Cold Spring Harbor
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Cold Spring Harbor

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,006 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Evan Shepard is a young man with a chequered past when he first meets the Drakes, after his car breaks down outside their house. Behind him, he has a troubled adolescence, a failed marriage and a little daughter, but his meeting with the quiet and beautiful Rachel heralds a new start. However, after their swift marriage, things don't work out quite as planned and the stres...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Vintage (first published 1986)
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Years ago, I read (and loved) this author’s novel, The Easter Parade. Cold Spring Harbor was Yate’s final novel. Although this one wasn’t as powerful or as memorable as Revolutionary Road or Easter Parade, it still felt familiar and followed the author’s recurring storyline. In this novel, the characters are outsiders striving to belong somewhere. It made me sad for the characters and sad for Richard Yates because, although critically acclaimed by his peers, he was mostly forgotten and out of pr...more
Hannah  Messler
If it is your aim, as it is mine, to read and love everything that Richard Yates ever published, then you will find many things to please you in this fine slim book of trouble, booze & woe. I think this is a good one to read AFTER you've read pretty much everything else, and IF you have decided that you will love Mr. Yates for everything he does no matter what. Coz this one takes a little more work on the reader's part than the other stuff does. He is kind of falling apart by the time he get...more
"When real life is wanting one must create an illusion"
A.Chekhov "Uncle Vanya"

Here is the trap with realistic prose, American realistic prose included: if you dare to portrayt ordinary life as it is, not "to create your own world", you have to be thousands and thousands times more precise, sharp, vivid, carefull and detailed to make your text interesting for the readers, make it distinctive in a way and at the same time accumlating experiences of its readers, generalize these experiences and at...more
Natacha Martins
Perto da Felicidade não é um livro bonito, com personagens felizes e com finais felizes. É sim, um livro depressivo, angustiante, muitas vezes exasperante e triste. Com pessoas que levam vidas miseráveis, frustrantes, deprimidas e sem qualquer esperança de dias melhores. Pessoas que se agarram a qualquer migalha de felicidade e a tentam fazer durar até ao absurdo. É um livro carregado de inércia e de inacção, as pessoas limitam-se a viver o dia-a-dia e a fazer aquilo que é esperado delas. Vivem...more
Bo Abeille
There's a certain mortification in love, whether you're falling in love or attempting to keep a weakening love strong, it often carries with it an uncomfortable embarrassment. Infatuation often leads to decisions that, in the midst of a new attraction, seem exciting and brave. Decisions made in hazy dream of romance never see a real future; the mind won't allow it. Everything will change for the better, everything will be perfect, every breath will release as a gasp because love and life have su...more
«Perché lo sai cosa diventerai? Diventerai un uomo»

C'è poco da dire, i romanzi di Yates sono film da leggere.
E con questo non sto dicendo che sembrino sceneggiature, ma semplicemente che la sua è una scrittura talmente fluida e cristallina da riuscire con poche pagine a risucchiarti dentro alla storia, al punto da riuscire a farti 'vedere' anche il più insignificante dei particolari, percepire nitidamente tutte le sensazioni che passano per la testa di ogni suo personaggio, vivere le loro stesse...more
Justin Evans
The last Yates I read, this was a pleasant surprise. Another reviewer suggested this is one for people to read who already like him, and I can see that. There's got to be some nostalgia going on: the book features all of Yates' (somewhat limited set of) characters. There's the sensitive unpopular adolescent (* 2), the foolish thirty-something man, the liberated but not so happy woman, the unliberated and deathly miserable woman, the bonkers menopausal woman (again, * 2), the slimy man of the wor...more
I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that Richard Yates had dedicated this book to Kurt Vonnegut (who knew they were friends??) and I wasn't disappointed! After reading Revolutionary Road earlier this year, I was desperate to lay my hands on something else by Yates. This one was another gem. More dysfunction in the 'burbs and my big criticism was that I wanted even more! The book was a little too short. I really didn't want it to end...which leads to me think that I'll be seeking out the rest...more
Mad Dog
I loved the previous Yates' books that I read (Rev Road, A Good School, Easter Parade). Where those books kept me going with a story, this book doesn't have much of a 'story arc'. This was more of a 'slice of real life' book than a 'story' book. This book went from vignette to vignette, but didn't really build up much. There were a many dead ends in this story, where interesting subplots went to die. For example the father-daughter relationship might have been interesting, but we basically only...more
Un altro mirabile romanzo di questo autore straordinario. I personaggi e le situazioni caratteristici dello scrittore si ritrovano in un’altra storia di ordinaria follia: c’è ancora una volta una madre logorroica e infelice alla ricerca spasmodica di un posto al sole, un padre latitante, un ragazzo alle prese con le insicurezze del crescere, un giovane marito fedifrago con moglie comprensiva e paziente, un militare in pensione con la moglie alcolizzata; questi e altri personaggi si arrabattano t...more
I'm starting to feel a little sad because before long, I'll have read all of Richard Yate's books. A wonderful author who really only became recognized after his death. Fans love his marvelous portrayal of the all American family in the 1940-50s America, exposing their warts and all. With Yates, the reader learns quickly that oftentimes, life and relationships just plain suck, and some people just seem to create their own misery. Cold Spring Harbor, is such a story. It's about unhappy people who...more
This treads similar territory to other Richard Yates novels, though it covers a shorter period, in fewer pages, focusing on younger protagonists. As always, more is conveyed by what is unsaid than what is actually uttered (e.g. the awkward driving lesson where nothing was taught and nothing learned).

