Revolutionary Road

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Revolutionary Road ☄ [PDF / Epub] ☃ Revolutionary Road By Richard Yates ✓ – Polishdarling.co.uk O primeiro romance de Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road, tornou se um cl ssico logo ap s a sua publica o em Nele, Yates oferece um retrato definitivo das promessas por cumprir e do desabar do sonho a O primeiro romance de Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road, tornou se um cl ssico logo ap s a sua publica o emNele, Yates oferece um retrato definitivo das promessas por cumprir e do desabar do sonho americano Continua hoje a ser o retrato da sociedade americana Um casal jovem e promissor, Frank e April Wheeler, vive com os dois filhos num sub rbio pr spero de Connecticut, em meados dos anosPor m, a apar ncia de bem estar esconde uma frustra o terr vel resultante da incapacidade de se sentirem felizes e realizados tanto no seu relacionamento como nas respectivas carreiras Frank est preso num emprego de escrit rio bem pago mas entediante e April uma dona de casa frustrada por n o ter conseguido seguir uma promissora carreira de actriz Determinados a identificarem se como superiores crescente popula o suburbana que os rodeia, decidem ir para a Fran a onde estar o mais aptos a desenvolver as suas capacidades art sticas, livres das exig ncias consumistas da vida numa Am rica capitalista Contudo, o seu relacionamento deteriora se num ciclo intermin vel de brigas, ci mes e recrimina es, o que ir colocar em risco a viagem e os sonhos de auto realiza o.


10 thoughts on “Revolutionary Road

  1. Eric Eric says:

    I let out a whoop of laughter on about page 180, when I finally figured Frank Wheeler out You see, Frank spent most of his youth a scattered, bashful schmuck Then after WWII, as a Columbia student and Village dweller, he started getting laid all the time, thanks to a theatrically brooding pseudo intellectual schtick Nevermind that Frank is essentially a glib blowhard, talented in no artistic way he s one of those tiresome people who whine about Conformity as if America invented it, threaten I let out a whoop of laughter on about page 180, when I finally figured Frank Wheeler out You see, Frank spent most of his youth a scattered, bashful schmuck Then after WWII, as a Columbia student and Village dweller, he started getting laid all the time, thanks to a theatrically brooding pseudo intellectual schtick Nevermind that Frank is essentially a glib blowhard, talented in no artistic way he s one of those tiresome people who whine about Conformity as if America invented it, threaten expatriation, etc , but the sexual success of his hip, disaffected persona was the only success or strength he had ever really known, so it became the core around which he wrapped his entire being and identity That s fine, we all need illusions, and if they get you laid, even better but the hitch is that April, his wife and the last of his conquests, and the woman with whom he now lives in the suburbs, actually half believes him, thinks that he s a noble soul who needs the rarefied air of foreign capitals in order to flower This is hilarious because Frank is nothing if not the standard guy, L homme moyen sensuel his dissatisfaction with his life, which he pretentiously blames on the conformity and boredom of 1950s America, is actually pretty well mollified once he gets a promotion at work and starts screwing a secretary the idea of moving to Paris the better to become a nicotine stained, Jean Paul Sartre kinda guy vanishes once he starts havingsex he affects a snooty disdain for his job, but he s actually quite good at it, and, in heartbreaking scene toward the end, when it s all too, too late, demonstrates that he kind of likes it But getting back to my whoop of laughter That laughter didn t diminish my esteem for the novel regardless of his characters, Yates is a godlike stylist but for a while there I felt it playedas a macabre farce than as a Tragic Laying Bare Of The Hollowness Of The American Dream Then the tragic gravity of the characters came rushing back in chapter 7 of part 3, when the narration switches to April s point of view, and Yates starts hitting you where the last pages of The Great Gatsby hit you I ended up withcompassion for Frank, I saw that his pose of superiority rises, at least partly, out of a desperate fear of ending up like his wilted, used up working stiff of a father Frank and April were drifting, lonely people who initially thought that one another looked like the kind of person the golden boy, the really first rate girl who could whirl their lives into effortlessness and perfection and a final salvation from lifelong feelings of dread and inadequacyjust as everyone else in the book thinks that the Wheelers LOOK LIKE that golden couple with the world at its feet, and all problems solved Stendahl said beauty is the promise of happiness That s it, merely the promise Yates is so eloquent on how easy and how dangerous it is to theatricalize our lives He knows all the little gestures and poses with which we briefly and delusionally elevate flawed creatures into romantic figures


  2. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Revolutionary Road Set in 1955, portrait of American suffocating, grinding conformity Author Richard Yates on his novel I think I meant itas an indictment of American life in the 1950s Because during the Fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price Republished as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, Revolutionary Road is, for my money, the Gr Revolutionary Road Set in 1955, portrait of American suffocating, grinding conformity Author Richard Yates on his novel I think I meant itas an indictment of American life in the 1950s Because during the Fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price Republished as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, Revolutionary Road is, for my money, the Great American 1950s Novel Richard Yates at his finest, a true classic In the spirit of freshness, I will shift the focus from the story of main characters Frank and April Wheeler to various ways the novel depicts 1950s American society and culture THE ALMIGHTY AUTOMOBILE Once their cars seemed able to relax in an environment all their own, a long bright valley of colored plastic and plate glass and stainless steel Yates description here after those 1950s cars are off winding, bumpy, narrow streets and onto the spanking new wide highway Back in 1955 there still existed a contrast between narrow dirt roads and car friendly highways and freeways Richard Yates foresaw how the automobile would quickly come to rule and how American men and women could then relax behind the wheel and feel at home on the many smooth, newly constructed car dominated roads.WORRYWARTS Frank spends all his work day anticipating April in her evening dramatic premier A mental projection of scenes to unfold tonight but nowhere in these plans did he foresee the weight and shock of reality Frank is a college graduate but hasn t learned a fundamental, critical truth constantly projecting your life into the future is a sure fire formula for disappointment And all during April s actual performance Frank incessantly bites his nails and gnaws on his fist until it s a raw, red pulp Such anxiety and insecurity Frank typifies the 1950s emotionally distraught worrywart As Richard Yates notes above, a society of such worrywarts will cling to safety and security at any price.LOGORRHEA Could you please stop talking So asks April of Frank ridding home after her theatrical disaster She doesn t realize she is asking the impossible since this is America 1955 where silence has become the dreaded enemy an entire society of know it alls drowning in their own chatter Talk as a prime tool to establish how absolutely right you are And if anyone else doesn t see it your way or dares to disagree, God help them, they must be quickly set straight Yak, yak, yak, jabber, jabber, jabber, fueled by those two prime 1950s pick me ups chain smoking and martinis.BABBITT LIVES Frank and April s suburban realtor, a two faced, despicable, intrusive gatekeeper of the growing suburbs, Mrs Givings, runs around doing her best to make sure new residents equate personal value with real estate value Frank s inability to stand up to this loutish, boorish woman speaks volumes to his insecurity and pitiful lack of character.A WOMAN S PLACE Nowhere is Frank s hypocrisy and ugly ego on displaythan in his dealings with his wife, April Frank condescendingly snickers at the middle class mentality and lifestyle where Daddy is always the great man and Mommy always listens to Daddy and sticks by his side but Frank quickly boils over into a rage at those times when April doesn t do exactly that, listen to him and sticks by his side Turns out, April is quite capable of speaking her own mind, especially in matters of importance such as dealing with her pregnancy and the decision to have a child This novel captures how the 1950s scream out for much needed women s liberation.TELEVISION RULES Frank and April s choice to have a TV in their new suburban house Why not Don t we really owe it to the kids Besides, it s silly to go on being snobbish about television The author s penetrating insight into 1950s mentality educated men and women want to scoff at television, thinking their tastes much too cultivated and refined to constantly stare passively at the boob tube, but that s exactly what they do for hours and hours Owe it to the kids sheer balderdash.THE WORLD OF MEN AND GIRLS Every single scene in Frank s midtown Manhattan office is a revealer of the strict stratification in the grey flannel 50s men doing the serious work on this side girls performing secretarial and filing on that side And it goes without saying every single person in the office is white Frank s father s name was Earl, a serious handicap in a world of Jims, Teds, Toms, Mikes and Joes, since in workplace USA men are called by their shortened first names Ah, to make such a big deal over names Just goes to show how suffocating and strict the conformity Sidebar I always have found it amusing that as soon as the post 1950s business world discovered women will work harder than men, generally do a better job than men and work for a lot less pay then men, all of a sudden, surprise, surprise, huge shift in the American workforce.TRUE REBELLION AND PSYCHIATRY Serious energy is infused into Yates story when April and especially Frank are given a dose of what it really means to rebel against standardized, conventional society John Givings, fresh from a mental hospital, pays a number of visits to their home In the black and white 1950s world, if someone had to be dragged off to a mental hospital aka nut house, loony bin, funny farm, that person was instantly labeled totally insane or completely crazy, placed on the same level as a leper in a leper colony And God help the poor soul who is told they should see a psychiatrist In the 1950s, telling people they need mental help was a key method of intimidation and control, as Frank well knows when he tells April she needs to see a shrink THE LURE OF MONEY AND SUCCESS Oh, Frank, how you spin 180 degrees when a company executive sits you down, gives you some honest to goodness appreciation and judges that you, Frank Wheeler, have what it takes to join him in a new business venture and use your ingenuity to move up in the company and make some serious money With such a glowing prospect, following April s plan of moving to Paris so you can sit around and fine yourself begins to smell like a big pile of dog you know what THE KIDS Frank and April have two children six year old Jennifer and four year old Michael, running back and forth in the backyard, playing with the neighborhood boys and girls but most of the time sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons And where will Jennifer and Michael be as teenagers in 1969 At Woodstock, wearing their hair long, smoking grass, listening to Joan Baez and Richie Havens and Santana Bye, bye 1950s Good riddance American author Richard Yates, 1926 1992


