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Little Children (2004)

de Tom Perrotta

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,3541073,160 (3.64)66
Unhappily married Sarah passes her days at the local playground with her three-year-old daughter. When happily unemployed Todd (also married) and Sarah meet, their attraction is immediate. They begin a passionate affair just as their suburban utopia is rattled by the arrival of registered sex offender Ronald James McGorvey. With McGorvey in town, disgusted parents wonder if any of their little children will be safe.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 107 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I normally don't pick up books like this--something that may sooner or later be found in the bins of genre fiction that no one in a hundred years will look back and say, "That book really did shape different thoughts--" but I gave Little Children the benefit of the doubt. From the get go, I was discouraged because of the Reading Group Guide at the back of the book. I could only picture housewives and forced husbands sitting around in a circle chatting up a storm, dissecting the book in every way possible. This is not the book for me, but I had wanted to read since I saw the soft cover a few years back. It wasn't until the movie came out that I remembered about it. So I picked up and read it.

I can't believe how wrong I have been by judging the book by the "genre."

I love Tom Perrotta's voice, making him quite possibly the first writer who still breathes to capture my attention.

The title itself seems a little shady Little Children can mean anything. From first glance, it's about a story of parents in their early thirties with---you guessed it, little children. But then there's the mindsets of all these people: Mary Ann, who has to have everything clockwork--even sex!!!!; Sarah, a decayed feminist who finds herself being the typical housewife; Kathy, the artist who is working on a documentary while her husband, Todd, is a stay-at-home-dad; Richard, Sarah's husband, gets lost inside every teenaged-boy's fantasy of internet porn; and Todd, the SAHD, who refuses to grow up. Couple them with a few other supporting characters, and you have the residents of Bellington.

But enter Ronnie McGorvey, a convicted child molester and suspected child murderer. As if the symbol of innocence lost, his presence changes the atmosphere of the peaceful town.

Sarah and Todd finds themselves in the arms of an affair; Richard decides to live up to his sexual dreams; Kathy hides behind her mother as the impending doom hangs over her head. Each of them will slowly realized that they will have to, sooner rather than later, have to put behind the childish fantasies of the perfect life, and grow up.

( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
Strong characters in this novel. However, I really did not like how it ended. Just abruptly. ( )
  Smits | Sep 25, 2021 |
It's probably not the book's fault. I just finished up another existentially depressing treatise on modern life, so this wasn't a great chaser (not that i knew that at the time, of course).

But man, what bleakness.

Little Children is the story of how nobody is really happy or in control, and trying to change it only makes things worse. There are brief, fleeting moments of happiness that collapse into ever-lengthening echoes of despair the minute you start to time them. Also, the story of a registered sex offender (and accused-but-not-actually-convicted child murderer!) plays a big role.
So I feel somewhat justified.

I can appreciate the argument that the novel is only trying to represent "reality," and I will concede the plotting is at least probable, if not super likely. But this is where my "two books where the predominant theme is people are terrible in a row" thing kicks in. I understand (and subscribe to!) the idea that people, in general, are kind of terrible. Individual persons, though, tend to be less so.

Every character in Little Children feels like a consolidation of the worst traits of humanity distilled into an individual, which (in my experience) is precisely opposite of how it works. People as a whole are scumbags; Your neighbor probably isn't too bad. Though we like to joke that hipsters and suburbanites are terrible people, for the most part they're just mildly annoying when they congregate and generally tolerable on their own, short of fashion sense. Perhaps there's some sort of assholic magnet that drew those people together, or maybe it was something in the water. Regardless, you don't see that kind of bitterness and poison among a group of people outside of that ABC show The Slap, which I don't think anyone is confusing for reality anytime soon.

Which is not to say this was a bad book! Merely depressing. Just make sure you're ready going into it. ( )
  kaitwallas | May 21, 2021 |
this grabbed me right away with the good writing. it's not quite as in-depth a character study as i'd like, but it is still character heavy with a lot of introspection and good writing. plus, it could qualify as my favorite sub-genre (suburban malaise), so i was bound to like it.

i found that i didn't care much for any of the characters or their motivations, but i still thought this was great. todd's character arc, in particular, with his watching the teen skateboarders when he was supposed to be studying for the bar exam, to his reclaiming of his past glory as a quarterback, was interesting to read. i do wish he'd gone a little more in depth into larry and his shooting of the young black kid, although in 2004 i guess white people weren't thinking about that nearly as much as we are now.

this is my first tom perrotta and while i generally prefer to read women writers, i'm excited to read more by him.

"With that, the dam broke, and she burst into piteous tears, a desolate animal wailing that even made the other kids turn and look, as if realizing they were in the presence of a virtuoso and might be able to pick up a few pointers." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 31, 2021 |
I love Tom Perrotta's books. He takes perfectly believable people living perfectly believable lives and makes them cross paths in breath-taking ways. Impossible to put down. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 107 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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"I have a lover! I have a lover!" she kept repeating to herself, reveling in the thought as though she were beginning a second puberty.
--Flaubert, Madame Bovary
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In memory of my father, Joe Perrotta
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The young mothers were telling each other how tired they were.
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Not everything is God's will. If your VCR's broken, you don't take it to a priest. You take it to the VCR guy.
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Unhappily married Sarah passes her days at the local playground with her three-year-old daughter. When happily unemployed Todd (also married) and Sarah meet, their attraction is immediate. They begin a passionate affair just as their suburban utopia is rattled by the arrival of registered sex offender Ronald James McGorvey. With McGorvey in town, disgusted parents wonder if any of their little children will be safe.

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Mitjana: (3.64)
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