Revolutionary Road
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Revolutionary Road

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  45,878 ratings  ·  4,917 reviews
In een Amerikaanse buitenwijk anno 1955 onderneemt een jong echtpaar een poging hun huwelijk uit het slop te halen..
323 pages
Published (first published 1961)
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Eric
I let out a whoop of laughter on about page 180, when I finally figured Frank Wheeler out. You see, Frank spent most of his youth a scattered, bashful schmuck. Then after WWII, as a Columbia student and Village-dweller, he started getting laid all the time, thanks to a theatrically brooding pseudo-intellectual schtick. Nevermind that Frank is essentially a glib blowhard, talented in no artistic way (he's one of those tiresome people who whine about Conformity as if America invented it, threaten...more
Ben
For the longest time I just wanted a family, kids, a decent job, and a happy life in suburbia. That was all I wanted. That's it. It seemed so simple, predictable, and reliable. It was my ideal image.

It seems that society has done a good job of putting that thought in everyone's head. The best thing for a young man is for him to go to college, get married, get a reliable job with a steady company, have babies (2 or 3, of course), make friends with neighbors, have birthday parties for the kids, d...more
sckenda
“Do you know what the definition of insane is? Yes. It’s the inability to relate to another human being. It’s the inability to love.” – Revolutionary Road

Fire up your cigarette. Drag deep. Flick ash. In 1955, cigarettes are as harmless as steaks that are pan-fried in butter. Skip the highball and drain three fingers of straight bourbon instead. You will need a ball of whiskey sloshing in your stomach to flash a plastic grin as you meet the sad characters of Revolutionary Road.

Frank Wheeler hate...more
Ellen
Jun 24, 2010 Ellen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My father, who'd like Frank Wheeler
Shelves: novels
description

On my fling-o-meter scale, Revolutionary Road is a well-traveled book, having been flung (why does this past participle sound so ungainly?) across the room several times. The initial trip occurred when Richard Yates gratuitously threw in this bit of over-writing in the first chapter:
At first their rehearsals had been held on Saturdays—always it seemed, on the kind of windless February or March afternoon when the sky is white , the trees are black, and the brown fields and hummocks of the earth
...more
Zack
What a wise book. Many rate it as depressing, and yes, it tells a very tragic story. But at the same time, it's also a tremendously funny book. It's just that its humor stings because it's based in the most human of weaknesses: Self-rationalization.

Frank and April Wheeler are the prototypical post-WWII suburban couple -- happy on the outside, endlessly frustrated on the inside. But author Richard Yates isn't interested in just dissecting the suburbs. Frank and April are painfully aware of their...more
karen
watching this movie last night made me want to read the book immediately after. and it's not a terrible movie, it's just a little... hammy, and the tone is uneven - whether these people are meant to be seen as victims of the stultifying, euthanizing effects of suburbia, or if they are at root unlikable people who deserve to be taken down a peg for their arrogance and their conviction that their involvement in this thing we call "suburbia" is just playacting, not to be taken seriously. the book d...more
David
Revolutionary Road is a masterpiece of a genre that’s largely considered played out—the novel of suburban malaise. It’s a social novel about The Way We Live Now, only in this case Now is over 40 years ago and Yates’ take on the plight of the poor souls marooned in corporate/suburban America has long since been digested and superseded. It still persists to some degree—in films like American Beauty, novels such as Tom Perotta’s Little Children, and the brilliant TV show Weeds. But, American Beauty...more
Michelle
I've been putting off reviewing this book. I didn't enjoy reading it, and it wasn't because the characters were unlikeable, which they were. There are authors who can write great books about people the reader hates. This wasn't one of them.

I get the whole 1950s values/suburbia/trap that Frank and April found themselves in. I just didn't care. He was a whiny, immature, alcoholic. She was a bored suburban housewife whose only sense of identity was tied into how successful Frank may/may not be in l...more
Katie
Sep 10, 2008 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Suicides and the homeless.
Recommended to Katie by: David Henson, the jerk.
Oh sweet barbequed jaysus--why does anyone ever get married? And why do I keep listening to my boyfriend when he recommends books to me?

Because he has good taste. Good, horribly morose and depressing taste.