  3. Ben Ben says:

    For the longest time I just wanted a family, kids, a decent job, and a happy life in suburbia That was all I wanted That s it It seemed so simple, predictable, and reliable It was my ideal image It seems that society has done a good job of putting that thought in everyone s head The best thing for a young man is for him to go to college, get married, get a reliable job with a steady company, have babies 2 or 3, of course , make friends with neighbors, have birthday parties for the kids, For the longest time I just wanted a family, kids, a decent job, and a happy life in suburbia That was all I wanted That s it It seemed so simple, predictable, and reliable It was my ideal image It seems that society has done a good job of putting that thought in everyone s head The best thing for a young man is for him to go to college, get married, get a reliable job with a steady company, have babies 2 or 3, of course , make friends with neighbors, have birthday parties for the kids, do little cocktail parties with the adults Then he needs to tell his kids to do the same thing And the cycle continues That s just what you do I know that mindset isn t as prevalent now as it was when this was written in the 50s And I haven t a doubt that the aforementioned lifestyle was is the best life for many people No doubt at all.I think the problem lies in rushing into that lifestyle, before really knowing what you re getting into, without really knowing your spouse, without even knowing who you are, and what you really want, and what would really be best for you People get trapped and don t even know they re trapped caught inside their anger, not even knowing what they re angry at Trapped inside the jail that is their home, forced into a miserable life of their own choosing, not knowing why or how it got that way, and evenmiserable about it for that very reason.And it s scary for me, because a few bad roles of the die and I could have ended up like Frank fucking Wheeler And it s funny That whole lifestyle Especially the tedious details and what often becomes our self obsessive thoughts You know why it s funny Because it s both ridiculous and real So all the laughter this novel caused me was because shit, man it s real It s very real that most of us are this ridiculous it s very real that we go through the motions each day unaware, petty, and self absorbed it s very real that the most normal among us are among the most insane It s very real that a lot of people are living the ideal lifestyle and are fucking miserable And no matter our life situation, we re always hoping forThat keeps a lot of us going And we re all pretty fucking shallow too, aren t we Yes People die all the time, and we get over it Yes We Do And often quickly, I might add.The word timeless probably gets thrown around too much But this novel doesn t just seem timeless And it doesn t just seem relevant today It seems fucking instructive Be careful what you wish for, and pay attention to who you are, and don t suck others dry, and don t suck yourself dry, and search for truth no matter how painful And we continue to be self absorbed and ridiculous We make our decisions based on what we think will bring us the most happiness, like life is a game of chess And it is And it goes on.And I still want my reliable job and my white picket fence And a pretty wife And babies 2 or 3 of them But you see, I m crazy


  4. Fabian Fabian says:

    Imagine my surprise when I came across Stephen King s Best Books of 2009 List one not condescending enough to include solely those published this year , saw that 2nd place belonged to Revolutionary Road Glad I am not alone in feeling a strong deep sad empathy for this book The story is EXTREMELY well told The story, about young revolutionaries who end up doing exactly the opposite of what they ve set out to do, is quite simple but very epoch rich It has different P.O.V.s, which deviat Imagine my surprise when I came across Stephen King s Best Books of 2009 List one not condescending enough to include solely those published this year , saw that 2nd place belonged to Revolutionary Road Glad I am not alone in feeling a strong deep sad empathy for this book The story is EXTREMELY well told The story, about young revolutionaries who end up doing exactly the opposite of what they ve set out to do, is quite simple but very epoch rich It has different P.O.V.s, which deviates from the outstanding film, the ending isshattering bitter than the one presented on the silver screen.Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes made a wise decision in giving April Wheeler a brighter limelight to contend with Frank s, the husband sole protagonist of the novel In the film, there is a constant wrestling match which is underlined by the fact that THESE ARE JACK AND ROSE from Titanic and we must instantly feel for them Mendes is a genius, too, in the casting of his ex wife Kate Winslet, who is arguably the best actress of our generation So while Mendes has the ability to play sly film director, almost auteur, Richard Yates has muchto contend with His meditation on the cost of real freedom is basically flawless He plays with dialogue in the same awesome way that a dedicated playwright like Edward Albee did He describes in simple ways just how awful the everyday can truly be for a bright, dedicated yet frail American in the 1950 s Makes a stark contrast with today s impediments on a marriage After so many years it seems that sometimes people make jails for themselves with as little ease as they dream big dreams


