The Easter Parade
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The Easter Parade

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,806 ratings  ·  376 reviews
Children of divorced parents, sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes are observed over four decades, and grow into two very different women.Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage.Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another.Richard Yates's acclaimed novel is about how both women struggle to overcome thei...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published by Methuen Publishing (first published December 3rd 10)
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“I see,” she said, And when would she ever learn to stop saying “I see” about things that she didn’t see at all?” (344)

“Isn’t it time somebody started talking straight around here?” (414)

The Easter Parade is about two women searching for happiness in New York during the period from 1930 to the early 1970's. At the first sentence, Yates warns us that, "neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life...."

Sarah Grimes is the virgin who marries a man with whom she has three kids and who lives...more

If you are a girl and your parents get divorced when you are very young, you will either become promiscuous and incapable of real intimacy OR you will marry some abusive asshat and live your life quietly drinking yourself to death.

All right so maybe that’s not the take home message Yates was going for. After all, Yates himself came from a broken home; his parents divorced when he was just three years old. And he was twice divorced himself, so I guess you could say the man knows a thing or two a...more
I’m not sure what Yates was up to in two-thirds of The Easter Parade. He certainly wasn’t playing to his strength—that is, the deep, layered scene: the slow death of a party; the waning of an afternoon buzz; the polite prolongation of a tense visit; lives told in gesture; and dialogue so perfect you see speakers without description. Two of the novel’s three Parts flash by in what biographer Blake Bailey, I see, grandly dubs “summary narration” which, he goes on to plead, “serves the larger purpo...more
Michael Hagan
Sep 05, 2010 Michael Hagan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
It's been a few years since I've read "The Easter Parade," by Richard Yates. I read it first in college many years ago, then in my late 20s, and now in my mid-40s. This book simply gets better and better. Not only is the writing flawlessly rendered, the inevitable circumstances of sisters Emily and Sarah are presented with honesty, empathy and tremendous sensitivity by a master realist who knows exactly how alcoholic families live out their lives. What the TV show "Mad Men" reveals about our cul...more
"I'm almost fifty years old and I've never understood anything in my whole life."

Are we all destined to go insane? Are we all doomed by the damage our parent unwittingly inflicted on us? Do we never ever learn a damn thing at all? Many of us go through life not realizing until the final hour that history does indeed repeat itself, and our parents -- our well meaning but ill equipped and broken parents -- ruined us.

This is certainly the case for Emily and Sarah, two sisters from a broken home wh...more
Aidan Watson-Morris
Jul 30, 2013 Aidan Watson-Morris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't like yates, alcoholics
Shelves: 2013
reading yates is an addictive, soul-shattering experience. it's also perfect for scaring anyone off drinking forever.
" Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents' divorce."

Thus the story began and though I wouldn't say it spiralled down from there, the opening sentence acts as a marvelously clever sword of Damocles which swings in and out of the shadows of the story in a sinister fashion to remind you every time things seem to be going well that Yates has already told us nothing good can come from what happens.

The two siste...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
4.5 stars

Poor, poor Emmy. She's never understood one single thing in her entire life. Poor Emily. If only she could have learned. Hopping right into the sack will get you the man, sure. But it's better to find out first if he's even worth having. Sadly, I've known far too many women who were so much like Emily. And far too many men who were just like the dorks she wasted her life on.

Easter Parade is another dead-on perfect portrayal of mid-20th century middle-class American life from Mr. Yates....more
Feb 08, 2013 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by: Mary
Only Johnny Got His Gun can stand toe to toe with The Easter Parade in the unsettling, horrific way it takes one person's life (and in the case of Parade, several other people besides) and makes you ask yourself, Why the hell are we even here?

