Little Children

Little Children

Book - 2004
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Tom Perrotta's thirty-ish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "The Prom King" by the moms of the playground; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual past, who seems to have stumbled into a traditional marriage; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has found himself more and more involved with a fantasy life on the internet than with the flesh and blood in his own house; and Mary Ann, who thinks she has it all figured out, down to scheduling a weekly roll in the hay with her husband, every Tuesday at 9pm.

They all raise their kids in the kind of sleepy American suburb where nothing ever seems to happen-at least until one eventful summer, when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two restless parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could have imagined. Unexpectedly suspenseful, but written with all the fluency and dark humor of Perrotta's previous novels, Little Children exposes the adult dramas unfolding amidst the swingsets and slides of an ordinary American playground.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2004
ISBN: 9780312315733
Branch Call Number: PERRO
Characteristics: 355 p

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lukasevansherman
Dec 15, 2013

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.

s
samsea
Oct 18, 2009

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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