing, in a deal set up at Warner Independent Pictures. Perrotta, writing the screenplay, is represented on literary rights by Maria Massie and on film rights by Sylvie Rabineau. The novel is published by Berkley Books. The back story Hollywood is famous for creative teams, like Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
April 18, 2004 |
The little children in Tom Perrotta's novel are a bunch of 3-year-olds who play at the same suburban park. The title might as well refer to their parents, who share their tedious egotism and behave like seventh-graders on an unsupervised lunch break. But don't we all. Perrotta has crafted a sly tale of children trapped in adult bodies, coming to terms with lives as repetitive and incomprehensible as any grade schooler's. Perrotta's adults aren't unsupervised, of course.