Book Reviews of Little Children

Little Children
Little Children
Author: Tom Perrotta
ISBN-13: 9780945933243
ISBN-10: 094593324X
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 355
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 44

3.6 stars, based on 44 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

127 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Little Children on
Helpful Score: 10
I picked this up at the bookstore in 2006 having heard nothing about it and having no preconceptions. I am so glad that I did because it was a fantastic novel. I was hooked from the beginning of the book. The plot line, involving several characters, continued to be fascinating throughout.

I saw the "Little Children" movie recently and the movie came close to living up to the quality of the book, which is very rare.

I highly recommend this book by Tom Perrotta.
reviewed Little Children on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
riveting; interesting and pathetic and comical characters; multi-layered plot; sad commentary on parenthood, careers, sacrifice, unfulfilled dreams; the realization of past greatness confronting the present mediocrity of life. A fast read.
reviewed Little Children on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I just finished this book and I absolutely LOVED it. It was gripping and got me interested in the first 5 pages, and then I couldn't put it down. At first I was a little dissapointed about the ending because it was so vague & ambigous and the more I think about it the more I come to appreciate it. I think if the author clarified anymore it would have ruined the whole feel of the book. Basically, this is a must read :]
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Helpful Score: 7
I really enjoyed this book, and wasn't surprised to find out it was by the author of Election (which also became a movie). It's dark, a little bit wry, but gripping and compassionate. I enjoy books with lots of people that with interwoven storylines and this definitely satisfied me as a reader.
reviewed Little Children on
Helpful Score: 4
Loaded with unlikeable, self absorbed characters I was unable to emotionally connect with Sarah and Todd...and because of this, I didn't particularly care about their romance or how it would ultimately turn out. Many professional critics dubbed this book laugh out loud funny...but I found it to be overall quite dull and at best mildly amusing in parts. The book is a very interesting look at the lives of several people in the middle of a mid life crisis before mid life. (if that makes a whit of sense). I can definatley see where I would have related to this book more if I had similar life experiences...much as Sarah's views on Madame Bovary change after reading it again later in life. If I'm ever unfortunate enough to be in a position in my life similar to Sarah's...perhaps I will return to Little Children with a fresh set of eyes.
reviewed Little Children on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is alternately funny, disturbing, uplifting, and depressing. I spent a lot of the book wondering what I was supposed to think about it.

The plot focuses mostly on Todd and Sarah, married (not to each other) stay-at-home parents in suburbia. They begin an affair after meeting one day at their neighborhood playground. Tom Perrotta has a gift for bringing secondary characters to life, so we also become well-acquainted with Todd and Sarah's spouses, neighborhood friends and enemies, and the child molester who has recently moved to town.

This book was made into an excellent movie in 2006, an adaptation quite faithful to the book.
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Helpful Score: 3
This book was a good read. It was entertaining, funny, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
reviewed Little Children on
Helpful Score: 2
This is a truly wonderful book! I hadn't been able to finish a novel in a while, but I found myself unable to pull away. Perrotta's sensitive insight into the minds and personalities of all his characters, even the less-than-stellar ones was beautiful. The plot is well devised, Perrotta handles some taboo subjects without going into great detail, but definitely not leaving anything out. The book is suspenseful, touching, and unlike anything I'd read before. I definitely recommend to anyone who likes genres about real life, or dramatic novels. While my favorite genre's are normally horror and crime novels, I give this one an honest 5 stars.
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Helpful Score: 2
The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading it. It was really the characterization that caused me to dislike the book. Every character had a whiny inner monolog about their sex life. It was pathetic.
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Helpful Score: 2
Read the book before you see the movie. They're both good, but the book, as usual, is better. A satirical look at suburbia.
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Helpful Score: 2
I saw the film before reading the book, and for the first time that I can remember, I liked it better than the novel. That's not to say the book isn't good - it's quite good. A very good read.
reviewed Little Children on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I only recently read it after watching the film adaptation again (I love the movie, by the way). I wanted to read this non-stop, it felt very real to me. I felt like the characters were people that I could really know, the situations they found themselves in felt like something a friend could be going through. I felt sad for the two main characters, Sarah and Todd. They were both so lonely and were "stuck" at this point in their lives. I didn't agree with everything that they did, the choices they made throughout, but I did understand them. I did think the Ronnie character was not too well developed, I felt like there wasn't much to him and wasn't 100% sure his story was relevant to everything else going on. In this film adaptation, I found myself feeling badly for Ronnie, but his character is a lot different in the book. Also, I was somewhat disappointed with the ending of the book. I felt like the author had just decided to abruptly end the book and kind of pulled it out of thin air. Don't get me wrong, I did very much enjoy this book, I just thought it had some weak spots. All in all, I do recommend this book. It is raw and definitely is not for everyone.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was a perfectly trashy-type novel for me to esacpe from my life into. Thank you, Tom Perrotta! Absolutely great, concise writing, extremely image-oriented. Well-built story. Perfect time-out. Salacious. I didn't want to put it down. Read it!
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Helpful Score: 2
This book was well-written. That being said, I thought it was creepy and nasty. None of the characters held my interest or my sympathy for very long, and I ended up not finishing it. I found nothing redeeming or of lasting value in what I did read - just a well-written piece of trash.
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Helpful Score: 1
I saw the movie, then decided to read the book. Although they both followed eachother very well, I found that I like the ending better in the movie than the book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting group of characters and the book was written so you could see everything from all of their points of view. I highly recommend it!
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Helpful Score: 1
Good book!!! I couldn't put it down. I also watched the movie after I read the book. Book is way better as always!
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Helpful Score: 1
I can't say that I despised this book or its characters, because there are certainly books I've read which I've felt worse about. However, I had a lot of difficulty getting through it. All of the characters seemed completely miserable in their lives, and that's just something that I've never been able to stand to read about.