  5. Candi Candi says:

    4.5 starsIntelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs Economic circumstance might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated The important thing, always, was to remember who you were Richard Yates takes a well honed surgeon s blade, painstakingly dissects a marriage, examines its tortuous viscera, an 4.5 starsIntelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs Economic circumstance might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated The important thing, always, was to remember who you were Richard Yates takes a well honed surgeon s blade, painstakingly dissects a marriage, examines its tortuous viscera, and leaves it fully exposed for all to observe The reader becomes a surgical assistant of sorts, a witness to the searing scrutiny of all that has been laid bare As increasingly squeamish as I became, I was still held captive by the spectacle TheI realized what Yates had accomplished, theweak in the knees I became, theimpressed by his genius The attractive and promising young couple, Frank and April Wheeler, and their two children are the perfect image of a suburban family You can almost see them standing there in front of the proper white house with the big picture window and the neatly manicured lawn The illusion is burst, however, right from the start We know it s going to disintegrate when Yates draws an analogy by use of an amateur play that turns into a flop April, once an aspiring actress, is at the center of the stage and Frank the adoring husband in the audience The play begins on a high note and quickly goes downhill from there By the end of the evening, both cast and audience depart with an air of humiliationtime and again they read the promise of failure in each other s eyes, in the apologetic nods and smiles of their parting and the spastic haste with which they broke for their cars and drove home to whatever older, less explicit promises of failure might lie in wait for them there As things spiral downward and Frank and April s marriage takes a turn for the worst, April steps in with a grand plan to move to Paris and begin a new life there They know they don t belong in the suburbs, Frank doesn t deserve a tedious job at the company where his own father once worked, and April has her own lofty ambitions They are a couple marked for success Or are they The marriage suddenly seems to be on the right path once again They are hopeful for the transformative dream they plan to realize by the end of summerNever before had elation welledpowerfully inside him never had beauty grownpurely out of truth never in taking his wife had he triumphedcompletely over time and space The past could dissolve at his will and so could the future so could the walls of this house and the whole imprisoning wasteland beyond it, towns and trees He had taken command of the universe because he was a man, and because the marvelous creature who opened and moved for him, tender and strong, was a woman Yates not only gets inside his characters and reveals their most private ruminations many of them quite arrogant, self serving, and callous , he also writes some of the most convincing dialogue between couples and among friends and acquaintances that I have ever read No doubt he was either an active participant or a keen observer ofthan one marital altercation that had escalated to a feverish pitch There s really not a single likeable character in the entire novel I think this was done with purpose Richard Yates wanted to expose not just his central characters, but also the superficiality of the entire lot If there is one person with whom one could align, it would have to be the son of the Wheeler s real estate agent John Givings has been institutionalized following a breakdown, much to the embarrassment of Mrs Givings who has her own image to uphold as real estate agent for this perfect suburban neighborhood When her grand plan to introduce him to the Wheelers as a form of therapy is put in motion, we realize that John is the mouthpiece for all that has gone wrong in this grand illusion of Revolutionary Road He says what everyone wants to say, but won t as a matter of propriety He,than anyone else, points out what has gone wrong with the American dream With no filter whatsoever, John blurts out one brazen opinion after another But even these truisms have a ring of sarcasm to them We may not like this young man either, but he sure as hell offers a refreshing honesty that no one else seems to havemaybe it does take a certain amount of guts to see the emptiness, but it takes a whole hell of a lotto see the hopelessness And I guess when you do see the hopelessness, that s when there s nothing to do but take off If you canRevolutionary Road was written in 1961 and portrays the life of a 1950s young suburbanite couple, but it could really take place at any time The fantasy and dissolution of the American dream is astutely sketched Yates explores the illusion of marriage as a way out of a less than ideal childhood, as a way to achieve your independence and aspirations, and as an institution to be upheld no matter what the consequences He places these fictions under the microscope and then dismantles them This is a book that will make you uncomfortable I squirmed throughout However, I believe this is Yates s intent, and he fully succeeded in achieving his goal I couldn t help comparing this book to John Updike s Rabbit, Run, which I finished just a day before starting this one Both are scathing portraits of marriages gone wrong, but Updike left me a bit of hope for Rabbit, that aggravating bastard Frank Wheeler can take a hike and never come back for all I careIt depressed him to consider how much energy he had wasted, over the years, in the self denying posture of apology From now on, whatever else his life might hold, there would be noapologies


  6. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Really Tough LoveYates has a reputation as a chronicler of the smug years of post WWII America Perhaps But as an artist, he is muchthan a period sociologist Yates s understanding of the folie a deux which we call marriage is profound The reasons two people find each other attractive are buried in experiences of which neither is conscious much less rationally able to think about To call such attraction love is euphemistic It may be, at best, an attempt to redeem or complete oneself th Really Tough LoveYates has a reputation as a chronicler of the smug years of post WWII America Perhaps But as an artist, he is muchthan a period sociologist Yates s understanding of the folie a deux which we call marriage is profound The reasons two people find each other attractive are buried in experiences of which neither is conscious much less rationally able to think about To call such attraction love is euphemistic It may be, at best, an attempt to redeem or complete oneself that might eventually develop into love but only if the underlying reasons are resolved sufficiently and replaced Subsequent decisions to bring children into such an indeterminate situation are likely based on equally fatuous thinking It seems amazing therefore that the survival rates of marriage are as high as they are and thatof us are not functionally psychotic.Yates raises the perennial if not eternal question of the nature and implications of commitment I recall the distinction made when I was in the services between making a contribution and making a commitment in one s breakfast of bacon and eggs, the chicken has made a contribution the pig is decisively committed Does this anecdote express the reality or essential ethics of commitment Are the reasons for making commitments, misguided or not, relevant to a continuation of a commitment Do changed circumstances, including improved awareness of motives, abrogate the demands of previous commitments Can Til death us do part be anythingthan irrational optimism and encouragement Personal sovereignty is analogous to national sovereignty The implication would seem to be that treaties, contracts, agreements are never unconditional, never intended as eternal There may be consequences of non compliance with any of these, but acceptance of consequences is part of sovereignty the share out of community property, loss of mutual friends, increased psychological and social tensions and of course the fate of the next generation The calculus of contract termination may be complex but doesn t seem to imply any absolute moral constraints On the other hand, can what we believe to be considered judgment be anythingthan hapless struggle The alternative to withdrawal of commitment is what seems to fascinate Yates We try to work things out In order to deny, or at least delay, the possibility of broken commitment, we tell each other stories Stories about the past and how we arrived at the present could prove therapeutic by uncovering unconscious reasons and reasoning But we tell stories about the future instead, about alternatives lives in exotic locations, doing interesting work, with stimulating friends and colleagues The stories promote hope but little else.We hope these ideals can compensate for any originating defects But it s likely that Yates is correct these ideals simply reinforce the power of the neuroses already in play A new script perhaps but the same denouement There is no way to anticipate the psychological baggage we take on with our partner The piper will be paid Pain is inevitable The issue is who pays and when Unambiguously happy endings are not within the range of the possible


