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Richard Yates

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3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  1,608 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Richard Yates is named after real-life writer Richard Yates, but it has nothing to do with him. Instead, it tracks the rise and fall of an illicit affair between a very young writer and his even younger--in fact, under-aged--lover. As he seeks to balance work and love, she becomes more and more self-destructive in a play for his undivided attention. His guilt and anger bui...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,977)
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Megan Boyle
Richard Yates (the author) said somewhere, "If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy." Tao Lin has said in multiple interviews that "Richard Yates" is intended to be a non-sequitur, but certain attitudes/ideas/thought patterns I have while reading Richard Yates novels were also activated while reading "Richard Yates."

I read this book in ~2 days, lying in different positions on my bed, sometimes hunched ove...more
Tfitoby
Jun 07, 2012 Tfitoby rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: lit
Toby had read Shoplifting from American Apparel and absolutely loved. He went to Planet Books to find more novels from Tao Lin and they didn't have any. He searched amazon.co.uk and ordered two more novels from Tao Lin. He said to Leah via iMessage "they aren't going to ship until January 23rd. That's crap." Leah replied on iMessage "that is crap, Shoplifting from American Apparel was excellent, I hope the others are good."

Richard Yates arrived in the mail 10 days before amazon.co.uk said they w...more
christa
I'm feeling pretty generous today, so I'm going to extend to Tao Lin a courtesy I'd ordinarily not. I'm going to humor him. For the duration of this post, I'm not even going to so much as roll a single eyeball over his whole "If you don't get me, you're obvs too old to understand me" bullshit. But please know this will end with my tongue bloody from restraint.

[Deep breath]

In order to do this, I need to consider his novel Richard Yates from the perspective that this is artistic social commentary...more
Chelsea Martin
Engrossing story of two hypersensitive weaklings and the horrifying inner workings of their relationship. Highly relatable.
Aya
Depressingly good and like nothing I have read before.

I read it after seeing a few interviews with Tao Lin, so when I read, it was automatically with a neutral facial expression and in his monotonous way of speaking in my head. This made it somehow a more intense experience then when I read shoplifting and didn't know anything about Tao Lin.

I would definitely recommend reading this book. It may not be your style, but it's worth trying. If it turns out to be, you will love it. Plus it's rather...more
Ben Loory
Sep 30, 2010 Ben Loory rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ben by: the cover
this book is hilarious and excruciatingly boring, both at the same time. i kinda wanted to hurl it across the room, but i was so enervated that would have been impossible, and meanwhile it is also somehow a total page-turner (despite having no plot), so i didn't want to put it down. it's also strangely sweet (in the sense of, here is a stuffed animal), while also making me think of The Collector a lot. in other words, it's a good book; not like the usual tripe, and actually made me strangely pro...more
Alex
Reading Tao Lin gives me an experience unlike reading any other literature I have ever read before. Not necessarily a "better" experience, but one which is incomparable. I feel completely detached from the world - not depressed, or lethargic, but "blank" - some combination of Zen mindfulness and crippling depression that is not exactly either.

Tao Lin grabs you, and pulls you into a world where awful shit happens all the time and the characters hardly react to it. Characters have sex by Tao Lin w...more
Caitlin Constantine
If it were possible to give a book zero stars I would have done it for this one. I cannot think of a time I have hated a book this much. I have read a lot of things that indicate Tao Lin is the future of American creative writing, that say he is one of the most widely imitated writers in MFA programs, etc etc. I would imagine that it's because his writing style, which consists of nothing more than declarative sentences that state action and dialogue as it happens, is very easy to imitate. Why bo...more
Bradley
I read the book in two nights. The first night I was really bored, although it had a lot of good sentences here and there which were often funny. The second night I enjoyed it a lot more. I think it's a difficult book to like if the reader assumes the protagonist is Tao Lin because the protagonist is a total douchebag. It is very likely that the protagonist is entirely based on the author. But if reader does not read the book with this assumption, they will be much more likely to enjoy it.
Paul
Mar 25, 2011 Paul rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Good lord what a dirge. Irritating doesn't quite describe it; infuriating may be overstating. This is the story of Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning (no relation to the celebrities), whom Lin insists on referring to with their full names every single damn time. It's really, really cute. Pronouns are used shall we say "infrequently," so about a third of the words in the book are the two characters' names. Very cute. What do the characters do? Not much. They mope around, whining to one another,...more
Brad
I am not sure what to even say about this book. Being a Richard Yates fan, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the title. As you might have guessed, the book has nothing to do with Richard Yates and everything to do with its central protagonists, Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment (people who just happen to have identical names of famous people). The book is essentially and in-person and online chat conversation of a teenage girl and early-twenties boy who fall in love (more or less). People w...more
Brenda
No sé. De verdad que no sé.
No consigo entenderlo.