With the case Yates brings to the table, you can't refute him. You can't even begin. You can stick your fingers in your ears and close your eyes and babble I can't hear you, I can't hear you but this perfectly crafted novel will be waiting. It has time. It...more
Feb 21, 2014 arcobaleno rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to arcobaleno by: Ginny_1807
Né l'una né l'altra avrebbe avuto una vita felice...
Richard Yates scrive, con incredibile sensibilità femminile, di due donne, due sorelle, due esistenze, due modi di vivere, di reagire; parla dei loro rapporti con gli uomini nella società americana che, dagli anni Trenta, scorre per altri quaranta, senza cambiamenti sostanziali; in quell’ambiente borghese intriso di superficialità, di convenzioni ipocrite e apparenze da salvare. Ma sopra tutto R.Y. descrive la famiglia, attraverso due paradigm...more
God this ends well, by which I mean it ends with the steady rock of the book shattered in a way I didn't see coming. All through it she's so even-keeled and proto-liberated but then comes the crackup once alone. The dictionary definition of four stars? Loved it with reservations, so accessible and readable, the characters so well-drawn, the dialogue evocative of time and place and person, so much suggested about an insidious preoccuption with semblances, the importance of courage/strength/endura...more
In this sad and rich novel Richard Yates deftly portrays the lives of two women who suffer through decades of experience in this veil of tears. Emily and Sarah may have had some great experiences, laughter and joy - but their author isn't interested in letting us know those moments. Yates begins with this: "Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents' divorce." He's warned us: this story will not go well for t...more
Sarah looked as pathetic on her bench as Emily had expected-small and dowdy in her wrinkled beige, lifting her soft, bruised face to the sun and almost visibly savoring visions of another time. - Richard Yates, The Easter Parade.

The revival of interest in the novels and stories of Richard Yates has been an unmistakeable recent literary phenomenon. I am ashamed to admit, however, that I had never even heard of him until earlier this year. I am grateful to those online book reviewers, mostly on Y...more
Senza pelle.

Letto a cavallo tra il pomeriggio e la serata di oggi, tutto d'un fiato.
Le parole di Richard Yates scorrono come l'acqua di un fiume in piena e trascinano a fondo, portando con sé malinconia, inadeguatezza, disagio profondo, rassegnazione, che aumentano progressivamente con l'aumentare delle pagine sul lato sinistro del libro.
L'altra faccia del sogno americano è il correttore di bozze anziché il giornalista di successo, la donna sola anziché libera ed emancipata, la famiglia che è se...more
A crushing novel about growing up, belonging to a family, trying to get by in the city, and losing hope. Maybe most of all, it's a novel about money, and how difficult life is for everyone who's not rich. Yates is an incredible feminist who truly understands women; even better, his sentences are unpretentious diamonds. Still, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone but 1) smugly married people who aren't afraid of aging, and 2) readers who enjoy being terrified and saddened.
I missed Richard Yates the first time around, in the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, so did almost every one else. Despite critical acclaim – Revolutionary Road, his first and arguably greatest novel, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1962 – Yates never achieved wide popularity. We have the recent movie of Revolutionary Road to thank for finally – long after Yates’s death in 1992 – landing the book on the best seller list and bringing his other works to our attention.

The Easter Parade,...more
Allan MacDonell
It's dangerous to read The Easter Parade past a certain age, after accumulating a certain quantity of disappointments in circumstances and self. Is it cruelty or uncontainable genius that propels Yates to present life's ultimate and insurmountable frustrations unfolding with the thick, sweet, inevitable smoothness of an ice-cream soda being sucked through a fat straw? The effortlessly decoded dialogue is precise and distinct to each doomed and deluded character. The illusory comforts of pride an...more
Easter Parade is only the second Yates book I've read (after Revolutionary Road, an obvious classic), but it is more proof of his ability to craft meaningful, frequently painful stories with a pared-down prose style that is immediately readable and deceptively 'simple.' Following the lives of two sisters from childhood on up, it's not a happy tale--but then again Yates gives us fair warning of that right in the first sentence. It moves quicker and covers greater ground than Revolutionary Road--...more
So, Yates created two tragic characters: one was unlucky at love and the other one was a drunk. The unlucky one meets a guy who has problems getting it up, he tells her to give him a year, after the year they marry, and he's still unable to get it up, so they divorce and she moves on to a slew of lovers ending up entirely alone. The drunk one dies of liver disease. Nobody wins the lottery, nobody leaves the abusive husband, nobody finds true love in the unimpressive stranger, nobody learns a les...more
Mad Dog
Oct 31, 2011 Mad Dog rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women who like sad stories, Guys who don't mind 'chick flick' stories
This is my fave Yates book. Rings real true. Really moving, in a sad way.