  7. karen karen says:

    watching this movie last night made me want to read the book immediately after and it s not a terrible movie, it s just a little hammy, and the tone is uneven whether these people are meant to be seen as victims of the stultifying, euthanizing effects of suburbia, or if they are at root unlikable people who deserve to be taken down a peg for their arrogance and their conviction that their involvement in this thing we call suburbia is just playacting, not to be taken seriously the book d watching this movie last night made me want to read the book immediately after and it s not a terrible movie, it s just a little hammy, and the tone is uneven whether these people are meant to be seen as victims of the stultifying, euthanizing effects of suburbia, or if they are at root unlikable people who deserve to be taken down a peg for their arrogance and their conviction that their involvement in this thing we call suburbia is just playacting, not to be taken seriously the book doesn t waver, not to me i always read it as a story of awful people poisoning each other and blaming their wasted lives on each other instead of taking responsibility for their own shortcomings, which, being a generally unsympathetic person, i can applaud and his writing absolutely wonderful the real character in this novel of course, is suburbia soul sucking, dream gutting suburbia that neutralizes all its inhabitants and blandifies the pointy, interesting bits this isn t the lynchian or music for torching view of the suburbs small town charm, where the beneficence of suburbia is compromised by its seedy undertones suburbia, here, is the aggressor, slowly draining its characters of any charms and releasing them back into their after dinner drinks and their morning commute to the office and woe if you think you are somehow special or above it all , particularly if, like the wheelers, your aspirations outweigh your capabilities and your specialness is only ego i grew up in a version of suburbia, and while it wasn t in the same time period, and it wasn t as bad as all this, the writing struck a chord in me and it s good that i am away suburbia is a bitch, but at least they ll always have parisoh, wait.come to my blog


  8. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Revolutionary Road, Richard YatesRevolutionary road , Richard Yates New York Bantam Books , 1962 247 Pages.Revolutionary Road released December 31, 1961 is author Richard Yates s debut novel Set in 1955, the novel focuses on the hopes and aspirations of Frank and April Wheeler, self assured Connecticut suburbanites who see themselves as very different from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates Seeking to break out of their suburban rut and consequently blamin Revolutionary Road, Richard YatesRevolutionary road , Richard Yates New York Bantam Books , 1962 247 Pages.Revolutionary Road released December 31, 1961 is author Richard Yates s debut novel Set in 1955, the novel focuses on the hopes and aspirations of Frank and April Wheeler, self assured Connecticut suburbanites who see themselves as very different from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates Seeking to break out of their suburban rut and consequently blaming herself for all of Frank s problems , April convinces Frank they should move to Paris, where she will work and support him while he realizes his vague ambition to be something other than an office worker The promise of France brings the two together in love and excitement again, and Frank seemingly ends his relationship with Maureen While April sees the emigration as an opportunity to escape their dull environment, Frank s plans aredriven by vanity of his own intelligence, which April panders to When the dull and prim neighbor Mrs Givings begins bringing her insane son John around to the Wheelers house for regular lunches, John s honest and erratic condemnation of his mother s suburban lifestyle strikes a chord with the Wheelers, particularly Frank.Their plans to leave the United States begin to crumble when April conceives their third child, and Frank begins to identify with his mundane job when the prospect of a promotion arises After arguing over the possibility of aborting the child, Frank tries to manipulate April into seeking psychiatric help for her troubled childhood April, overwhelmed by the outcome of the situation, suffers something of an identity crisis and sleeps with her neighbor Shep Campbell, while Frank resurrects his relationship with Maureen April attempts to self abort her child, and in doing so is rushed to the hospital and dies from blood loss Frank, scarred by the ordeal and feeling deep guilt over the outcome, is left a hollow shell of a man He and his children spent time living with their uncle, hence mirroring the youth of their mother 2014 1391 248 9789642438969 20 2001 119 05 04 1399


  9. Zack Zack says:

    What a wise book Many rate it as depressing, and yes, it tells a very tragic story But at the same time, it s also a tremendously funny book It s just that its humor stings because it s based in the most human of weaknesses Self rationalization.Frank and April Wheeler are the prototypical post WWII suburban couple happy on the outside, endlessly frustrated on the inside But author Richard Yates isn t interested in just dissecting the suburbs Frank and April are painfully aware of their What a wise book Many rate it as depressing, and yes, it tells a very tragic story But at the same time, it s also a tremendously funny book It s just that its humor stings because it s based in the most human of weaknesses Self rationalization.Frank and April Wheeler are the prototypical post WWII suburban couple happy on the outside, endlessly frustrated on the inside But author Richard Yates isn t interested in just dissecting the suburbs Frank and April are painfully aware of their shallow surroundings, but they ve always tried to convince themselves that they re better than this life Their frustration mainfested in arguments that are painfully realistic and bitter comes from a sense that they should be doing , that they should accomplish something with themselves But, as the failed local theater production that opens the story points out, they re also haunted by the fact that perhaps not only were they not meant to be great, but they were never on the road to greatness in the first place.Scene after scene crackles with familiarity There s the conversation with another couple that leads to awkward silence until the neighbors troubles provide a desperately needed topic of discussion There s the description of how Frank came to get his job, a dead on commentary on college graduates looking for financial stablity with little output And there s April s heartbreaking lament about the validation she hoped to find for herself in the real world, and what she s found instead.It s not that the Wheelers are unjustified in their decisions their backstories flesh out Frank s need not to be his blue collar father, and April s desperate desire for a loving family But their attitudes toward facing the world are hopelessly compromised by their insecurity Neither is truly happy with themself, and April s harebrained idea about moving to Paris is just an excuse to avoid the real issue It s not the suburbs that s draining the life from their marriage, it s them In the end, April realizes they were never really in love with each other, just the idealized images they created for each other REVOLUTIONARY ROAD has enjoyed a cult reputation for decades, but has often had a hard time gaining widespread acceptance I think the reason for this is because it s filled with truth the kind that makes people nod in recognition and wince in embarassment It achieves one of the highest goals of fiction It makes you question yourself and the world you live in It s not without hope even after the climactic tragedy, life goes on It s just up to you to try and understand the book s lessons, and figure out if there s anything you ve learned