Diría mil cosas, pero el desasosiego me abruma.
Tessa
Did not enjoy or finish.
Mandy
To read the review in its entirety go to WellReadWife.com
There have been times when I have hated something that it seemed everyone in my world loved. One of those times was in my grad school Film Theory class. I enjoyed/found some artistic value in every movie we watched (Crash, The Driver’s Seat, etc) until we got to the film Breaking The Waves. I hated it. I even thought the ending was kind of funny. I voiced my opinion in the class and the teacher made some big deal about how when the bells r...more
Will
Tao Lin: So what’d you think?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I don’t know
T: Why? I saw the tiniest dog today.
J: I just didn’t like it. Maybe too close to reality. The superficiality and sadness.
T: I wonder how much it weighed?
J: People talking to each other through abrupt text messages. Talking at, not talking with. They almost seemed trapped in their own worlds.
T: It was gutsy a little later.
lol typo
Gusty.
J: I’m firmly rooted in this iPhone generation but I feel no connection to it here.
T: I hope the...more
Jade Shames
TENSE AND INTRIGUED – I began reading with it with a kind of tense frenzy. There is a sense in the first few pages that something is going to break the tone or emotional stasis of book, but it doesn’t happen. Haley and Dakota chat about things and I felt tossed into their angsty worldview and minute problems. This all felt like exposition, but then after several pages I realized that I wasn’t going to get a “and then, all of a sudden, this weird thing happens!”.

BECOMING BORED – Now, a quarter of...more
Ryan Smith
I loved this book. I can say without sarcasm or irony or shame it assuaged me existentially. I feel like I admire a certain kind of commitment / effort required to write and read a book like this, and this has nothing to do with 'tedium' unless you're not paying attention, but that's okay, most people don't, and it has nothing to do with being a good or bad person or a smart or dumb person (okay, sometimes), it's just how people are. Art is hard, interacting with art is hard, finding art that is...more
Matthew
I had thought for a while that I would dislike this guy (i.e., Tao Lin) but that was based not on what he’d actually written but that he was like 22 and had four books published already. And that he’d named one of the books Eeeee Eee Eeee and I thought that seemed too cutesy and ironic. But then I somehow ended up reading some stuff on his website and also listened to an interview he did with Michael Silverblatt and thought, huh, this guy seems smart and well-read and hard-working and possibly w...more
Keith
Considering that this is apparently not a book condemning youth culture but is, in fact, about Tao Lin being a statutory rapist, I'm sort of wondering how this book is going to be seen in 10 years.

Darcy
I read the beginning of this book excitedly and quickly. I liked watching the relationship happen. I like the exchanges and the meshing of two lives before me. I read the end of this book pained and disturbed as I was normally hunched and curled up with my hand by my mouth and unaffected by the world around me. I wanted the relationship to work very badly and felt as if I was within it and trying to work it out. As I walked around throughout the day I heard Haley and Dakota's voices in my head....more
Telaina
If this hypoxic drivel is what is going to be acclaimed as good literature and good novel writing over the next generation, kill me now. While it is obvious Lin is a unique and talented writer, the self-obsession and minimalism of the prose is affected and posturing and unworthy of a writer with this much potential. Mere words cannot describe how much I hated this book and its surface and glossy treatment of the true suffering in this world.
Ryan Mooney
Over 200 pages, Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning incessantly blather about suicide, sex, Whole Foods and generally being fucked. Over and over. The darkest humor; not for the faint of heart.
David Beasley
i might have hated this book.
but i can't tell, so 5 stars and i think you should read it.

Lockhart19
A bizarre book detailing an unevenly-weighted romance between characters named Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment, mostly documented through the use of Gmail Chat. Yes, really. The uneven nature of their relationship becomes more clear as the book progresses, as Dakota Fanning (never simply 'Dakota') is only 16 or 17, while Haley Joel Osment (Tao Lin's stand-in) is approximately 25 and lives independently. The novel is at least partially based upon a relationship that Tao Lin had with a younge...more
Dave
I really, really like this book and I'm not sure why. Days after finishing it I need another Tao Lin fix, but I've already read "Shoplifting at American Apparel" and his other novel isn't easy to find.

Lin's minimalist, literal style is really intoxicating to me. It was what initially drew me to "Shoplifting" and he has really honed it even more with this novel by adding a lot of gchat and email conversations. As other people have written here, it's an easy imitable style, but I bet it's also no...more
Ali Adams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rowena
when i first started reading this, i thought, absurd. but i thought about why and the only reason i thought that was because of the names. if the characters had been named anything else i would have taken this book differently, which i did when i realized this. subsequently i realized how good this was. it's like an improved cohesive version of Eeeee Eee Eeee (ie written with tao lin's signature deadpan minimalism used in a much better way). the ending (view spoiler)...more
Void
Richard Yates isn't a novel- it's an experience.

Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Not because I was interested; it was akin to watching a trainwreck that you can't peel your eyes from. You don't want to hear bits and pieces of the story, you want to see the entire thing for yourself no matter how boring details get or how long it takes.

The first half of the book moved along smoothly with conversations and scant meetings between Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment. The bumps in...more
Jess
Richard Yates by Tao Lin is about 22 year old Haley Joel Osment, a writer and graduate of New York University, and his 16 year old girlfriend Dakota Fanning. Haley Joel Osment lives in Manhattan and meets Dakota fanning on the internet. After hours of gmail chat conversations, emails, and phone conversations Haley travels to New Jersey. They keep their relationship a secret from Dakota’s mother for months. Richard Yates follows Haley and Dakota as they hide the relationship, travelling back and...more
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“I think you like other things better than me," he said on Gmail chat that night. "I mean generally you like things that aren't people. More than people. Like eating or sleeping or something. If you don't want to do something then just tell me and we don't have to be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore, instead of just pretending or something."

"I want to be boyfriend and girlfriend," said Dakota Fanning. "I am learning. I know what to do."

"I don't understand when people don't do what they say they want to do."

"Me either," said Dakota Fanning. "That's why I don't understand myself or like myself."

"I still don't understand," said Haley Joel Osment.

"I'm killing myself," said Dakota Fanning. "Good night.”
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