Personally, I can’t think of a better representation of suburban malaise than those goldfish

Tom Perrotta’s Little Children was issued in March with cover art featuring two Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers. Because one of the novel’s characters is a child molester, Pepperidge Farm made a big stink about the usage. Now the fish are being replaced with chocolate chip cookies baked by an associate director at St. Martin’s herself. (Via TMFTML; The Literary Saloon has more information.)

So, if you’re into book collecting (I’m not; there’s no point; books fall apart when I touch them) and are a Perrotta fan, order a copy with the original cover art.

I still haven’t cracked the spine of Little Children, although it’s been sitting in the stack nearest my bed since March. I would’ve picked it up anyway, but I ordered it on the strength of Chris Lehmann’s review for Book World. Lehmann said that with this latest novel the Election author has “stumbled into full-fledged literary adulthood”:

as [the book] ends, you’re no longer in the genial and ironic storytelling hands of a Nick Hornby — to whom Perrotta is often compared — but in an altogether more uncomfortable and finally post-adolescent world, pointing up “the unpredictability of life, the impossibility of knowing or controlling your own feelings,” as one character muses. “You go to sleep happy, you wake up sad. You have no idea why, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Tom Perrotta is, indeed, all grown up now, and “Little Children” is a greatly auspicious and instructive encounter with the dread world of maturity.


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