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Revolutionary Road, The Easter Parade, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) Hardcover – January 6, 2009
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“It is Yates’s relentless, unflinching investigation of our secret hearts, and his speaking to us in language as clear and honest and unadorned and unsentimental and uncompromising as his vision, that makes him such a great writer.” —Richard Russo
About the Author
Richard Price is the author of seven novels, including Clockers, Freedomland, and Lush Life.
Top Customer Reviews
Also, Raymond Carver learned everything he knew about writing from reading Richard Yates.
The first book is Revolutionary Road and this must be the only time that I have first seen the movie then read the book and not been disappointed or felt robbed in any way. In fact, as strong a treatment as the film was I was able to remove the Hollywood leads as visual or mental representations of the main characters. This speaks to how wonderful the writing is, how rich the story, and just how much more there is in the book that could ever be covered in the film. Do not get me wrong, the film is excellent unlike The Talented Mr. Ripley which ruined Patricia Highsmith's series for me.
Most will be familiar with the storyline and the theme of living together but alone. Set in 1955 (the year my parents married which very much made me think as I read it), the book follows the turbulence and calmness that is Frank and April Wheeler, somewhat arrogant but unaware Connecticut suburbanites who see themselves apart from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates. The book opens beautifully embedding the reader in their lives by introducing us to the young couple as April stars in an embarrassingly bad community theater production of The Petrified Forest.
Dancing lightly and gracefully back and forth through their ten or so years together we see April convince Frank they should move to Paris, where she will work and support him while he finds out who he is.Read more ›
Much has been written about the book and the story. All I can add is that this is one only three books I can recall that has moved me to tears, despite my knowing exactly what was going to happen (thanks to the aforementioned movie version).
The Easter Parade: Heartbreaking. Yates' characters move through life realistically. One can see the heartbreak coming and wish it couls be avoided, but of course it isn't.
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness: Perfectly collected short stories reminiscent of Raymond Carver's works in their depth and profundity.
Revolutionary Road. Frank and April Wheeler do all that society has asked of them. They are middle-class. They buy a house in the burbs. They have children. They are subscribers to the American Dream. Both are conformists. He has a monotonous job, a monotonous commute and she suffocates in taking care of the house and minding the children. They are miserable; they come to loathe one another. They are frustrated failures, unhappy with their lives. The Wheelers are domestic combatants, skilled at verbal and physical abuse. They aspire and they reach for more because they feel entitled, but neither Frank nor April has the will or impetus to effect change. They have a vision, they have a plan that they fail to execute. Their antecedent, Jay Gatsby, had charisma, energy and a romantic imagination in his destructive quest for Daisy Buchanan, and dies a tragic figure, having been blinded by his obsession. Gatsby was murdered in the end, but he was a living suicide inside an unsustainable dream. Death had saved him.
Death does come to Revolutionary Road, but there is no overt tragedy in its wake. A clueless character, a stagnant person remains unchanged. The American Dream is flawed, dead at the end of the street Yates named Revolutionary Road, but the people doing the dreaming were dangerous, dull, and unimaginative.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I haven't read the Easter Parade of Eleven Kinds of Sadness yet but Revolutionary Road was very bleak as was expected from Richard Yates. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rita
This is required reading for every adult. Truly profound. Stop reading this review and start reading Richard Yates.Published 18 months ago by Sean Welsh
This is first class writing from the days when publishers understood the word 'editing'.Published 22 months ago by Aussie Des
Revolutionary Road is such a nuanced, psychologically acute, brutal book about a couple's subtle character differences, that lead to their breakup and disastrous consequences. Read morePublished 24 months ago by C. Flagg
It's definitely a novel but it more often than not reads like a play. I can almost see it and taste it staged as a dramatic presentation. Read morePublished on February 14, 2014 by William D. Brisbane
Richard Yates is seriously underrated and his short stories were fabulous. His characterization and use of language are pure pleasure. Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by Yasmine Motawy
Caveat the recommendation in that it is for Revolutionary Road only, and if we limit it to just that book, it's 5-star material. Read morePublished on March 8, 2011 by E.J. Kaye
I loved everything about this book. I am especially fond of "Easter Parade". The characters are real. They do have quirks, faults and worse - just like the rest of us. Read morePublished on May 6, 2010 by SandySTC