  10. Ellen Ellen says:

    image error On my fling o meter scale, Revolutionary Road is a well traveled book, having been flung why does this past participle sound so ungainly across the room several times The initial trip occurred when Richard Yates gratuitously threw in this bit of over writing in the first chapter At first their rehearsals had been held on Saturdays always it seemed, on the kind of windless February or March afternoon when the sky is white , the trees are black, and the brown fields and hummocks image error On my fling o meter scale, Revolutionary Road is a well traveled book, having been flung why does this past participle sound so ungainly across the room several times The initial trip occurred when Richard Yates gratuitously threw in this bit of over writing in the first chapter At first their rehearsals had been held on Saturdays always it seemed, on the kind of windless February or March afternoon when the sky is white , the trees are black, and the brown fields and hummocks of the earth lie naked and tender between curds of shriveled snow 4 It was the hummocks of the earth lying naked and tender among the curds of shriveled snow that made me yell fuck, and send the book airborne During these outbursts, my golden retriever always gets up and heads toward a corner in the room, nose to the wall, like one of those doomed characters in the Blair Witch Project.The book fails on many levels.Characterization It takes some doing to make Franzen s characters in the Corrections look warm and fuzzy by comparison In RR, the protagonist, Frank Wheeler, offers no redeeming qualities Our inability to identify with Frank or give a rat s ass what happens to him prevents the book from achieving its touted status as an American tragedy It s a tragedy all right, but one of bad writing and poorly executed characters, rather than pathos Frank Wheeler may be the most self absorbed, premeditated character ever created This man could not pick his nose without first deciding what angle might best favor the nose picking and if it could be done in an off hand, manly sort of way Throughout, these brittle, self absorbed, snotty, angst ridden for no particular reason characters drink and smoke copious amounts Their aimless path, similar to the circular journey of characters in The Sun Also Rises or The Great Gatsby is about the only aspect Yates has in common with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, to whom he is equated, by David Hare, one of the gushing, drunken critics quoted on the book s back cover However, I cared about Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Jake Barnes, and possibly even Brett Ashley Yates characters do not arouse my sympathy Frank s obsessive fascination with his own psyche, April s confused and curiously unexplained actions, Shep s doglike devotion, and Milly s blankness work against what is, ostensibly, a character driven novel.Theme As far as I could tell the only characteristically American theme a carefully vague phrase used by another critic quoted on the book s back cover exemplified is something like when manhood was in flower Frank and April s planned relocation to Paris is proposed by April, who in a crescendo of wifely devotion and guilt, declares herself a selfish bitch who s never given Frank the time he s needed to find himself and bring his genius to fruition Their intended escape from suburbia brings Frank and April closer, ramping up their love life and uniting them with a sense of superiority as they gleefully break the news to their less enlightened friends.The book s lack of any sort of moral compass contributes to its failure The manhood in flower theme is embarrassing, rather than noble Consider the following, which the reader should somehow take seriouslyHere Frank picks through the women in his life, dissects their physical attributes, and declares them lacking none of them worthy enough to lift him to manly triumph But as college wore on he began to be haunted by numberless small depressions.It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he d known so far had given him the sense of unalloyed triumph One had been very pretty except for unpardonably thick ankles, and one had been intelligent, though possessed of an annoying attempt to mother him, but he had to admit that none had been first rate Nor was he ever in doubt of what he meant by a first rate girl, though he d never come close enough to one to touch her hand There had been two or three of them in the various high schools he d attended, disdainfully unaware of him in their concern with college boys from out of town what few he d seen in the army had most often been seen in flickering miniature, on strains of dance music, through the distant golden windows of an officers club23, emphasis mine.But enough The book took another trip across the room, and I felt like Dorothy Parker when she wrote, at this point Tonstant Weader twowed up Like Shakespeare s fools, who often penetrate the layers of deceit and spout words of wisdom, John Givings, the crazy son of Helen Givings, theoretically serves to offer up moments of Truth Helen Givings and her husband have put their son in a mental health facility, and Helen thinks it would be good for their son, John, to talk to other young people Thus, the ill fated Sunday visits at the Wheeler s home But John s truths are less than dependable At one point, John channels Ayn Rand After first mocking April, John is impressed by her frank response and provides this Randean pronouncement John stared at her for a long time, and nodded with approval I like your girl, Wheeler, he announced at last I get the feeling she s female You know what the difference between female and feminine is Huh No But sadly we find out Well, here s a hint a feminine woman never laughs out loud and always shave her armpits Old Helen in there is feminine as hell I ve only met about a half dozen females in my life, and I think you got one of them here Course, come to think of it, that figures I get the feeling you re male There are aren t too many males around, either 201.I picked up the just airborne book and finished this sucker, but there isn t muchto write The book is a muddled, mawkish, maudlin tribute to some time and place I d like to think never existed.In sum, just picture aexistential martini laden white collar version of the theme song to Archie Bunker Boy, the way Glen Miller played Songs that made the Hit Parade.Guys like us, we had it made.Those were the days Didn t need no welfare state.Everybody pulled his weightGee, our old LaSalle ran great.Those were the days And you knew where you were then Girls were girls and men were men


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10 thoughts on “Revolutionary Road

  1. Eric Eric says:

    I let out a whoop of laughter on about page 180, when I finally figured Frank Wheeler out You see, Frank spent most of his youth a scattered, bashful schmuck Then after WWII, as a Columbia student and Village dweller, he started getting laid all the time, thanks to a theatrically brooding pseudo intellectual schtick Nevermind that Frank is essentially a glib blowhard, talented in no artistic way he s one of those tiresome people who whine about Conformity as if America invented it, threaten I let out a whoop of laughter on about page 180, when I finally figured Frank Wheeler out You see, Frank spent most of his youth a scattered, bashful schmuck Then after WWII, as a Columbia student and Village dweller, he started getting laid all the time, thanks to a theatrically brooding pseudo intellectual schtick Nevermind that Frank is essentially a glib blowhard, talented in no artistic way he s one of those tiresome people who whine about Conformity as if America invented it, threaten expatriation, etc , but the sexual success of his hip, disaffected persona was the only success or strength he had ever really known, so it became the core around which he wrapped his entire being and identity That s fine, we all need illusions, and if they get you laid, even better but the hitch is that April, his wife and the last of his conquests, and the woman with whom he now lives in the suburbs, actually half believes him, thinks that he s a noble soul who needs the rarefied air of foreign capitals in order to flower This is hilarious because Frank is nothing if not the standard guy, L homme moyen sensuel his dissatisfaction with his life, which he pretentiously blames on the conformity and boredom of 1950s America, is actually pretty well mollified once he gets a promotion at work and starts screwing a secretary the idea of moving to Paris the better to become a nicotine stained, Jean Paul Sartre kinda guy vanishes once he starts havingsex he affects a snooty disdain for his job, but he s actually quite good at it, and, in heartbreaking scene toward the end, when it s all too, too late, demonstrates that he kind of likes it But getting back to my whoop of laughter That laughter didn t diminish my esteem for the novel regardless of his characters, Yates is a godlike stylist but for a while there I felt it playedas a macabre farce than as a Tragic Laying Bare Of The Hollowness Of The American Dream Then the tragic gravity of the characters came rushing back in chapter 7 of part 3, when the narration switches to April s point of view, and Yates starts hitting you where the last pages of The Great Gatsby hit you I ended up withcompassion for Frank, I saw that his pose of superiority rises, at least partly, out of a desperate fear of ending up like his wilted, used up working stiff of a father Frank and April were drifting, lonely people who initially thought that one another looked like the kind of person the golden boy, the really first rate girl who could whirl their lives into effortlessness and perfection and a final salvation from lifelong feelings of dread and inadequacyjust as everyone else in the book thinks that the Wheelers LOOK LIKE that golden couple with the world at its feet, and all problems solved Stendahl said beauty is the promise of happiness That s it, merely the promise Yates is so eloquent on how easy and how dangerous it is to theatricalize our lives He knows all the little gestures and poses with which we briefly and delusionally elevate flawed creatures into romantic figures