I read this for a book group, and after going to the meeting, felt a little bit better about it, but not by much. There were some nuances which I had not considered, but overall, I still didn't like it.

Additionally, this book is completely miscategorized (which may or may not be a word) under "Gay and Lesbian". One of the characters once had a same-sex relationship years ago, during college, and it was barely mentioned. I'm not saying I was expecting lurid sex scenes or anything, but I was expecting something more than what was present.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is one of those novels you just can't put down. The writing is skillful and the characters true to life.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book, and now want to see the movie! The characters are interesting, everyone is flawed in their own way, which made the book full of color and texture- there were no clear heros in the book, just a bunch of people that made mistakes in married life, parenthood, and other 'bad life choices'. It was a quick read, and i found myself looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next to the people in the story, which to me is a sign of a great book. I like Tom Perrotta's writing style, it is hip, current and entertaining.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was written really basic and without a lot of skill. Kind of boring. The different chapters were either preditable or really far fetched.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was a really good book - from the moment I received it in the mail, I had to keep reading it. Highly suggested!!
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Perrotta provides an intersting look at modern suburbia, stay-at-home parents, and marraiges. I can't wait to read more of his books!
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Helpful Score: 1
Very readable and funny--typical Perrotta.
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Helpful Score: 1
Be sure to read this and see the movie.
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Helpful Score: 1
I had a hard time getting into the book at the beginning, but by the end I had a hard time putting it down. A great book!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book inspired me to start a bookclub. There were so many important themes and issues in the text that I needed to be able to discuss it with my friends. My husband read it also- and he never reads my books. The movie is wonderful as well, but it holds not a candle to the book! Must read!
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Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was a great book. I was pleasantly surprised - I could not put it down. The author used unfiltered thought processes to develop his characters so well, that even if you believed that the character was nothing like you, you could still relate to what they were going through with similar emotions. They seemed real - you got in their heads. He even got the female thought processes on target and gave me insights on how a male thinks. Even if you do not think you would like the story, you should check out his writing style when you get an opportunity.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this...sometimes funny, sometimes sad, entertaining book about suburbia.
reviewed Little Children on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. And loved the movie even more.
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Helpful Score: 1
Excellent novel! This book was recently selected for my book club and everyone in the group absolutely loved it. Being a person in my early 30's, I related to the issues that many of the characters were dealing with and found myself looking inward and getting analytical. This book tells a great story, gets you to think, enlightens, and entertains. 5 stars!
reviewed Little Children on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was o.k. IT is About 2 people that are unhappy in their marriage. Who isn't at one time or an other? I would not highly recommend it. It was a book to read. In a few weeks I will probably forget all about it.
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Helpful Score: 1
A good fast read. Interesting character studies.
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Helpful Score: 1
I thought "Little Children" was an above-average read about interesting characters with real, but humorous, wants and needs.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but once I got into it - I couldn't stop reading it...
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Helpful Score: 1
An addicting read, I couldn't put it down. It's really a good writer who can take an entire cast of unlikeable, self-absorbed, seriously flawed, sociopathic, destructive, utterly despicable people and somehow get you to become drawn into their personal stories. What a bunch of losers this book details, yet the details and the stories are amazingly absorbing, believable, weird and scandalous. The "Little Children" are nothing to the main characters other than obstacles, excuses, pawns, and victims. You'll hate nearly every adult character in the book (or maybe all of them), yet you can't wait to find out what they do next. Icky and infuriating but a great read, I recommend it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Great book - easy read. Good book club discussion
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Helpful Score: 1
I really liked reading this book. It's a great suburbia satire...
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Helpful Score: 1
a fun read.
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There is a A LOT of explicit sexual encounters in this book. It got to be a bit much for my taste.
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I listened to this book on CD which helped me get through some parts I would have hated to read. Parallel reading experience: I listed to this at the same time I was reading "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and I found myself focused on MCGorvey's mother who also was faced with being blamed for the actions of her son whom she loved but couldn't understand or control. I know the author wanted me to focus on the adulterous parents, but for me the book was all about Mrs. McGorvey.
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I really liked this book. The ending was good, too.
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I liked this book - harmless fun in a "Desperate Housewives" kind of way. Didn't take long at all to finish it - great beach book.
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i enjoyed the book very much!! great read but i wish it had a better ending!
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Perrotta gives you real characters who are memorable and their lives in disarray. A great modern novel.
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An absorbing, fleshed-out portrait of an American male edging toward adulthood by crossing seemingly rigid social boundaries.
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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.

GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldnt put it down!!!!!!!! youll love it
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Very different.
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From Publishers Weekly
The characters in this intelligent, absorbing tale of suburban angst are constrained and defined by their relationship to children. There's Sarah, an erstwhile bisexual feminist who finds herself an unhappy mother and wife to a branding consultant addicted to Internet porn. There's Todd, a handsome ex-jock and stay-at-home dad known to neighborhood housewives as the Prom King, who finds in house-husbandry and reveries about his teenage glory days a comforting alternative to his wife's demands that he pass the bar and get on with a law career. There's Mary Ann, an uptight supermom who schedules sex with her husband every Tuesday at nine and already has her well-drilled four-year-old on the inside track to Harvard. And there's Ronnie, a pedophile whose return from prison throws the school district into an uproar, and his mother, May, who still harbors hopes that her son will turn out well after all. In the midst of this universe of mild to fulminating family dysfunction, Sarah and Todd drift into an affair that recaptures the passion of adolescence, that fleeting liminal period of freedom and possibility between the dutiful rigidities of childhood and parenthood. Perrotta (Election; Joe College; etc.) views his characters with a funny, acute and sympathetic eye, using the well-observed antics of preschoolers as a telling backdrop to their parents' botched transitions into adulthood. Once again, he proves himself an expert at exploring the roiling psychological depths beneath the placid surface of suburbia.
reviewed Little Children on + 9 more book reviews
The book was pretty good the movie sucks. So if you saw the movie get the book it is much better. Not to ruin it but even the ending is different the movie...I liked the book, didn't LOVE it but I enjoyed the book and it was a fast read for me. Some moments were a little slow but over all i would suggest it.
reviewed Little Children on
It was a good read; slow at first but got really good towards the end.
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A wonderful setup with a really frustrating and not-quite believable ending.
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Very good read - can't wait to see the movie.
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Not at all up to the hype, tho funny at times.
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Perhaps I relate too well to these characters. Perrotta's treatise on suburban angst is almost painful. Some characters are a bit two-dimensional for my taste, but most are well drawn and the story rings true. The author's use of Madame Bovary didn't strike me as nearly as effective as Cathleen Schine's in She Is Me, but I guess that makes me a bit petty. Humor, some satirical, throughout makes this an enjoyable read.
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I loved this book! It's interesting, intelligent, sexy and fun.
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not one i would recommend
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Great summer read.
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I really enjoy this book. This was my first Tom Perrotta book, but it won't be my last!
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First book by Tom Perrotta that I have ever read and it was wonderful! I stayed up late to finish it and loved the story!!!
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I enjoyed this book from start to finish. It was a very entertaining read. You really got to know all the different characters involved. I was hoping for the fairytale ending, but instead it was more realistic of what would happen in the real world. Overall, I am glad I read this book. It was good.
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I loved this book. As a former neglected stay at home mother I related well to the characters. But I think even without that I would've still enjoyed it. It was a very quick read.
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easy read
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Pretty good story. The author is a man, and his descriptions of women's feelings isn't authentic, though.
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I was looking forward to listening to this but it got off to a very slow start and I didn't like the narrator's voice. Got great reviews, though...someone else might enjoy it.
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Several thirty-ish parents who frequent the same playground all have different backgrounds, but live their lives in a world where nothing seems to happen. That is, until one fateful summer when a child molester moves into the neighborhood and two parents begin an affair.
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This is the first book I've read by this author and I loved it - couldn't put it down. It's not that it was a fast paced book or really exciting, but I got involved with the characters and wanted to see what happened. Didn't really like that end but thats how it goes sometimes!
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Ok reading, didn't turn out as I expected.
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Great book-a real surprise!!!
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incredible
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Very good book!!!
