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Young Hearts Crying

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,071 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Another masterpiece from the author of Revolutionary Road Michael Davenport, a minor poet, is an intensely ambitious young man - just old enough to have served in the US Air Force at the end of World War Two. Every failure he suffers in his efforts to become established as a professional writer weighs against the uneasy knowledge that his wife, Lucy, has an untapped privat ...more
Paperback, 422 pages
Published 1986 by Methuen
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Sasha Martinez
Dear Richard Yates,

I made sure to finish reading your novel Young Hearts Crying in time for your birthday. It’s now the February 3, and dude, if you were alive, you’d have been 84. 84, man, ain’t that swell? Anyway. Happy happy happy birthday to you. I hope you’re having a grand ol’ time wherever you are. You deserve it. I mean, you kinda had a sad life, and there was that terrifying period when no one was stocking your books, although no one could deny what a kick-ass writer you were—only unkno
João Carlos

“Hotel Room” (1931) de Edward Hopper

O norte-americano Richard Yates (1926 – 1992), é um dos meus escritores preferidos: os seus livros “O Desfile da Primavera” (1976) – 5 estrelas, “Perto da Felicidade” (1986) – 4 estrelas e “Onze Tipos de Solidão” (1962), um livro de contos - 4 estrelas, revelaram-se excelentes opções literárias.
“Jovens Corações em Lágrimas” (1984), no original “Young Hearts Crying”, tem na edição portuguesa da “Quetzal” uma magnífica capa com o quadro “Hotel Room” (1931) de Ed
Bojan Gacic
''Young Hearst Crying'' doesn't have one of Yates' most recurring motifs- that of a destructive wife and mother endeavoring to transcend her own mediocre life- yet it exhibits the figure of a home-to-work-commuting husband and father, one whose manhood's been taking a nosedive since the mid-40s.

The moment they are married Michael and Lucy Davenport are faced with two predicaments: his ambition to become a poet and her private fortune he will not touch for fear of compromising his art. Lucy info
Apparently Richard Yates thought that one of his biggest problems as a writer was that his first book – ‘Revolutionary Road’ – was his best book. And certainly the most successful part of ‘Young Hearts Crying’ is the opening hundred or so pages, which closely echo his debut novel. There’s the ambitious couple living in the suburbs, propelled by thoughts of art but falling out of love with each other. The wife even performs in local theatrics. However, when the couple breaks up the novel seems to ...more
Remi Zagari
I think I've found my author. You know, that person whose work you are more and more compelled to read every time you read something else they've written? Even if that work is ultimately depressing or heart-wrenching or terrifying?

'Young Hearts Crying' has been re-issued by Vintage Contemporaries with a pile of lousy editing errors (come ON, guys!!) and some stunning cover art direction, and thank heaven for it. I was having trouble finding Yates in used bookstores, and now, because of 'Revoluti
Young Hearts Crying is a novel about failure and hope, examining the lives of an American couple from painful beginning to painful end. Only 'end' would be an inapt word for a novel that, like Revolutionary Road, doesn't offer a cheerful resolution.

Yates's literary canon is known for underlining the quiet despair of middle-class suburbia that is masked by cheerful conformity. (As a critique of middle-class life, his Revolutionary Road stands above Paula Fox's Desperate Characters in execution, v
What is with this guy and juvenile, disillusioned suburban couples???

