Michelle's Reviews > Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
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's review
Jan 04, 09

it was ok
bookshelves: novels
Read in December, 2008

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 life.

I think I mostly felt sorry for their children.

I'm tempted to tie this book in with a discussion of Roe v. Wade, but, once again, I just don't care.
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Reading Progress

04/19 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)


Michelle Really? Damn.

message 3: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu Eh, I never got around to reading this. Are you enjoying it at all, Michelle?

Michelle I'm only a few chapters in, but so far I'm not impressed.

message 5: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu Haha, guess I won't read it after all... Also, Michelle, have you never read any Robert Walser? I adore Robert Walser. My ex-girlfriend bought the Selected Stories for me about a month ago... needless to say, it was incredible. I loved his novels, so I was happy to find that his short prose maintains the same air of dazzlement found in their longer brethren.

Check him out, I'm sure you'll love his stuff!

Michelle No, I've never read Robert Walser. Would you suggest reading his stories first, or one of his novels?

Jessica I don't know his novels Matthew, I've only read his stories, which I love...

message 8: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu Michelle: I guess I'd start with the stories first. It's really your call, though.

Jessica: His novels are amazing. I'd suggest starting with "Jakob von Gunten"

message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:49AM) (new)

Back to Revolutionary Road for a moment:

This is a typical midcentury modernist novel that bemoans the conformity and general malaise of suburban American life. It's a bit too portentous, self-important, and mock-tragic for my taste. Plus the writing is awfully stiff and old-fashioned (for the early 1960s).

Will definitely not be seeing the film adaptation... as if Leonardo weren't a deal-breaker in his own right.

message 10: by Jessica (last edited Dec 27, 2008 07:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica thanks for that suggestion Matthew. I shall look for it.

As for Rev. Road, I've no desire to see the film. I've heard for the longest time what a great under-appreciated novel this is...have never read it. I tried his stories, I did like them...David: you are making me not want to read it. (Michelle: what do you think?)

message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 27, 2008 07:42PM) (new)

It's the sort of novel you feel as though you've already read before. Repeatedly.

Michelle, it seems that I come in and trash your "currently-reading" books a lot lately. Sorry!

message 12: by Jessica (last edited Dec 27, 2008 07:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica No thanks, then.
Sorry Richard Yates. I've heard so much good about you. But now you've got the film version to bring you ever-lasting fame...(hey, I know you're dead, just sayin'--)

brian   once again, david's dead wrong.
wrong wrong wrong.
the book is great.

Jessica gosh, you guys agree on so little!
hmm...maybe I shouldn't bury him so soon after all...

message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 27, 2008 08:00PM) (new)

Brian: Get back in the kitchen and make me dinner, ya queen, or there'll be no pig-in-a-blanket t'nite. (Sweetums.)

It's not a horrible novel. It's a three-star effort -- but with so many four and five star books out there, why bother? Suburban America makes us into deadened, hopeless automatons... There. It's like you just read the novel. I saved you sixteen bucks plus applicable sales tax or a trip to the library.

Jessica Michelle: I'm waiting for you to weigh in!
but you're right David, suburban America is hardly what I'm most interested in reading about...

Michelle Michelle, it seems that I come in and trash your "currently-reading" books a lot lately. Sorry!

I thought that was Brian who said that. I was trying to remember which other time Brian trashed what I was currently reading. You two slay me.

So far this novel blows. Sorry.

message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim Wow, I came here to find out what Michelle thought.. but never mind.

This has been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year. Untouched. Unwanted. But, pretty...

Jessica you could always watch Leonardo and Kate onscreen. (not something I'm willing to do but...)

message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim Jack! Rose! Jack! Rose!

message 21: by David (new)

David If you go back a generation, there's always "Mrs Bridge". Which I found very sad, but very good. (I haven't yet read "Mr Bridge", nor seen the film, which got the full Merchant-Ivory treatment plus Newmans).

Really, marriage must be hell. Or maybe it's just that way in the U.S.

Pauses, thinks of The Secret Scripture, the Bovaries, the Karenins, The German Bride, A Doll's House, I Claudius, Othello, Macbeth. The Chatterleys. A Handful of Dust. Virginia Woolf. And is afraid.

Naw. Clearly, marriage is hell.

message 22: by Jessica (last edited Jan 06, 2009 03:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica I remember the Mr & Mrs Bridge novels...I read them in college. Very good.
yeah marriage is hell for many for us.

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