The family in the book (the Grimes family) is like so many families. The continued lack of communication, the akwardness, the isolation: these problems are all there.

This book did go a little slow for me in the beginning, but the momentum does build and the poignancy increases. And the main character (Emily) is quite likeable. I have also read Rev Road and Good School by Yates, and I really enjoyed those too. Good School...more
This book was absolutely not what I was expecting. I'm not actually sure what I was expecting but this was not it. My only experience of Richard Yates is the Sam Mendes film of Revolutionary Road which I thought was excellent and harrowing. I found Kate Winslet's performance to be the best I have ever seen her deliver and it broke my heart. So really I should have known.

Richard Yates is often referred to as one of the most under-valued great American authors of all time and The Easter Parade is...more
Удивена съм как разказва Ричард Йеитс. Семпло, без никакви напудрени изречения и фрази, но пък много вълнуващо. Историята в тази книга е за две сестри и за техните животи. Те са изключително различни, но и всяка е нещастна по своему. Сара е типичната домакиня, жена, на която животът се случва точно както се очаква - брак, семейство, деца, къща, - но всъщност отвътре всичко е гнилоч. Емили, по-малката никога не се омъжва и няма семейство, но има свободолюбив дух, успява сякаш повече да се наслади...more
This book has been sat on my shelves since October when I was fortunate enough to win it in the last literary blog hop giveaway. The book was sent to me by Samstillreading. Richard Yates was a new author for me, someone I had previously been quite unaware of. There are I see several Yates novels and some short stories re-issued by Vintage – making me feel I should have been more aware of this writer. Now having finished reading this quite remarkable novel I can’t help but wonder a little about t...more
Hurt oozes from every page of this story, more explicitly than in much of Revolutionary Road, although the characters are generally somewhat flimsier.

This is the story of two sisters who were 9 and 5 when their parents split up in 1930, after which they move around New York environs with their mother at regular intervals, always chasing “flair”, but without the means to achieve it. Sarah, the older one, grows up to lead a conventional life (early marriage and children, long term domesticity), wh...more
Se leggere un libro può essere paragonato a fare un viaggio verso mete ideali, leggere questo libro è stato per me un viaggio nella steppa caucasica. Luoghi monotematicamente deserti, disabitati, aridi, senza vegetazione se non arbusti e qualche pianta grassa, spinosa. Non ci sono case, non ci sono paesi, non c’è acqua. Tutto è secco, arido e ci vivono solo animali abituati alla lotta per la sopravvivenza, ratti o serpenti.
In questo libro Yates affonda il bisturi, come un bravo chirurgo, nelle...more
After Revolutionary Road, I swore I would never read Richard Yates again. Not because the book was bad, far from it, but the tragedy and despair that surrounded the story was so palpable I had to recover my sense of equilibrium afterward. However, a few weeks back I read an article on bad book blurbs, which was particularly focused on Yates’ Easter Parade, and it caught my attention enough that I put the book on my TBR list and picked it up on my last library visit. I’m happy to say I don’t regr...more
This was the first book I've read by Richard Yates and I have extremely mixed emotions after it. The portrayal of the characters lives is at times both brutal and heart-breaking and there are glimpses of people you know or things you've seen or experienced throughout the book that make it really hit home. It's a good thing it's not very long because, although it seems true to life, I found it was becoming too repetitive and morose for the storyline. I can only read so much gloom before becoming...more
I wanted to like this novel more than I did. For one, Yates is a brilliant prose stylist. He is also the author of one of my favorite novels of all time, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. Yates, it strikes me was most fascinated by the myth of the American Dream and how the very notion of it was wholly dependent on self-determination and the ability to will and work oneself to success and happiness. In each of his works I have read, he tests characters who buy fully into the American Dream by forcing them to...more
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What is the theme? 6 58 Dec 09, 2013 11:28AM  
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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
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“And do you know a funny thing? I'm almost fifty years old and I've never understood anything in my whole life.” 47 likes
“They think the way to be a poet is to wear funny clothes and write sideways on the page.” 5 likes
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