  2. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Revolutionary Road Set in 1955, portrait of American suffocating, grinding conformity Author Richard Yates on his novel I think I meant itas an indictment of American life in the 1950s Because during the Fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price Republished as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, Revolutionary Road is, for my money, the Gr Revolutionary Road Set in 1955, portrait of American suffocating, grinding conformity Author Richard Yates on his novel I think I meant itas an indictment of American life in the 1950s Because during the Fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price Republished as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, Revolutionary Road is, for my money, the Great American 1950s Novel Richard Yates at his finest, a true classic In the spirit of freshness, I will shift the focus from the story of main characters Frank and April Wheeler to various ways the novel depicts 1950s American society and culture THE ALMIGHTY AUTOMOBILE Once their cars seemed able to relax in an environment all their own, a long bright valley of colored plastic and plate glass and stainless steel Yates description here after those 1950s cars are off winding, bumpy, narrow streets and onto the spanking new wide highway Back in 1955 there still existed a contrast between narrow dirt roads and car friendly highways and freeways Richard Yates foresaw how the automobile would quickly come to rule and how American men and women could then relax behind the wheel and feel at home on the many smooth, newly constructed car dominated roads.WORRYWARTS Frank spends all his work day anticipating April in her evening dramatic premier A mental projection of scenes to unfold tonight but nowhere in these plans did he foresee the weight and shock of reality Frank is a college graduate but hasn t learned a fundamental, critical truth constantly projecting your life into the future is a sure fire formula for disappointment And all during April s actual performance Frank incessantly bites his nails and gnaws on his fist until it s a raw, red pulp Such anxiety and insecurity Frank typifies the 1950s emotionally distraught worrywart As Richard Yates notes above, a society of such worrywarts will cling to safety and security at any price.LOGORRHEA Could you please stop talking So asks April of Frank ridding home after her theatrical disaster She doesn t realize she is asking the impossible since this is America 1955 where silence has become the dreaded enemy an entire society of know it alls drowning in their own chatter Talk as a prime tool to establish how absolutely right you are And if anyone else doesn t see it your way or dares to disagree, God help them, they must be quickly set straight Yak, yak, yak, jabber, jabber, jabber, fueled by those two prime 1950s pick me ups chain smoking and martinis.BABBITT LIVES Frank and April s suburban realtor, a two faced, despicable, intrusive gatekeeper of the growing suburbs, Mrs Givings, runs around doing her best to make sure new residents equate personal value with real estate value Frank s inability to stand up to this loutish, boorish woman speaks volumes to his insecurity and pitiful lack of character.A WOMAN S PLACE Nowhere is Frank s hypocrisy and ugly ego on displaythan in his dealings with his wife, April Frank condescendingly snickers at the middle class mentality and lifestyle where Daddy is always the great man and Mommy always listens to Daddy and sticks by his side but Frank quickly boils over into a rage at those times when April doesn t do exactly that, listen to him and sticks by his side Turns out, April is quite capable of speaking her own mind, especially in matters of importance such as dealing with her pregnancy and the decision to have a child This novel captures how the 1950s scream out for much needed women s liberation.TELEVISION RULES Frank and April s choice to have a TV in their new suburban house Why not Don t we really owe it to the kids Besides, it s silly to go on being snobbish about television The author s penetrating insight into 1950s mentality educated men and women want to scoff at television, thinking their tastes much too cultivated and refined to constantly stare passively at the boob tube, but that s exactly what they do for hours and hours Owe it to the kids sheer balderdash.THE WORLD OF MEN AND GIRLS Every single scene in Frank s midtown Manhattan office is a revealer of the strict stratification in the grey flannel 50s men doing the serious work on this side girls performing secretarial and filing on that side And it goes without saying every single person in the office is white Frank s father s name was Earl, a serious handicap in a world of Jims, Teds, Toms, Mikes and Joes, since in workplace USA men are called by their shortened first names Ah, to make such a big deal over names Just goes to show how suffocating and strict the conformity Sidebar I always have found it amusing that as soon as the post 1950s business world discovered women will work harder than men, generally do a better job than men and work for a lot less pay then men, all of a sudden, surprise, surprise, huge shift in the American workforce.TRUE REBELLION AND PSYCHIATRY Serious energy is infused into Yates story when April and especially Frank are given a dose of what it really means to rebel against standardized, conventional society John Givings, fresh from a mental hospital, pays a number of visits to their home In the black and white 1950s world, if someone had to be dragged off to a mental hospital aka nut house, loony bin, funny farm, that person was instantly labeled totally insane or completely crazy, placed on the same level as a leper in a leper colony And God help the poor soul who is told they should see a psychiatrist In the 1950s, telling people they need mental help was a key method of intimidation and control, as Frank well knows when he tells April she needs to see a shrink THE LURE OF MONEY AND SUCCESS Oh, Frank, how you spin 180 degrees when a company executive sits you down, gives you some honest to goodness appreciation and judges that you, Frank Wheeler, have what it takes to join him in a new business venture and use your ingenuity to move up in the company and make some serious money With such a glowing prospect, following April s plan of moving to Paris so you can sit around and fine yourself begins to smell like a big pile of dog you know what THE KIDS Frank and April have two children six year old Jennifer and four year old Michael, running back and forth in the backyard, playing with the neighborhood boys and girls but most of the time sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons And where will Jennifer and Michael be as teenagers in 1969 At Woodstock, wearing their hair long, smoking grass, listening to Joan Baez and Richie Havens and Santana Bye, bye 1950s Good riddance American author Richard Yates, 1926 1992


  3. Ben Ben says:

    For the longest time I just wanted a family, kids, a decent job, and a happy life in suburbia That was all I wanted That s it It seemed so simple, predictable, and reliable It was my ideal image It seems that society has done a good job of putting that thought in everyone s head The best thing for a young man is for him to go to college, get married, get a reliable job with a steady company, have babies 2 or 3, of course , make friends with neighbors, have birthday parties for the kids, For the longest time I just wanted a family, kids, a decent job, and a happy life in suburbia That was all I wanted That s it It seemed so simple, predictable, and reliable It was my ideal image It seems that society has done a good job of putting that thought in everyone s head The best thing for a young man is for him to go to college, get married, get a reliable job with a steady company, have babies 2 or 3, of course , make friends with neighbors, have birthday parties for the kids, do little cocktail parties with the adults Then he needs to tell his kids to do the same thing And the cycle continues That s just what you do I know that mindset isn t as prevalent now as it was when this was written in the 50s And I haven t a doubt that the aforementioned lifestyle was is the best life for many people No doubt at all.I think the problem lies in rushing into that lifestyle, before really knowing what you re getting into, without really knowing your spouse, without even knowing who you are, and what you really want, and what would really be best for you People get trapped and don t even know they re trapped caught inside their anger, not even knowing what they re angry at Trapped inside the jail that is their home, forced into a miserable life of their own choosing, not knowing why or how it got that way, and evenmiserable about it for that very reason.And it s scary for me, because a few bad roles of the die and I could have ended up like Frank fucking Wheeler And it s funny That whole lifestyle Especially the tedious details and what often becomes our self obsessive thoughts You know why it s funny Because it s both ridiculous and real So all the laughter this novel caused me was because shit, man it s real It s very real that most of us are this ridiculous it s very real that we go through the motions each day unaware, petty, and self absorbed it s very real that the most normal among us are among the most insane It s very real that a lot of people are living the ideal lifestyle and are fucking miserable And no matter our life situation, we re always hoping forThat keeps a lot of us going And we re all pretty fucking shallow too, aren t we Yes People die all the time, and we get over it Yes We Do And often quickly, I might add.The word timeless probably gets thrown around too much But this novel doesn t just seem timeless And it doesn t just seem relevant today It seems fucking instructive Be careful what you wish for, and pay attention to who you are, and don t suck others dry, and don t suck yourself dry, and search for truth no matter how painful And we continue to be self absorbed and ridiculous We make our decisions based on what we think will bring us the most happiness, like life is a game of chess And it is And it goes on.And I still want my reliable job and my white picket fence And a pretty wife And babies 2 or 3 of them But you see, I m crazy