This is an excellent book. Richard Yates has a preternatural ability to divine and pick apart the artifice we assume in everyday life with our loved ones and coworkers. The young couple of the book, Frank and April Wheeler, are bougie suburbanites who aspire to be artistic interesting people,...more
Jason Pettus
As any lover of the arts knows, an artist's reputation depends not only on what society thinks of their work, but also what they think of it over the passage of time, with many creative professionals' careers dipping up and down over the decades based on changing trends and tastes. Take American author Richard Yates for an excellent example; celebrated by the academic community when he first started writing in the early 1960s, he was considered in the vanguard of the nascent "postmodern" movemen...more
Cecily
Don't read this if you're in a long term relationship that is in difficulties, especially if you are stuck in a dull job as well: it may be too pertinent. That caveat aside, it's not a depressing book: as with all his books (which all have strong autobiographical elements) there is cold beauty in the pain of struggles with work, relationships, drink, and money.

It is the painfully insightful story of a youngish couple, with two small children, living in New England in the 1950s. Both have lingeri...more
brian
well, i read the book ages ago and it left such an impression that when i signed up for bookface i stamped the sucker with a fiver. the gothsissy promises if i re-read it i'll knock off a few stars. whatever.

i saw the movie last night and a word popped into my head:

smimsicholy: a specific combination of smug-whimsy-melancholy seen in the work of certain 'important' artists and/or entertainers.

yeah. if sam mendes is the cinematic anti-christ than this movie's his mastercheese. it's a laughable...more
RandomAnthony
I found myself reading Revolutionary Road through dual lenses. The first lens framed the novel through what I’ve heard about the apparently groundbreaking approach Yates took to controversial subject matter in the early sixties. The second lens framed the novel through the question as to whether or not it would hold up as a great book outside of the controversial context. So what’s the verdict? Nice try, Mr. Yates, you’re a technical virtuoso, but other than feeling that “Oh, God, is this charac...more
Hannah  Messler
Oh snap, just try and read Yates's bio and then NOT be compelled to go back through his business . . .

This book breaks my heart with such gentle little fingers. I think what kills me even worse than the dreadful big bang on which this little world ends is the fact that Frank and April never say a goddamn word to each other throughout the whole book--in all that time, all that marriage and all those hours and all those years, never a word. And so much talking. Mercy. And how close it cuts to the...more
Shovelmonkey1
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kemper
There’s an impression that American manhood took a nosedive in the ‘60s after a generation of manly men beat back the Nazis and then turned their no-nonsense pragmatism and can-do spirit to business and started a huge economic boom. Since those damn dirty hippies ruined the country, and liberal crybabies made being a hetro white male a crime, it’s just been generation after generation of worthless girly-men ever since.

However, after watching Mad Men and reading Rabbit, Run and Revolutionary Road...more
Brad
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anastasia
Penso che nel momento in cui parliamo di conformismo/anticonformismo non parliamo di quel senso di vero che ci dovrebbe essere in una persona.

Avete presente la classica coppia dall'aria intelligente, perbene e charming, di quelle che con un bicchiere di vino in mano criticano la mediocrità dei borghesi nelle vie suburbane, senza mai fermarsi a riflettere sulla possibilità di essere esattamente come loro?
Ecco, quelli, proprio quelli, sono April e Frank Wheeler, con le loro illusioni di essere spe...more
Shruti
In mistaking trappings of iconoclasm for breakthroughs, the inhabitants of Revolutionary Road remain very short of being revolutionaries. Wearing non-conformity on their sleeves and aimlessly ambitious, these characters play out a cautionary tale - caution against fighting ordinariness and mediocrity with denial, delusions and lies. The fight against ordinariness itself is a hopelessly vain and self-defeating one, and these characters never seem to realize that. Rare moments of self-knowledge co...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Yates = good writer. (RIP)
good writer = tackling ballsy topics (for that period in time)

Frank = JERK
April = Mad Bitch
Frank + April + conversation = irritation, madness, bang head on wall.

extramarital affairs = not all that cool
suburbs = zzzzzzzzzzzz
crazy neighbor son + busybody nutjob neighbor = who cares?

Frank's work = ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

horrid abortion scene = GAH!!!!!!!!!!!

