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.
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 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 :]
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!))
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!!!