  4. Fabian Fabian says:

    Imagine my surprise when I came across Stephen King s Best Books of 2009 List one not condescending enough to include solely those published this year , saw that 2nd place belonged to Revolutionary Road Glad I am not alone in feeling a strong deep sad empathy for this book The story is EXTREMELY well told The story, about young revolutionaries who end up doing exactly the opposite of what they ve set out to do, is quite simple but very epoch rich It has different P.O.V.s, which deviat Imagine my surprise when I came across Stephen King s Best Books of 2009 List one not condescending enough to include solely those published this year , saw that 2nd place belonged to Revolutionary Road Glad I am not alone in feeling a strong deep sad empathy for this book The story is EXTREMELY well told The story, about young revolutionaries who end up doing exactly the opposite of what they ve set out to do, is quite simple but very epoch rich It has different P.O.V.s, which deviates from the outstanding film, the ending isshattering bitter than the one presented on the silver screen.Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes made a wise decision in giving April Wheeler a brighter limelight to contend with Frank s, the husband sole protagonist of the novel In the film, there is a constant wrestling match which is underlined by the fact that THESE ARE JACK AND ROSE from Titanic and we must instantly feel for them Mendes is a genius, too, in the casting of his ex wife Kate Winslet, who is arguably the best actress of our generation So while Mendes has the ability to play sly film director, almost auteur, Richard Yates has muchto contend with His meditation on the cost of real freedom is basically flawless He plays with dialogue in the same awesome way that a dedicated playwright like Edward Albee did He describes in simple ways just how awful the everyday can truly be for a bright, dedicated yet frail American in the 1950 s Makes a stark contrast with today s impediments on a marriage After so many years it seems that sometimes people make jails for themselves with as little ease as they dream big dreams


  5. Candi Candi says:

    4.5 starsIntelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs Economic circumstance might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated The important thing, always, was to remember who you were Richard Yates takes a well honed surgeon s blade, painstakingly dissects a marriage, examines its tortuous viscera, an 4.5 starsIntelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs Economic circumstance might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated The important thing, always, was to remember who you were Richard Yates takes a well honed surgeon s blade, painstakingly dissects a marriage, examines its tortuous viscera, and leaves it fully exposed for all to observe The reader becomes a surgical assistant of sorts, a witness to the searing scrutiny of all that has been laid bare As increasingly squeamish as I became, I was still held captive by the spectacle TheI realized what Yates had accomplished, theweak in the knees I became, theimpressed by his genius The attractive and promising young couple, Frank and April Wheeler, and their two children are the perfect image of a suburban family You can almost see them standing there in front of the proper white house with the big picture window and the neatly manicured lawn The illusion is burst, however, right from the start We know it s going to disintegrate when Yates draws an analogy by use of an amateur play that turns into a flop April, once an aspiring actress, is at the center of the stage and Frank the adoring husband in the audience The play begins on a high note and quickly goes downhill from there By the end of the evening, both cast and audience depart with an air of humiliationtime and again they read the promise of failure in each other s eyes, in the apologetic nods and smiles of their parting and the spastic haste with which they broke for their cars and drove home to whatever older, less explicit promises of failure might lie in wait for them there As things spiral downward and Frank and April s marriage takes a turn for the worst, April steps in with a grand plan to move to Paris and begin a new life there They know they don t belong in the suburbs, Frank doesn t deserve a tedious job at the company where his own father once worked, and April has her own lofty ambitions They are a couple marked for success Or are they The marriage suddenly seems to be on the right path once again They are hopeful for the transformative dream they plan to realize by the end of summerNever before had elation welledpowerfully inside him never had beauty grownpurely out of truth never in taking his wife had he triumphedcompletely over time and space The past could dissolve at his will and so could the future so could the walls of this house and the whole imprisoning wasteland beyond it, towns and trees He had taken command of the universe because he was a man, and because the marvelous creature who opened and moved for him, tender and strong, was a woman Yates not only gets inside his characters and reveals their most private ruminations many of them quite arrogant, self serving, and callous , he also writes some of the most convincing dialogue between couples and among friends and acquaintances that I have ever read No doubt he was either an active participant or a keen observer ofthan one marital altercation that had escalated to a feverish pitch There s really not a single likeable character in the entire novel I think this was done with purpose Richard Yates wanted to expose not just his central characters, but also the superficiality of the entire lot If there is one person with whom one could align, it would have to be the son of the Wheeler s real estate agent John Givings has been institutionalized following a breakdown, much to the embarrassment of Mrs Givings who has her own image to uphold as real estate agent for this perfect suburban neighborhood When her grand plan to introduce him to the Wheelers as a form of therapy is put in motion, we realize that John is the mouthpiece for all that has gone wrong in this grand illusion of Revolutionary Road He says what everyone wants to say, but won t as a matter of propriety He,than anyone else, points out what has gone wrong with the American dream With no filter whatsoever, John blurts out one brazen opinion after another But even these truisms have a ring of sarcasm to them We may not like this young man either, but he sure as hell offers a refreshing honesty that no one else seems to havemaybe it does take a certain amount of guts to see the emptiness, but it takes a whole hell of a lotto see the hopelessness And I guess when you do see the hopelessness, that s when there s nothing to do but take off If you canRevolutionary Road was written in 1961 and portrays the life of a 1950s young suburbanite couple, but it could really take place at any time The fantasy and dissolution of the American dream is astutely sketched Yates explores the illusion of marriage as a way out of a less than ideal childhood, as a way to achieve your independence and aspirations, and as an institution to be upheld no matter what the consequences He places these fictions under the microscope and then dismantles them This is a book that will make you uncomfortable I squirmed throughout However, I believe this is Yates s intent, and he fully succeeded in achieving his goal I couldn t help comparing this book to John Updike s Rabbit, Run, which I finished just a day before starting this one Both are scathing portraits of marriages gone wrong, but Updike left me a bit of hope for Rabbit, that aggravating bastard Frank Wheeler can take a hike and never come back for all I careIt depressed him to consider how much energy he had wasted, over the years, in the self denying posture of apology From now on, whatever else his life might hold, there would be noapologies


  6. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Really Tough LoveYates has a reputation as a chronicler of the smug years of post WWII America Perhaps But as an artist, he is muchthan a period sociologist Yates s understanding of the folie a deux which we call marriage is profound The reasons two people find each other attractive are buried in experiences of which neither is conscious much less rationally able to think about To call such attraction love is euphemistic It may be, at best, an attempt to redeem or complete oneself th Really Tough LoveYates has a reputation as a chronicler of the smug years of post WWII America Perhaps But as an artist, he is muchthan a period sociologist Yates s understanding of the folie a deux which we call marriage is profound The reasons two people find each other attractive are buried in experiences of which neither is conscious much less rationally able to think about To call such attraction love is euphemistic It may be, at best, an attempt to redeem or complete oneself that might eventually develop into love but only if the underlying reasons are resolved sufficiently and replaced Subsequent decisions to bring children into such an indeterminate situation are likely based on equally fatuous thinking It seems amazing therefore that the survival rates of marriage are as high as they are and thatof us are not functionally psychotic.Yates raises the perennial if not eternal question of the nature and implications of commitment I recall the distinction made when I was in the services between making a contribution and making a commitment in one s breakfast of bacon and eggs, the chicken has made a contribution the pig is decisively committed Does this anecdote express the reality or essential ethics of commitment Are the reasons for making commitments, misguided or not, relevant to a continuation of a commitment Do changed circumstances, including improved awareness of motives, abrogate the demands of previous commitments Can Til death us do part be anythingthan irrational optimism and encouragement Personal sovereignty is analogous to national sovereignty The implication would seem to be that treaties, contracts, agreements are never unconditional, never intended as eternal There may be consequences of non compliance with any of these, but acceptance of consequences is part of sovereignty the share out of community property, loss of mutual friends, increased psychological and social tensions and of course the fate of the next generation The calculus of contract termination may be complex but doesn t seem to imply any absolute moral constraints On the other hand, can what we believe to be considered judgment be anythingthan hapless struggle The alternative to withdrawal of commitment is what seems to fascinate Yates We try to work things out In order to deny, or at least delay, the possibility of broken commitment, we tell each other stories Stories about the past and how we arrived at the present could prove therapeutic by uncovering unconscious reasons and reasoning But we tell stories about the future instead, about alternatives lives in exotic locations, doing interesting work, with stimulating friends and colleagues The stories promote hope but little else.We hope these ideals can compensate for any originating defects But it s likely that Yates is correct these ideals simply reinforce the power of the neuroses already in play A new script perhaps but the same denouement There is no way to anticipate the psychological baggage we take on with our partner The piper will be paid Pain is inevitable The issue is who pays and when Unambiguously happy endings are not within the range of the possible