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Tom Perrotta has a rare gift in describing the mundane as sublime. In his world of everyday people, every man (and woman) IS an island, castaways in their own heads and isolated emotionally from those around them. I came to read Little Children after first coming across his newer book The Abstinence Teacher; both are wonderful portrayals of being mid-30 or mid-50 and still needing / craving intimacy despite leading a full and whirlwind life in the modern world.
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In a novel that is definitely not for or about children, Perrotta reveals the dark and private sides of suburban yuppie parents raising small children. This novel is addictive and easy to devour. Everyone in here is tied together by the little children--we have a stay-at-home-dad, a power woman who wishes she could stay home with her children, a stay-at-home-mom, and a child molester who is being hunted down by a local vigilante dad. Recounting the plot isn't necessary (you'll get some extramarital affairs, online porn addictions, frustrations with careers, vigilante justice, male bonding, female gossip circles, and more), but suffice it to say that once you get involved with these characters, you'll want to see more. Perrotta does an excellent job with the resolution of the novel, too, in one final scene that brings everything to a head and sets the characters on their new, changed courses.
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Probably my most favorite of his. Excellent movie as well.
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30ish parents of young children would love this book..follows the lives of friends and their children..fun read and a good set of charcters in the book..engrossing and compassionate
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Seemed to be like a "Desperate Housewives" type book. It follows the marriage struggles of several thirtyish aged parents.
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One of my favorite books. I just didn't want to stop reading it. Everything that was going on. I loved the drama. I hated that the book ended I wanted to read more.
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Interesting study in today's world, especially regarding a very extreme social problem.
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This was an interesting book. The character development is okay, the story is not terribly unique, but it still kept me reading. I'd give this a lukewarm to pretty okay rating!
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An interesting read about the shadows of suburban life and how different people react to different situations. Definitely not your normal Sunday read but still very interesting.
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A little strange, but intriguing
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From Publishers Weekly
The characters in this intelligent, absorbing tale of suburban angst are constrained and defined by their relationship to children. There's Sarah, an erstwhile bisexual feminist who finds herself an unhappy mother and wife to a branding consultant addicted to Internet porn. There's Todd, a handsome ex-jock and stay-at-home dad known to neighborhood housewives as the Prom King, who finds in house-husbandry and reveries about his teenage glory days a comforting alternative to his wife's demands that he pass the bar and get on with a law career. There's Mary Ann, an uptight supermom who schedules sex with her husband every Tuesday at nine and already has her well-drilled four-year-old on the inside track to Harvard. And there's Ronnie, a pedophile whose return from prison throws the school district into an uproar, and his mother, May, who still harbors hopes that her son will turn out well after all. In the midst of this universe of mild to fulminating family dysfunction, Sarah and Todd drift into an affair that recaptures the passion of adolescence, that fleeting liminal period of freedom and possibility between the dutiful rigidities of childhood and parenthood. Perrotta (Election; Joe College; etc.) views his characters with a funny, acute and sympathetic eye, using the well-observed antics of preschoolers as a telling backdrop to their parents' botched transitions into adulthood. Once again, he proves himself an expert at exploring the roiling psychological depths beneath the placid surface of suburbia.
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I enjoyed this somewhat offbeat book.
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This is a story of two couples and how their lives intertwine during one summer. It is about a stay at home dad and a stay at home mom and how their affair effects their families. Overall a good read, but some awkward material.
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An excellent novel for any mother who envisions that "everyone else" is doing it right but her. Very humorous and witty.
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The thirtyish parents' lives are a little boring, but the shocking part about the child molester makes it more interesting.
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The novel is, in short, about a bunch of thirty-something parents, none of whom are happy in their marriages, but who are all sticking it out for one reason or another. Two of the characters begin an affair, filling a void for each other that was sorely needed to be filled. There really are three or four separate stories or lives in here that all intertwine in some way, and it all comes together, literally and figuratively at the end.

