From Page to Screen (77) The Leftovers

This week on From Page to Screen I'll be tackling The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.

First Let's Discuss The Book
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. The Leftovers is a book written by Author Tom Perotta and was published August 30, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. The Leftovers  chronicles life on earth after a rapture-like event that takes some and leaves others behind. The story is told episodically, revolving around the four members of the Garvey family, who have each begun an unlikely relationship following the event.

Let's take a look at some of the characters now

Kevin Garvey – The patriarch of the Garvey family, Kevin is a prominent local business man enjoying early retirement during the event. Afterwards, he is compelled to run for mayor of Mapleton to replace the psychologically compromised incumbent. Kevin stresses the importance of returning to normality as a way for the survivors to cope through initiatives like survivor’s mixers and adult recreation leagues. The other major policy of his tenure in office is an effort to ease tension between the town and the Guilty Remnant, an ascetic religious group that aims to provoke people into remembering the losses of the event and how meaningless life is.

Laurie Garvey – Kevin’s wife. Laurie is a new recruit in the Guilty Remnant, a religious groups that are mute, wear all white, must always smoke in public, and stage silent confrontations with the people of Mapleton.

Jill Garvey - Kevin and Laurie’s daughter, a senior in high school who was smart and hardworking but is struggling in the post-rapture world, especially since her mother left the house to join the Guilty Remnant.

Tom Garvey - The older of the two Garvey children, Tom is in college during the event. He returns home after all the schools shut down in the aftermath and drinks every night at the local bar, sharing news that trickles back of who had been taken. When school resumes Tom joins a fraternity which somewhat deifies one of their disappeared brothers.  Bored with school and the fraternity, Tom joins a New Age movement in which a man claims he can absorb the pain of others through hugs. Tom becomes wholly invested in the movement and climbs in the ranks, moving all over the country and cutting off almost all contact with his family.

Now let's discuss the Show
In case some of you aren't familiar with the film, here is a bit of back story. The Leftovers is a American TV Drama created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta . The 10 episode series premiered on HBO in July 2014 and was renewed for a second season less than a month later.

Major Differences Between The Book & Show
Kevin Garvey is a business man.
Kevin Garvey is Chief of Police.
The Guilty Remnant orders Laurie to divorce Kevin so she may donate her half of the money to the cause.
Laurie decides to do this on her own.
During Christmas Jill gives Laurie a Bic lighter with the words "Don't Forget Me" written in sharpie on it.
Jill gives Laurie an engraved lighter with the words "Don't Forget Me" on it. 
Laurie throws the lighter down a drain after using it one time. She does not return for it.
Laurie throws the lighter down a drain and secretly returns to retrieve it. 
Laurie may speak to her companion Meg at night to assess how she is feeling. 
Laurie is never allowed to speak.
This doesn't happen. 
The Guilty Remnant buy Father Matt's chruch.
Kevin Garvey becomes Mayor.
The Mayor is a woman named Lucy Warburton.
At the 3 year memorial parade for the departed,
The Guilty Remnant held up signs telling the people not to waste their breath. Then they left unharmed..
When the Guilty Remnant arrive to peacefully protest the parade, the townspeople attack them. 
Jill loses her virginity during a game of spin the bottle..
Jill plays a game similar to spin the bottle with a phone that suggests an activity with an app. She then chokes a guy while he masturbates.. 
Holy Wayne is arrested during a peaceful raid after being exposed by his 6th wife Anna during an episode of 60 minutes.
Holy Wayne escapes the raid on his compound. No reason if given for it.
Father Matt and Nora aren't related. 
Father Matt and Nora are siblings.
Does not exist.
Kevin's Father was the former Chief of Police but is left institutionalized after losing his sanity.

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Since I actually didn't know a book existed until well after starting the show, I'm honestly not sure if I've missed some. Anytime a book is serialized you're bound to find significant changes in content to keep the old flow of information going longer than intended. Which do I prefer? The Show hands down. It's not just the acting, it's the stories. We get to see so much more of how the departure has affected everyone and while the focus is still mainly on the family it is nice seeing more of the townspeople and outside world. Due to the novels episodic format it really works as a TV show, although I'm not quite sure how they will stretch the books plot over two seasons.....this ain't no Walking Dead with 100's of comic issues to pull from. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the show? 
Which did you like better? Why? 
What is your favorite quote or scene from The Leftovers?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!


  1. I didn't realize until recently that the tv show was based on a book. I've only seen a few episodes and I can't really get int it. Maybe if I read the book first. Hmmmm

    Karen @ For What It's Worth


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