When I read Revolutionary Road I felt I had never in my life encountered so perfect a novel. It was moving, with elegant prose that was never pretentious (a feat few novelists I've read have evinced) and the story was troubling, to be sure, but incredibly moving and deeply felt.
YHC has the gorgeous writing, but little else to redeem it, or its characters. There are too many characters with few distinguishing features who keep r
Its chief flaw is not in Yates's adoption of a female perspective which, while not quite up to the standards of the perfectperfectperfect Easter Parade, is very well-handled—the horrid lovemaking description on p. 224!—but in the overlong episode involving Lucy's exploits in a New School creative writing class, the po-faced metafictioning of which hearkens back to "Builders", unquestionably the nadir of Yates's career. The usual good stuff is very good indeed: the excruciating party scenes, the ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
Yates' nastiest novel, and all the more appealing to me for that--a sort of spewing-forth of accumulated venom against art, poetry, theater, academe, sex, drugs, men, women, hippies, Bob Dylan, you name it. When Michael Davenport flies to San Francisco to rescue his runaway daughter--thereby proving he isn't a complete bastard--it has somewhat the same impact as Dr. Kennicott driving through the snow to deliver the baby in MAIN STREET. After that the mood changes, becoming a little more nuanced. ...more
Mike Uva
Reading this book I feel like I might have handed out the "5 stars" too easily to some of the other books on my list. This is one of Richard Yates's last books and much like The Easter Parade and Revolutionary Road it's about ordinary people looking to discover what they are good at, figuring out what to do with their lives and how to be happy. There were a few passages I read last night over and over, and I was reminded how reading a certain book at a certain time can change your life. Totally ...more
Patrick McCoy
There's more realistic heartbreak and misery in Richard Yates' sixth novel Young Hearts Crying (1984). The novel is organized into three parts. In the first part he shows the coupling and slow uncoupling of would-be poet Michael Davenport and his wealthy art-loving blue-blood wife Lucy. This section of the book is reminiscent of his greatest success, The Revolutionary Road. They decide to live off Michael's modest salary as a commercial writer despite the fact that Lucy has millions of her own m ...more
This starts in the 50s when Michael falls in love with Lucy at university. Michael marries her “without being fully aware of how it had all come about” and is stunned when he discovers how wealthy she is. He is determined to support them as a writer and would rather make ends meet writing for Chain Store Age than be tainted by touching her trust fund. Money is the big issue they can never discuss – that and the fact that neither of them have ever felt they fitted in (as when “fear of seeming to ...more
Bo Abeille
Young Hearts Crying feels like one of those stories about children growing up. The stories usually begin with a cast of characters in elementary school and we watch them grow and change through high school, college and into adulthood. This story portrays our cast beginning in college, in their early 20s, and as they grow into middle-age, we see how each character chooses to change and evolve. The times change around them; some adjust, some resist. Success and failures in relationships, career, a ...more
Charles Adkinson
A lot of reviews I've read compare this book unfavorably to Revolutionary Road, but having read both I see Young Hearts Crying as at least it's equal. In fact, I might even like it better. This book was split into three main sections, detailing first Michael and Lucy's courtship and marriage, then Lucy's life following their divorce, then Michael's.

I found myself intrigued throughout the first section and wary of where the story would go after that. However, the last two-thirds were too good to
just sarah
If it wasn't Yates, I might say it's the same old, same old. This guy though, he could tell virtually the same story over & over and have you turning pages like crazy all the way up to the last every time. I especially liked how he tells the story of one family by alternating between male & female perspectives. Subtle & brilliant approach I think. It's not a Revolutionary Road, but it's definitely worth the read.
Simon A. Smith
Wow. Bad title, amazing read. I can't say it enough... Richard Yates is an unbelievable writer who always gets it right. This is the second or third best book in the Yates collection, imho. Rev Road is his masterpiece, and then you have the short story collection(s) and a very close third is this book. I can't believe it took me this long to read it. If you like realistic dialogue and spot on reactions, emotions and motivations this is for you. If you're an aspiring writer, this'll learn you som ...more
Young Hearts Crying is a good but not great novel from a gifted writer. Richard Yates captures the angst and hopelessness of the human condition with unflinching honesty. Yates’ ability to write cringingly realistic, desperate, disillusioned, and unstable dreamers makes for a breathtaking read at times. However, in this novel, he brings a strong presence of contempt for his characters, which hints at self-loathing and self-pity. Additionally, it’s a good 75-100 pages too long with unnecessary ch ...more
This is unquestionably one of those novels that begs to be rediscovered, because it is a book of substance, heartache, and bittersweet all at once. Lucy and Michael Davenport are a suburban couple trying to attain some semblance of the American Dream, which is a central motif that often permeates Mr. Yates' other work. I have not read "Revolutionary Road" and I've seen the Sam Mendes/Kate Winslet film which was very good; and I have read Mr. Yates' "The Collected Short-Stories" which for me were ...more
I love Richard Yates and have been rationing out his books for a few years as I will be gutted once I've read them all. Decided to treat myself and take this one on holiday with me this year. Expected to love it and it didn't disappoint. Richard Yates has such a succinct way of getting his points and the mood across and I think he was an absolutely amazing writer. The story is what I expected as it covers very similar themes and feelings to his other books, but that's part of the charm. Brillian ...more
This book was so awful it doesn't deserve a long tirade explaining its failures. There were no "icebergs" or understatements between the vapid interactions of the two monotonous, utterly annoying characters. Simply put, avoid this book at all costs. I left it on a bookshelf in a hostal somewhere and will have to live with the thought that it may sentence another reader to hours of boredom and frustration.
Guess my biggest problem with Yates is that, however fun and fast-paced all of his novels are, none of them is as good as Revolutionary Road. Perhaps that's also because the ones I've read so far are basically the same novel written over and over again.
Let's see what my feature reading of Yates will bring me...
Daniel Roth
In Young Hearts Crying Richard Yates explores what happens when illusions of grandeur crash against the rocks of reality. Michael Davenport pens one great poem in his youth and spends the rest of his life trying to replicate that success with dreams of rising to literary stardom. His talents, however, do not sustain his ambition, and the reader follows Michael as he careens through life, always at the cusp of despair, alienating himself with his boorish behavior and Tourette-ish outbursts. Other ...more
Rahul  Adusumilli
The word 'meandering' comes to mind. The trouble is Richard Yates can write and seemingly with ease. He could've turned it into a 3000 pages long book, if he cared to. There's no rhyme or reason to the plot, it just unfolds.