Evan Shepard is a bit of a loser who gets back on track (slightly) when he gets into cars. Nevertheless, he already has a teenage shotgun wedding, child and divorce behind him when a chance encounte...more
Peter Thornber
This book could be described as 'typical' of Richard Yates work. I really enjoy his attention to the detail in describing the emotions, insecurities and interactions of his characters. Each character within this story has 'issues' and is reliant on others both for the validation of their own lives and as a release from their situation. The cast spans gender and generation; presenting the reader with the unique challenges faced by each stage of an 'ordinary' american life.

Whenever I read a Richar...more
Adam Floridia
The first chapter alone establishes the typical Yates characters; in fact, I chuckled as I noticed the main premises of his other novels glossed over. You've got the middle-aged man regretting his past and indulging in unreasonable escape fantasies; there's the invalid wife, subject to nervous breakdowns and alcoholism; and there's the over zealous, idealistic young love followed by the shotgun-wedding, which quickly dissolves into "long and harsh and self-renewing" quarrels (12). So where does...more
Yates remains the master of suburban tristesse... In this beautifully written sad little novel the lonely characters are drifting through the semi-idyllic world of Cold Spring Harbor, making the wrong decisions (all over again) and needing a drink before 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The novel slowly builds up to a climax and some Yatesian domestic violence and the last words of Rachel, the child-wife of the protagonist, break your heart. About this novel, Kate Atkinson said "Read and weep". Well,...more
“Perto da felicidade” Richard Yates apresenta-nos a vida como um novelo de possibilidades, sonhos e liberdade que ao ser desenrolado, rapidamente se transforma numa amálgama de deceção, desperdício e sonhos desfeitos.
É um livro triste, com personagens carregadas de inércia, que levam vidas deprimidas e se limitam a fazer aquilo que é esperado delas.
Definitivamente, não é um livro bonito, com personagens e finais felizes.
The true realistic novel has all but died in the last 15 years or so...tramped beneath the feet of genre-benders and sitcom-style humorists and satires and wordplay pyrotechnics (all of which have their merits, to be sure, but still)...

Russo still does it...McKinerney does it when he's in the mood to write a decent book...Russell Banks...a lot of short story speciaists...

But Yates did it better than anyone, grim as he is...and he is on every page of those who came after...

This one is remarkably...more
Greg Gerke
His last book. It's kind of a summation of all his themes, but the breaking up homes of Revolutionary Road and now completely broke. You might think this is a book about Evan Shepard but it is more like a Chekhov play. At least six people share center stage. To cover so many in 182 pages is a feat, but like the precision of the Easter Parade he does it, complete with a whallop at the end to make sure you're paying attention.

PS - if you live in Ashland, OR they may still have a used copy of this...more
Like every other of Yates' novels I've read (and I'm getting to the end of his corpus) this is a small masterpiece. It's the story of Evan Shepard and his unsatisfactory marriages, and pulls in the damaged family of his second wife - her mother and brother - and his own disappointed father.

