Sometimes a bad movie can overshadow a good book. I saw "Little Children" and pretty much hated it, seeing it as yet another bitter, unpleasant movie about unhappy jerks in the suburbs ("American Beauty," "The Ice Storm," "Happiness"). I recently started reading Tom Perrotta, who I don't think gets the critical attention he deserves (it's usually hogged by guys named Jonathan, Michael or Dave). On paper, this doesn't look very promising: adultery in the suburbs, a married man adrift and without a job, a husband who spends his time on an internet site called Slutty Kay, the drudgery of adulthood and just for a grotesque touch, a sex offender. Yet Perrotta, working with difficult material, makes it cohere into something poignant, observant and compelling. I think his strength is that he can both satirize and be sympathetic to his characters. One of the best novels of the 00's. He should be getting the praise that Franzen gets.
I really enjoy Tom P's books. He is so good at describing a good number of people in one book. Almost everyone who showed up in the book, even they only got few lines of description from Tom P, they were alive!
eg, the mother of the convicted child molester: I am so moved for her unconditional motherly love. eg, Her relationship with another mother of criminal son:I have never thought about their world but it is been writen so convincingly
It is the best of Tom P, I regret that i watched the movie first. the movie is very good though.
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