And I was with them right until the ending. And then out of left field, the deux es machina to end all, the random revelations and self-realizations that just suck away any hope I had for an ending that made sense.
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A fun, quick read.
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Wow! This is one of the best books i've read this year. It's funny, moving and oddly compassionate.
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Suburban angst played out during one summer outside of Boston. Todd and Sarah, an unlike pair, become friends and then lovers after a chance meeting at a neighborhood playground. Other neighborhood characters play small roles in the overall story. Easy read, a little deeper than a Harlequin romance, but overall lacking substance.
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A solid story. Well written.
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Funny but sad, a story of restless stay-at-homes and how they cope.
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Really good book, I will look for more by Tom Perrotta.
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very good book
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Loved this book.
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Good book
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Engaging characters! Very well written. Loved it!
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Kind of like watching Jerry Springer but not really owning up to watching it.....lol

Good book - excellently written
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I thought this book was excellent and had a hard time putting it down. A great story!
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Read in one sitting. Suburbia is sure to see itself in the characters.
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Very good book - engaging ... about the plight of the suburbanites.
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Enjoyed the book. Didn't love the main character, but it was interesting to watch how she changes in the book.
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Wonderful, suspenseful, has to be better than the movie!
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This is a chilling mystery!
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Loved it!!
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It was very easy to read and enjoy this book.
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This is a great book -- I loved it!
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I really enjoyed this book. It is very entertaining.
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Good book, would recommend.
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Awesome book. I loved the characters.
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Now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet. A story of thirty-ish parents of young children who all raise their kids in the kind of quiet suburb where nothing ever seems to happen until one eventful summer when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could ever have imagined.
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This book changed my life.
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A community of families in surburbia with seemily humdrum lives but feelings and desires seem to always come out and make this community different with its characters.
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Not one of my favorites. More depressing than entertaining with characters that did not gain my sympathy or empathy for the choices they made.
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Little Children takes us into the lives of a group of 30-something parents who all have young children. They live in a sleepy suburban neighborhood. One summer, a convicted child molester moves into the neighborhood and two parents start up an affair. And (as they say) "there goes the neighborhood."

Perrotta is a master of pacing and I love the stories he tells. He slows it down just enough to make it suspenseful without without boring the reader. I will say that the most difficult parts to read dealt with the convicted child molester, I'm a parent of little children myself and I cringed whenever it was his turn in the book. (Perrotta does the storytelling from varying viewpoints in this book). Though I think I had more disdain for the husband who was really into his internet porno fantasy world and the retired cop.

Yes, yes, we know that Perrotta is calling the book 'Little Children' because the parents are all acting like little children. But the characaters he's created are so real and (maybe overly) flawed that it's hard to not believe what they believe while still knowing it's not what it seems - for any of them. But they continue to kid themselves and to deny what we can all see. Or maybe they can see it too.
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This book started off fantastic in the way that it was written but it lost me. The ending was horrible in my opinion; with the biggest revelation of Sarah, the main character, not happening until the last three or so pages. The upcoming movie makes the story look much more interesting that it is in my opinion. ((I'll still totally see it though, huge Kate Winslet fan!))
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The New York Times Bestselling Novel by the Author of Joe College and Election. Little Children is now a major motion picture.
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This book was surprisingly good.
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Sarah is a lapsed feminist, suddenly playing SAHM to a three-year-old daughter and a much-older husband who suddenly seems to be spending an awful lot of time at his computer. Todd is a SAHD, postponing yet another shot at the bar exam. When they meet, their worlds begin to shift in ways they can neither predict nor control.
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Suspensful, tender and funny. A fast read.
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I found this to be a quick read as I managed to get through this book in less then 2 days. I found it to be an intriguing read.
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About a stay at home dad who is the "prom king" at the playground with all the stay at home moms. A little slow at the beginning but worth sticking with.
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At times it was a struggle to get through this book. I did enjoy the ending though.
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I wasn't too sure about this book in the beginning. But, it grew on me. I missed the funny parts though. I thought it was kind of dark , but still held my interest.
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NY Times Bestseller
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Haven't read; received by mistake from book club. *sigh*
reviewed Little Children on + 132 more book reviews
This one wasn't for me. Thought it was pure smut. Is this what people want to read? Where is the author's mind? This could have been a good read, without all the trash talk & some of the ugly topics. Guess I am an exception, but I'd stay away from novels like this, therefore I want it off my bookshelf. Recommend it to my book club? Not on your life! What's happened to the morals of our litary world!!!