Me + Revolutionary Road = wasted time.





Lori
Reading this book was a new experience for me. I disliked every character except the children, the premise wasn't particularly interesting, and the theme was tired. And yet I kept reading, realizing halfway through that it was because Richard yates is such an incredible writer. I finally understand writing skill. A young couple moves from the city to the country and spend their days going through the motions and spend their evenings getting completely soused and complaining about the hopeless st...more
Cher
4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

A serious, depressing read about unlikeable people that keeps you engaged with simplistic, but extraordinary prose. At it's heart, Revolutionary Road is about young couples that have followed society's dictated road of "things you just do" - get a job working for a good company, marry, buy a nice home in the suburbs, and have kids. The problem is that they followed this road, like many people do, without ever stopping to reflect and explore who they tru...more
Gloria Mundi
My husband and I have one of those relationships that a lot of people would refer to as fraught or even (dare I say it?) dysfunctional. We argue. A lot. As people, we are as completely different as it is possible to be. He is an extrovert who thrives on attention, comes from a large family and enjoys physical work and nature. I am an introvert with a single sibling and like nothing better than to read. Our views on everything from the correct way way to bring up one's child to whether god exists...more
Miss Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
Jul 09, 2007 Rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: disillusioned housewives/businessmen
Shelves: fiction
This book is really depressing, and not even in a particularly eloquent way.

It chronicles the highball-soaked dissolution of a suburban family. Set against the backdrop of post-war Connecticut, the story follows Frank and April Wheeler as they fight, throw dishes, scream at their children, and verbally and emotionally manipulate one another.

My hunch is that this book might have really resonated for the dissatisfied housewives/businessmen who read it when it was originally published in 1961. To...more
deLille
Reading this book reminded me of a book I read my freshman year of high school, John Updike's "Rabbit, Run", which I gave one star to. I have to admit that I barely remember the Rabbit, Run plot given that it's been decades since I read it, but "Revolutionary Road" vividly brought back the feeling that book left me with: one of disgust that people can actually be so self-absorbed that they deliberately wreck what most people would think is a pretty good deal. I had just finished reading “A Thous...more
Brian
Because I'm a terrible reader, I tend to do this thing where I read about the first half to two-thirds of a book, then drag out the last third until I've completely lost track of it. I started "Revolutionary Road" worried that this would happen again, but quickly found it wouldn't be a problem because I COULD NOT STOP READING IT. I started it at 5 p.m. and was finished by 1 a.m.

So, yes, because I couldn't stop reading it, you should. It's as simple as that! OK, also it's one of the best books I'...more
Tatiana
I am fascinated by the range of reviews this book has received. It is truly amazing how differently readers interpret this story. Some see it as a period piece, some think it depicts the stifling influence of suburban life style. For me, this was a story of two delusional and not very self aware people who desire happiness but don't know how to achieve it.

Frank is rather easy to understand. In fact, I think Frank is very happy with his existence. He loves to pretend he is dissatisfied with his j...more
Katherine
When I first began reading this book, I thought it was really quite good for the first fifty pages or so. Yates writes nicely, and the details are well-observed...by the time I finished, though, I felt pretty disappointed, and after teaching this book to undergrads for four weeks this fall, my feeling about it could accurately be described more as one of baffled loathing.

In high school, I had a good English teacher who taught us the difference between 'the tragic' and 'the pathetic.' The tragic...more
Meg
9/10: I am reading this really slowly because it is absolutely amazing and I am kind of nervous and sad about how soon I'll be done with it.

9/13: Okay, wow. First of all, I'd like to build a home in some of these sentences. Something with a veranda so I can sit out there with a drink and really look around and take the whole thing in.

Okay just give me a minute.

Ready.

You read some books and you think, this person is a storyteller. I would listen to any story this person tells. And then sometime...more
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Richard Yates shone bright upon the publication of his first novel, Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. It drew unbridled praise and branded Yates an important, new writer. Kurt Vonnegut claimed that Revolutionary Road was The Great Gatsby of his time. William Sytron described it as "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." Tennessee...more
More about Richard Yates...
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“if you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone.” 367 likes
“It's a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.” 315 likes
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