Bobby's Reviews > The Collected Stories of Richard Yates

The Collected Stories of Richard Yates by Richard Yates
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Feb 23, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction

Richard Yates chronicles the delusions, lost dreams and disappointments of everyday people. The addictive thing about these stories is how he zeroes in on the dreadful details -- the things we want to forget - the sad, sorry moments and chapters of our lives - yet Yates hits them with such dead accurracy he makes you relish the telling of it. There are no happy endings here. I guess the most uplifting thing Yates hopes for his characters is that they will finally wake up and experience something akin to "truth", but this usually entails some sad realization about who one really is, or how pathetic one's life is, or how one has made all the wrong choices in life, etc. I would say there is at least some hope for a "better tomorrow" with this confrontation with reality, or truth, or however you want to frame it, but in a Yates story, if such hope is offered, it's done so tentatively. And that's why I like Yates -- he's painfully honest. A fulfilling read. If you like Cheever or even Carver, you'll find something to appreciate here. If you like any of these stories, be sure to check out Revolutionary Road. For a fantastic intro to Yates check out this article from the Boston Review by novelist Steward O'Nan, "The Lost World of Richard Yates": [link: http://bostonreview.net/BR24.5/onan.html]
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