A group of parents, trapped in middle-class stability, deal with marriage, kids and their suburban life in very different ways...There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home-dad - the one the other mothers admire in a silent look-but-do-not-touch fashion. He's trying (for his wife's sake) to pass his bar exam although he blatantly doesn't want to be a ...
A group of parents, trapped in middle-class stability, deal with marriage, kids and their suburban life in very different ways...There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home-dad - the one the other mothers admire in a silent look-but-do-not-touch fashion. He's trying (for his wife's sake) to pass his bar exam although he blatantly doesn't want to be a lawyer, and in a desperate attempt to reclaim his youth joins a midnight touch-football team...and starts a passionate affair with Sarah. Sarah is a lapsed feminist who isn't quite sure how she ended up being a traditional wife. She's the kind of mother who (shock horror) is capable of forgetting her daughter's snack, and in a moment's rebellion dares to kiss Todd in front of the mother's group. And let's not forget Sarah's husband, Richard, a successful businessman who develops an obsession for internet exhibitionist Slutty Kay, and consequently spends more time on-line than with his own wife and daughter. A brilliantly perceptive novel and now box-office smash, "Little Children" is a unique mix of the comical and the compassionate - this is the Top 10 bestseller everyone is talking about.
I liked the movie. It was clever, amusing, and touching. Bought the book after I found out that the movie was made after it. I'm glad I did. As often is the case - the book is better than the movie, in all aspects - and the plot, though quite close, is not identical to that of the movie. Easy to read, clever, funny, sexy. Worth every penny of the $ 2 it costs.
Mar 19, 2008
I've heard this book described in many places as a comedy, and while there are elements of the absurd at work in "Little Children," I think it would be misleading to label it this way. The comedy here is of small, human inanities. Most people's lives are a variation on a basic tragi-comedy theme, and this is what Perrotta portrays, albeit with heightened circumstances that many people will not encounter, at least not all at the same time. This novel defies "aboutness." I suppose it's "about" an affair between two married parents, and "about" a community's reaction to the presence of a pedophile in their neighborhood, but really the book is more than that. It's about the failure of many contemporary adults to actually become adults. In our "advanced" times, with our freedom to choose a spouses, academic paths, and whether or not to have kids, we've come to expect fulfillment in every area of our life. Whoops. Looks like having options or having no options has very little to do with long term happiness or fulfillment. Perrotta is gentle but absolute in highlighting the absurdity of our expectations.
Aug 22, 2007
Little Children was a fun read. It was funny and sad all tied up together in one easy to read bundle. The ending seemed a little awkward to me, but with an finishing line like this book has, I'd definantly say it's worth it. The best way I can describe the book is beautiful tragedy.
May 10, 2007
We are all little children.
This book falls more into the "character-driven" category rather than "plot-driven," and folks who need a hard, tight plot might get frustrated. But it's there. The loose structure focuses on a very suburban neighborhood, and how various individuals react when a child molester moves in. To say that this is the dominant thread is incorrect, however - one mother begins an affair by jokingly kissing a strange man in a park and finding instant chemistry; another person is addicted to Internet porn, while another mother schedules sex with her husband for 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. The little children are, of course, not the three and four year olds that dominate all of their lives and thoughts (well, almost all their thoughts), but the parents themselves. They act childishly, they have hierarchies in their friendships that mimic the playground, and leave bags of burning dog poop on front porches as an act of spite.
The book is often very funny, at times acutely sad, and most importantly, it's true.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-12-08 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. East Coast author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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