It feels redundant though to make a point of the plot - what happens to Evan is almost irrelevant to your enjoyment or appreciation of the novel. It's the faultless prose and the succinct marshalling of events...more
Richard Yates, author of Revolutionary Road has gotten alot of press lately. He is a masterful author with a beautiful command of the English language. Also, he seems to be somewhat of a misanthrope, and a sad isolated human being. Intersting book, sad story.
Yates is truly a master…outstanding prose, deftly drawn characters, and stunning social commentary are all packed into this little book. Although it is short, it is one of the most thought provoking books I’ve read. It is an interesting look at class, family and marriage, and the development of self and character in a pre-WWII setting.
Все несчастливые семьи несчастливы по-своему, и одинаково несчастны - краткое содержание "Холодной гавани".
Небольшой кусочек жизни нескольких американских семей, волей случая переплетенных на пороге Второй мировой войны (с небольшими ретроспективными вставками более ранних, но отнюдь не более счастливых, лет). Преддверие сексуальной революции, ранние браки, разводы и измены, алкоголизм, одиночество, трудности взросления, классовые отличия - Йейтс смог элегантно уложить в весьма небольшой объем т...more
Jeff Lacy
Easy to lose one's imagination in the characters's lives in this novel written by a master craftsman. A great story, a great example of novel writing.
Excellent, although I'm starting to think Yates's female characters are a bit two-dimensional. He gets the male characters down.
Do not read this expecting to be uplifted - it is a well written account of sad suffocating lives.
Nobody manages to convey disappointment, loneliness, and the crushing responsibilities of life quite in the way Richard Yates does. The book loses a little something by shifting its points of view but the overall sense of missing out on life - trying to find your place in the world and never quite finding it - permeates every chapter and the voice of every character. This wasn't quite the equal of Revolutionary Road, the Easter Parade, or his short stories, but his voice always manages to grab m...more
Yates is a fantastic author, and I guess I would have given this a higher rating had I not read Revolutionary Road first.
But whereas Revolutionary Road is a tale with a beginning and an end, Cold Spring Harbor is more like a season of a soap opera: you get the gist of what the characters are like and how their lives evolve, but it ends with a cliffhanger. However, Cold Spring Harbor never continues. This might not have been so bad if the characters had been inspiring and extraordinary, but as...more
SIMON Karine
J’ai vraiment apprécié ce portrait d’une famille américaine dans les années 40, et pourtant il ne s’agit pas d’une belle image. Richard Yates nous montre surtout les défauts, les pensées sombres, et les sentiments les plus vils, la jalousie, la lâcheté, le culte de l’apparence et du paraître.

Le début du roman se passe dans les années 30, nous faisons connaissance avec Evan et sa famille. Il est le fils d’un ex-militaire, et d’une mère fragile psychologiquement. Il a tout du mauvais garçon, mais...more
pierlapo  quimby
Hai delle commissioni da fare in centro. L'auto si rompe per strada e ti tocca chiedere aiuto. Non siamo nel 2012 e i telefoni cellulari non sono stati ancora inventati, per cui ti fermi davanti al primo portone che incontri e suoni il campanello. Ad aprirti è una signora in veste da camera, non più giovane ma neanche così avanti negli anni, piuttosto piacente. Ti domanda di cosa hai bisogno, sembra una persona per bene. Le spieghi il problema e le chiedi, sempre che non le costi troppo disturbo...more
Spesso il male di vivere ho incontrato...

... e generalmente i personaggi di Yates ce l'hanno, questo male di vivere, e se lo tengono ben stretto. A Cold Spring Harbor, cittadina residenziale di Long Island, sembra che questo male di vivere ce l'abbiano tutti, ma tutti cerchino di nasconderlo. C'è il colonnello Shepard, con la moglie alcoli ... (continua)

... e generalmente i personaggi di Yates ce l'hanno, questo male di vivere, e se lo tengono ben stretto. A Cold Spring Harbor, cittadina residen...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...
Revolutionary Road The Easter Parade The Collected Stories Eleven Kinds of Loneliness Disturbing the Peace

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“Dying for love might be pitiable, but it wasn't much different, finally, from any other kind of dying.” 17 likes
“And maybe things like this really did get better of their own accord, if you gave them time; maybe all you could ever do, beyond suffering, was wait and see what might be going to happen next.” 3 likes
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