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Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
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Revolutionary Road (original 1961; edition 2000)

by Richard Yates

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5,071212886 (4.04)256
Member:SJELizabeth
Title:Revolutionary Road
Authors:Richard Yates
Info:Vintage (2000), Paperback, 355 pages
Collections:Your library
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Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (1961)

Recently added byblkrk4000, private library, simbbozz, gpaisley, JulsLane, Stenmeister, Jerry1955, JBer
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» See also 256 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
The frustration and tension that come from the contemptuous familiarity of a crumbling marriage between the despicable Frank and calculating-but-powerless April are perfectly set in this character-driven novel against the backdrop of 1950s misogyny, superficiality and materialism.

The novel is filtered through the lens of the wholly abhorrent Frank, but still expertly allows us to fully comprehend all his reprehensibility: his pathetic, look-how-ironic-I'm-being, preoccupation with appearing masculine, cool and enigmatic by retelling events to put himself in a good light; his petty need to be congratulated for his every action, such as not punching April or having affection for his parents, or to have the more romantic/aware life, as seen through his jealousy of April's glamorous-storybook-style neglected childhood and his feelings of superiority over the Campbells; his misogynistic dismissal and jealousy of any female analytic acuity, especially when directed at dissecting his pretensions and worthlessness - see April and Norma, whose self-awareness in the 1950s get them labelled as mentally unstable or as a lesbian. He is such a well-drawn character, and it's a testament to Yates' writing that his loathsomeness was no deterrent to reading the novel.

With all this work in painting Frank as detestably as possible, I expected a far worse fate to have befallen him. Yet the plot followed a predictable Chekov's-abortion, allowing the only self-aware character willing to sacrifice herself for a better life for her husband/failing marriage to make the ultimate sacrifice for an unsatisfactory, grossly sexist ending. ( )
  kitzyl | Jun 18, 2016 |
Terrific writer, Richard Yates
  JulsLane | Jun 15, 2016 |
Heart-breaking, atmospheric, full of truth and rawness. Enjoyed the film when it first came out and had been meaning to read for some time. Read very quickly over a day of travel which intensified the experience. ( )
  aine.fin | May 3, 2016 |
This one is a high three--there were parts that I did really like but parts that I felt dragged a bit. Here were two people that I just wanted to slap--a visceral reaction like that is a good thing in this case. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
This one is a high three--there were parts that I did really like but parts that I felt dragged a bit. Here were two people that I just wanted to slap--a visceral reaction like that is a good thing in this case. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
Writing in controlled, economical prose, Mr. Yates delineates the shape of these disintegrating lives without lapsing into sentimentality or melodrama. His ear for dialogue enables him to infuse the banal chitchat of suburbia with a subtext of Pinteresque proportions, and he proves equally skilled at reproducing the pretentious, status-conscious talk of people brought up on Freud and Marx.
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Yatesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emeis, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, RichardForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Alas! When passion is both meek and wild! -John Keats
Dedication
To Sheila
First words
The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of the empty auditorium.
Ko so potihnili zadnji pojemajoči glasovi generalke, člani igralske skupine Laurel niso vedeli, kaj bi – kar stali so, tihi in nemočni, in mežikali čez odrske luči v prazno dvorano.
Quotations
Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375708448, Paperback)

The rediscovery and rejuvenation of Richard Yates's 1961 novel Revolutionary Road is due in large part to its continuing emotional and moral resonance for an early 21st-century readership. April and Frank Wheeler are a young, ostensibly thriving couple living with their two children in a prosperous Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950s. However, like the characters in John Updike's similarly themed Couples, the self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled in their relationships or careers. Frank is mired in a well-paying but boring office job and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her hoped-for acting career. Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre sprawl of suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities, free of the consumerist demands of capitalist America. As their relationship deteriorates into an endless cycle of squabbling, jealousy and recriminations, their trip and their dreams of self-fulfillment are thrown into jeopardy.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The devastating effects of work, adultery, rebellion, and self-deception slowly destroy the once successful marriage of Frank and April Wheeler, a suburban American couple.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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