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Disturbing the Peace

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,725 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
Hailed as “America’s finest realistic novelist” by the Boston Globe, Richard Yates, author of Revolutionary Road, garnered rare critical acclaim for his bracing, unsentimental portraits of middle-class American life.

Disturbing the Peace is no exception. Haunting, troubling, and mesmerizing, it shines a brilliant, unwavering light into the darkest recesses of a man’s psyche
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1984 by Delta (first published 1975)
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Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Mental illness wrecks families.
It destroys lives, aggravating close bonds, leaving trust in a state of disrepair.

Alcoholism wrecks families.
It destroys lives, aggravating close bonds, leaving trust in a state of disrepair.

Mental illness and alcoholism combined leaves you isolated from loved ones; you're living in a world of paranoic hallucination and illusory cognizance.

She knew her next question would be a difficult one, but she decided to ask it anyway. She might never be in California again;
Mad Dog
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yates readers
In this book: Nobody really gives a damn about any one else. Friends really aren't friends. Parents are just interested in their children performing a role. Work is not fulfilling. Psychiatrists can't wait to get rid of their patients. This book depicts a world that is not a good place, especially for a mentally ill person.

This is typical Yates. The theme is dark. There are no heroes. Alcohol abounds. Spirituality is absent. The prose is sparse and economical. The setting is mainly the early '60
This covers Yates' familiar (and heavily autobiographical) themes: alcohol, strained relationships, lack of communication, dull job in advertising/media, amateur dramatics, time in the army, depression etc and takes it to new depths: the descent into madness. Yet, as ever, he finds a new slant, so the story is simultaneously fresh and familiar.

It starts fairly dramatically, and follows the subsequent ups and downs of John Wilder's 30s - a compelling read. As well as the usual traumas for a Yates
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Credo che in questo libro Yates raggiunga l’apice della sua inesorabile analisi dell’infelicità umana. Mai ho letto un altro libro che mi abbia creato disagio in ogni pagina come Disturbo della quiete pubblica. Un disagio per l’opera di autodistruzione volutamente realizzata dal protagonista, incapace di reagire al malessere esistenziale che attanaglia ognuno di noi, ma che in John Wilder, pubblicitario di buone capacità, trova facile presa a causa dell’alcoolismo cronico che lo opprime. Ed allo ...more
doug bowman
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This novel, by one of my favorite late 20th century writers, is a compellingly realistic story of the downward spiral of an alcoholic. It's power comes from the exacting insights into the mundane existence of the characters trying to survive and thrive in modern society; along a view into the mind of a man making a step-by-step descent into a private hell. As Yates draws you into Wilder's mind, you find yourself,like the main character, unable to see the bottom, until you have made the slow desc ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, alpha2015
Ancora una volta il tema dell' inadeguatezza e dell'insoddisfazione dell' uomo, nonostante questi sembri vivere il compimento del sogno americano.
Trasmette perfettamente il senso dell'ineluttabilità del finale.

Revolutionary road rimane il mio preferito.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
About a week or two ago, the guy I intern for passed down a copy of Yates' 'Revolutionary Road' which absolutely hooked me on Yates' writing. He's incredibly economical and precise while also being almost gymnastic (a term my old man gives for his favorite writers, but I find it fitting here, too). I read "Easter Parade" following "Revolutionary Road" then a few of the short stories from The Collection and now, "Disturbing the Peace."

It's strange to say, since this is a story about the demise o
Daniel Jon Kershaw
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know Richard Yates novels are very similar. I know he has posthumously become the poster boy of hipster kid literature, but I don’t care, because he writes so well. I am actually really happy he is ‘back in fashion,' because at the time of his death in the early 90s, his books were out of print.