First there's one and then there are two and once they get divorced, he follows them separately as they get into a series of relationships. When you think Richard Yates, you don't think lust- but this book has its fair share of fooling around: boy meets girl, boy beds girl;
Hugely enjoyable. I'm already well-acquainted with Richard Yates' work and this one didn't let me down. If you like books that don't try to tell you that life is great then you'll enjoy Yates.

Young Hearts Crying is essentially about peoples' inability to be satisfied with life. It follows two people from their early tenties to their early fifties. Inevitably they start off with high hopes for achieving some deeply satisfying 'thing' in their lives, whether through art or the friends they allow i
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Who wouldn't love this masterpiece? I savored every word, even the hurtful anti-feminist parts which pierce our deep rooted culture problems. To make up for it, Yates uplifted me with the strength and talent of his female characters. When I finished this book I went online to find any information if Matthew Weiner credited Yates for lifting MM plots directly from this book, not just from "Revolutionary Road". I could only find the quote saying he never read RR until after he wrote MM and only th ...more
A few years ago, after being electrified by Revolutionary Road, and proceeding to rave about it to everyone I knew, a colleague told me (warned me?) that that, Yates' first novel, is "positively cheery" compared to his other works. Though he was wrong in his estimation (Revolutionary Road is every bit as depressing!), there is no hiding the pervading sense of desolation that seeps through each story that Yates tells.

The recurring theme of futile dreams, shattered expectations and the loneliness
Another good one from Richard Yates. The story has similarities to Revolutionary Road. The book is about Michael and Lucy Davenport. It follows them through their courtship, marriage and divorce. In this book, to me, Lucy is the more sympathetic character. While even in his 50's Michael struggles with his insecurities, about his writing, his new marriage, his friends and "getting laid", by the end, Lucy seems to have matured.

I think Yates captures life in the 50's and beyond well. In particular,
Every few years I go on a little Yates or Cheever bender. This is my second reading of "Young Hearts Crying" and I liked it better the second time around, kind of like stew on the second day, it was more flavorful. This is a typical Yates book with people striving and yearning for a life they just don't seem to quite obtain. Michael Davenport comes home from the war and attends Harvard on the GI bill. He marries a girl with money but vows to never touch it. They set out with youthful idealism be ...more
Alex Roberts
After a brisk, compelling Part One where characters and story line are laid out, Parts Two and Three become rather burdensome. The author's voice as the female lead in the middle portion is unconvincing, and the male protagonist, the subject of the concluding section, is problematic not solely for being an unappealing bore with serious class issues (that might have made fine reading matter), but for neither evolving nor suggesting much inner life (he's supposed to be a poet) beyond wanting to ch ...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 Styron 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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“Know what we did, Lucy? You and me? We spent our whole lives yearning. Isn't that the God damndest thing?” 21 likes
“Acting might bring on emotional exhaustion, but writing tired your brains out. Writing led to depression and insomnia and walking around all day with a haggard look.” 4 likes
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