Ann's Reviews > Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
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May 26, 09

Read in May, 2009

Well -- same old plot -- two needy people find each other, end up in boring suburbia and live out their fantasy of feeling better ( more unique) by plotting to run away from all this and live the bohemian life in Paris!

But -- Richard Yates takes this not unusual story and makes it a superb narrative -- and character study of two very different dysfunctional people -- Frank living in the shadow of (to him and his father) a failure father and April -- never consistently loved or wanted by her parents or any family member. The two find each other and live a fantasy - that they are artists and better than all the boring people round them -- but gradually it seems that the fantasy is really April's. Frank is OK with the mundane, boring life -- actually quite thrives in the job where he does little and earns a reasonable amount. He is even happier when he gets noticed and promoted!! And for something he did to cover up all the work he had not done!!!

Some of the book seems a little dated -- the huge amounts of drinks (and driving) before dinner, after work, with the neighbors, even at lunch time. Frank's urge to hit his wife when she provokes him! (I hope is dated!!) The whole identification of self with work -- especially April's identification with what Frank does and wanting to give up much of her life to allow him to find himself, rather then finding her own self (which she badly needs to do!!) and doing things for herself. The repression!! No one could talk to anyone about anything significant -- feelings, wants desires -- even those most closely involved. April tries at times and is regarded as hysterical. if not crazy!!! Thank goodness for the women's movement!! And finally - the tragedy -- occurring before the Roe vs Wade decision here in the USA.

April and Frank are not particularly likeable -- but they are fascinating -- even when destroying each other!

It is also interesting that the only sane, relevant comments come from a paranoid schizophrenic who is committed to a mental hospital, but occasionally visits Frank and April!!!
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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Davis Loved this one. Much better than Updike! I understand that the producer of Mad Men is a huge fan of this book. You can see it!


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