I didn’t enjoy this title as much as Eleven Kinds of Loneliness or Revolutionary Road, but it was still a great read. I’m sure Yates could turn the act of making a cup of tea into a dark, tense discuss
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un autore sicuramente da approfondire.
Non il miglior Yates a mio parere, lontano anni luce da Revolutionary road.
La storia sembra un po' la stessa di sempre: America anni '60, un marito alcolizzato e infedele, una moglie apatica e inconsistente (Janice qui è totalmente inutile), pillole, sigarette e istituti psichiatrici.
Tutto già visto e già scritto.
Da salvare la scrittura di Yates che è sempre bella, pulita e precisa.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing with my aim of working my way through the canon of one of my favourite writers, I recently turned to Richard Yates’ third novel, Disturbing the Peace. Following its publication in 1975, critics considered the book to be something of a disappointment, possibly even his weakest. While it may not be as accomplished and as devastating as Revolutionary Road, or as subtle and as melancholic as The Easter Parade, Disturbing the Peace is still a very fine novel. It’s a brilliantly realised po ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, reviewed
I enjoy Richard Yates' fiction, but this was not my favorite. The protagonist is a jerk. He gets himself tossed into a mental hospital for a particularly obnoxious episode, and goes into a downward spiral. He treats his wife and family like afterthoughts, and is preoccupied with his own narcissistic pursuits. The characters were decently crafted but not engaging. Not my cup of tea.
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
In Disturbing the Peace, Yates introduces us to John Wilder, an insecure thirty-something ad executive who, we learn right away, is in the middle of a midlife crisis - think unhappy marriage, job dissatisfaction, personal dissatisfaction, extramarital affairs, and booze -- lots and lots of booze. But, it quickly becomes clear that Wilder's crisis isn't really of the midlife variety. Rather, it's that he is flat out delusional. In other words, the man is mad - mad as insane, mad as addicted. Mad, ...more
Aug 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
This one took me a while to get through. Sure, it started off well enough, I wanted to know why John Wilder wasn't coming home. But then he is committed to Bellevue, and spends the entire book drinking too much in combination with taking anti-psychotics, having a run-on affair deciding to produce a movie based on his stint in Bellevue. He never redeems himself, his wife remains "comfortable", "civilized" and the book winds itself right back to essentially where it began. I don't like the feel or ...more
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Richard Yates wrote "Revolutionary Road", an excellent novel portraying suburban discontent in the 50's. "Disturbing The Peace" is set in the 60's and features more suburban discontent in the form of a 39 year old advertising salesman who is afflicted with alcoholism and psychosis as he acts out an enormous midlife crisis. I found the former to be a much more satisfying book than the latter; one was great, but I found the other to be somewhat dated and shallow.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yates's writing is once again perfection, to me. As usual the subject matter is heavy, but utterly human. I feel most at home reading his words and sometimes I can't tell if it's because of what he says or how he says it. Might be both. Sad that I've finished another one of his novels; eventually there won't be another 'first read' left to savor.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Such a beautiful and progressively dark read. We spend 99% of the book inside the protagonist's scattered head descending into a slow and unreal madness. In the final pages we see him as the word sees him. Haunting.
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is the only Yates novel that I had to force myself to finish.
Dagio_maya [Offline- Back in a week ^_^]
“Sono soltanto un uomo”

”Aveva trentanove anni e veniva da New York, dove vendeva spazi per l’American Scientist, e aveva un lieve odore di merda di cane sul pollice.”

In principio fu la rabbia che non poteva più contenere. L’alcool, che fin ora era stato l’anestetico, si trasforma in miccia.
John Wilder crolla sotto il peso di una vita apparentemente senza problemi ma fallimentare nella sua essenza.
Un breve ricovero al reparto psichiatrico si rende necessario.
La voce si sta alzando troppo, il
André van Dijk

Genadeloos wist Richard Yates in zijn boeken de zelfkant van de Amerikaanse samenleving in beeld te brengen. Niet door de ogen van een buitenstaander maar van binnenuit opgetekend. In het aangrijpende Een geval van ordeverstoring ging hij nog een stap verder.

