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Revolutionary Road Paperback – April 25, 2000
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The Eagle Tree
A young boy must fight to protect what he loves, but can he do it without risking his family?Learn More
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Yates's incisive, moving, and often very funny prose weaves a tale that is at once a fascinating period piece and a prescient anticipation of the way we live now. Many of the cultural motifs seem quaintly dated--the early-evening cocktails, Frank's illicit lunch breaks with his secretary, the way Frank isn't averse to knocking April around when she speaks out of turn--and yet the quiet desperation at thwarted dreams reverberates as much now as it did years ago. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, this novel conveys, with brilliant erudition, the exacting cost of chasing the American dream. --Jane Morris, Amazon.co.uk
From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Influencing a generation of writers, Richard Yates is known for his novels of loneliness and quiet brutality. Visit Amazon's Richard Yates Page.
Top Customer Reviews
The choice of target is also a little unfair: first, hypocrisy and small-mindedness are not localized in the suburbs to the extent that authors and filmmakers seem to think. If a writer deliberately populates his story with caricatured materialistic bourgeois, then he shouldn't expect it to be a legitimate criticism of the age. In any case, if an audience can separate themselves too easily from the people being described, the book has no sting - like American Beauty had no sting. A real work of art should hurt a little.
But Revolutionary Road was not what I expected from the reviews. Yates knows all of the pitfalls of the standard send-up of the middle class: the main characters in his story are not the usual suburban types, but people who consider themselves better than the dull people in their neighborhood; they mock the people that we, as readers, are so used to mocking, and become our surrogates.
The real theme of this book is much deeper, and it transcends the era and even the plot of the book: what do people do when they are intelligent and spirited enough not to be satisfied with the conformity and blandness of their surroundings, but lack the drive to ever escape mediocrity, because they are, fundamentally, much more a part of their environment than they imagine?Read more ›
Frank and April Wheeler look forward to things: a part in a little theater play, a move to Paris, an affair, a promotion. It would seem, though, that for them happiness is only in the anticipation of events. The story's participants also are deeply into playing roles with their spouses, their co-workers, their friends, and above all with themselves. There is no one in this book that you want to identify with. Why? Is it because they are poor, hopelessly lost dullards, or is it because they represent us in too many unpleasant ways? It's a sad story, but one that makes you think about your own life, and the ultimate value of what you have accomplished. While some of our culture has changed since this book was written (we no longer sit in hospital waiting rooms smoking cigarettes), its theme is as modern as can be.
Without Yates there is no Raymond Carver; he was the natural heir to Fitzgerald and mentor to those writers willing to take up a dangerous literary thread: the exploration of the depths of our self-delusion, our virtually incessant need for self-validation, and most importantly, our progressive moral disintegration. Never flashy in his style, nor even particularly poetic or lyrical, spare in his descriptions which seem, in spite of their austere quality, to strike the mark with a terrible sharpness, Yates was a great genius of plain prose. His writing is like a bear trap, hidden in the leaves, waiting to slam shut and catch the reader completely unawares. This kind of writing should have gained a wider readership, but it did not. Perhaps because, like the bear trap, when it closes on you, it hurts.
I myself had not been aware of Yates at all (something a writer friend found incomprehensible) until it was suggested I read Revolutionary Road. I read it, and I still have not recovered. Revolutionary Road is considered by many to be Richard Yates' best work. I think it is probably that and a lot more.Read more ›
The meaning of the book is likely to vary for different readers; for example, many people may see a scathing yet subtle indictment of suburban life and values. However, I read it more as as screed against the dangers of being unnecessarily dissatisfied with your life, particularly expecting brilliance where none exists. Whatever meaning you attribute to the novel, it's extraordinary. Most highly recommended!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is just so much bad about this book, it's hard to know where to begin. The characters are all completely unlikable. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Shoeless
Had to read it for class, and I probably would have liked it better if I had read it on my own. Is very very slow in the beginning, but gets more interesting once you get past part... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This novel kept me interested throughout. It's not flowery writing and it doesn't seem to need to be. It was refreshing to read an author that isn't trying too hard. Read morePublished 2 months ago by mikej
It was so realistic it made me depressed for a week haha. That's where the other star went.Published 2 months ago by Janet Orr
This book became tedious reading for me. I only finished it because it had such high ratings and I thought I'd find out what everyone was so excited about if I continued. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kathy S. Sanders