Tom Perrotta’s America takes place mostly in the suburbs and is populated with fairly ordinary people who are not completely aware of themselves. Additionally, there always seems to be something quite quirky about his characters and there are always moments of ridiculously and darkly humorous prose. Perrota’s works can be found on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library.
One of Perrotta’s first books was Election. He was a new, unknown writer in 1998 when the novel debuted and it was not the book that attracted attention, but the film of the book that immediately followed. The offbeat story is about a high school election and an uppity and unlikable student named Tracy Flick who is running for student body president. One of the teachers takes a dislike to her and ruins his own career by trying to sabotage the election so Tracy doesn't win. Whether you check out the book or the DVD of the film, you will laugh with embarrassment as the student and teacher go head-to-head.
Published in 2004, Little Children can be found in the Fiction and Books-on-CD sections. If you have never listened to a book, this might be a good time to begin. This story of a pair of married friends who are caught up in parenthood, their own yearning for freer lives and the pressures of family and work is both satirical and touching.
Stephen King compared Perrotta’s latest novel The Leftovers to an episode of the Twilight Zone. A small town experiences something called the Sudden Departure in which many townspeople simply disappear. With so many family members and friends gone, the remaining people try to adjust without those who simply vanished. Fantasy and reality mix in this very original title.