Het blijft opmerkelijk: je schrijft een handvol prachtige romans maar de wereld wil nauwelijks iets weten van je haarscherpe analyse van de Amerikaanse mens in zijn tragische 'vaart der volkeren'. Het duurt
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficile vivere ai tempi di John Kennedy, in un'epoca in cui tutto volgeva alla perfezione e all'ottimismo. Doveva essere veramente difficile incarnare e rispettare i canoni dell'americano perfetto, a quei tempi.
Richard Yates, ancora una volta, sceglie di raccontarci l'altra faccia della medaglia del sogno americano: quello dei perdenti, dei falliti, di quelli che in tutti i modi cercano di tendere e di raggiungere a quell'ideale di perfezione umana in una societ�� in cui tutti i sogni possono
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Floridia
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Of the four Yates novels I’ve read, this one had the most in terms of plot. Conversely, of the four Yates novels I’ve read, this one was the least engaging.
I thought that protagonist John Wilder’s admittance to the psych ward for disturbing the peace happened very quickly (page 16). As proven by Kesey, a psychiatric hospital is a bountiful setting replete with limitless character options. Yates does nothing extraordinary with it. Luckily, Wilder’s stint in the hospital is brief (only 42 pages).
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo stile di Richard Yates, in Disturbo della quiete pubblica, è onesto fino a sembrare sfacciato. È terrificante per la sua chiarezza, è come un colpo in testa: doloroso e immediato. In particolare, questo è un romanzo arrabbiato e parecchio nervoso, o meglio, contiene un’ansia tipicamente americana, definibile anche come una tensione rivale su come si viene visti dagli altri. Yates mette in scena personaggi che calcolano e valutano in continuazione, perché vogliono capire chi arriverà per primo ...more
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the early 1960s in Manhattan, John Wilder is a man in his mid-thirties with a seemingly successful career and great family life. A wife and son, with everything pointing to a promising life. But after a business trip, John calls his wife and says he is not coming home.

What happens next could be characterized as an abrupt break with reality, but Wilder's week in Bellevue, where he is placed after an episode of "disturbing the peace," can be seen as an inevitable midpoint to something that has
Emma Colpani
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
John Wilder, sposato con una donna per la quale ha perso interesse, con un figlio che a malapena lo considera, con un lavoro ben remunerato ma che è comunque un ripiego. E con un grande attaccamento all'alcol, che non regge. Nella narrazione di Yates non c'è spazio per la speranza o per il lieto fine: Wilder non riuscirà a far tesoro delle esperienze vissute e degli errori commessi, è circondato da persone che fondamentalmente o non sanno aiutarlo o si limitano a infilargli una siringa nel bracc ...more
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cynics, unapologetic optimists (because, well, fuck them)
"But at the same time he was mildly relieved: with her out of the place it would be possible to drink at any time of day, even in the morning"

Richard Yates - the long lost original hero and champion of post-war suburban malaise and discontent - follows up his most well known novel, Revolutionary Road, with Disturbing the Peace. Hailed as "America's finest realistic novelist" sums up the narrative of John Wilder, a man so desperately lost in his degenerate and subversive marriage and career (resp
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-borrowed
I've been wanting to read Richard Yates's novels for some time and that one had madness as a theme, which always interest me.

However, even if the book was very well written, I couldn't really relate to the main character, I didn't really feel him. On one hand, if I could relate to a madman, maybe I should worry ! But on the other hand, I didn't really like him from the start. He had a brilliant career ahead of him, a family - but I couldn't understand why he had married this woman, for any other
Paolo Gianoglio
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freddo, diretto, tagliente. Yates non concede nulla all’illusione, è spietatamente concentrato a raccontare la storia di un uomo che non riesce a trovare soddisfazione in ciò che lo circonda, e tuttavia è così infelice e così poco determinato da non sapere cosa desiderare. Anche i pochi momenti di felicità non sono una vera soddisfazione, il protagonista sembra consapevole di non riuscire a vivere la propria felicità fino in fondo, la follia arriva quasi a sollevarlo dall’obbligo di accettare 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
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“A me pare che un uomo che permette al suo consulente matrimoniale di prendere decisioni al posto suo non è…be', non è un uomo vero” 1 likes
“Oh, gig, capisco. Spazi pubblicitari. E che rivista è?"
"L'American Scientist".
"Sta scherzando? Be', tanto di cappello. Pubblicano materiale sofisticato. Se lei capisce quella roba dev'essere…"
"Non la capisco. La vendo e basta".
"Come fa a vendere qualcosa che non capisce?"
"Non è quello che fanno gli psichiatri?”
More quotes…