  7. karen karen says:

    watching this movie last night made me want to read the book immediately after and it s not a terrible movie, it s just a little hammy, and the tone is uneven whether these people are meant to be seen as victims of the stultifying, euthanizing effects of suburbia, or if they are at root unlikable people who deserve to be taken down a peg for their arrogance and their conviction that their involvement in this thing we call suburbia is just playacting, not to be taken seriously the book d watching this movie last night made me want to read the book immediately after and it s not a terrible movie, it s just a little hammy, and the tone is uneven whether these people are meant to be seen as victims of the stultifying, euthanizing effects of suburbia, or if they are at root unlikable people who deserve to be taken down a peg for their arrogance and their conviction that their involvement in this thing we call suburbia is just playacting, not to be taken seriously the book doesn t waver, not to me i always read it as a story of awful people poisoning each other and blaming their wasted lives on each other instead of taking responsibility for their own shortcomings, which, being a generally unsympathetic person, i can applaud and his writing absolutely wonderful the real character in this novel of course, is suburbia soul sucking, dream gutting suburbia that neutralizes all its inhabitants and blandifies the pointy, interesting bits this isn t the lynchian or music for torching view of the suburbs small town charm, where the beneficence of suburbia is compromised by its seedy undertones suburbia, here, is the aggressor, slowly draining its characters of any charms and releasing them back into their after dinner drinks and their morning commute to the office and woe if you think you are somehow special or above it all , particularly if, like the wheelers, your aspirations outweigh your capabilities and your specialness is only ego i grew up in a version of suburbia, and while it wasn t in the same time period, and it wasn t as bad as all this, the writing struck a chord in me and it s good that i am away suburbia is a bitch, but at least they ll always have parisoh, wait.come to my blog


  8. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Revolutionary Road, Richard YatesRevolutionary road , Richard Yates New York Bantam Books , 1962 247 Pages.Revolutionary Road released December 31, 1961 is author Richard Yates s debut novel Set in 1955, the novel focuses on the hopes and aspirations of Frank and April Wheeler, self assured Connecticut suburbanites who see themselves as very different from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates Seeking to break out of their suburban rut and consequently blamin Revolutionary Road, Richard YatesRevolutionary road , Richard Yates New York Bantam Books , 1962 247 Pages.Revolutionary Road released December 31, 1961 is author Richard Yates s debut novel Set in 1955, the novel focuses on the hopes and aspirations of Frank and April Wheeler, self assured Connecticut suburbanites who see themselves as very different from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates Seeking to break out of their suburban rut and consequently blaming herself for all of Frank s problems , April convinces Frank they should move to Paris, where she will work and support him while he realizes his vague ambition to be something other than an office worker The promise of France brings the two together in love and excitement again, and Frank seemingly ends his relationship with Maureen While April sees the emigration as an opportunity to escape their dull environment, Frank s plans aredriven by vanity of his own intelligence, which April panders to When the dull and prim neighbor Mrs Givings begins bringing her insane son John around to the Wheelers house for regular lunches, John s honest and erratic condemnation of his mother s suburban lifestyle strikes a chord with the Wheelers, particularly Frank.Their plans to leave the United States begin to crumble when April conceives their third child, and Frank begins to identify with his mundane job when the prospect of a promotion arises After arguing over the possibility of aborting the child, Frank tries to manipulate April into seeking psychiatric help for her troubled childhood April, overwhelmed by the outcome of the situation, suffers something of an identity crisis and sleeps with her neighbor Shep Campbell, while Frank resurrects his relationship with Maureen April attempts to self abort her child, and in doing so is rushed to the hospital and dies from blood loss Frank, scarred by the ordeal and feeling deep guilt over the outcome, is left a hollow shell of a man He and his children spent time living with their uncle, hence mirroring the youth of their mother 2014 1391 248 9789642438969 20 2001 119 05 04 1399


  9. Zack Zack says:

    What a wise book Many rate it as depressing, and yes, it tells a very tragic story But at the same time, it s also a tremendously funny book It s just that its humor stings because it s based in the most human of weaknesses Self rationalization.Frank and April Wheeler are the prototypical post WWII suburban couple happy on the outside, endlessly frustrated on the inside But author Richard Yates isn t interested in just dissecting the suburbs Frank and April are painfully aware of their What a wise book Many rate it as depressing, and yes, it tells a very tragic story But at the same time, it s also a tremendously funny book It s just that its humor stings because it s based in the most human of weaknesses Self rationalization.Frank and April Wheeler are the prototypical post WWII suburban couple happy on the outside, endlessly frustrated on the inside But author Richard Yates isn t interested in just dissecting the suburbs Frank and April are painfully aware of their shallow surroundings, but they ve always tried to convince themselves that they re better than this life Their frustration mainfested in arguments that are painfully realistic and bitter comes from a sense that they should be doing , that they should accomplish something with themselves But, as the failed local theater production that opens the story points out, they re also haunted by the fact that perhaps not only were they not meant to be great, but they were never on the road to greatness in the first place.Scene after scene crackles with familiarity There s the conversation with another couple that leads to awkward silence until the neighbors troubles provide a desperately needed topic of discussion There s the description of how Frank came to get his job, a dead on commentary on college graduates looking for financial stablity with little output And there s April s heartbreaking lament about the validation she hoped to find for herself in the real world, and what she s found instead.It s not that the Wheelers are unjustified in their decisions their backstories flesh out Frank s need not to be his blue collar father, and April s desperate desire for a loving family But their attitudes toward facing the world are hopelessly compromised by their insecurity Neither is truly happy with themself, and April s harebrained idea about moving to Paris is just an excuse to avoid the real issue It s not the suburbs that s draining the life from their marriage, it s them In the end, April realizes they were never really in love with each other, just the idealized images they created for each other REVOLUTIONARY ROAD has enjoyed a cult reputation for decades, but has often had a hard time gaining widespread acceptance I think the reason for this is because it s filled with truth the kind that makes people nod in recognition and wince in embarassment It achieves one of the highest goals of fiction It makes you question yourself and the world you live in It s not without hope even after the climactic tragedy, life goes on It s just up to you to try and understand the book s lessons, and figure out if there s anything you ve learned


  10. Ellen Ellen says:

    image error On my fling o meter scale, Revolutionary Road is a well traveled book, having been flung why does this past participle sound so ungainly across the room several times The initial trip occurred when Richard Yates gratuitously threw in this bit of over writing in the first chapter At first their rehearsals had been held on Saturdays always it seemed, on the kind of windless February or March afternoon when the sky is white , the trees are black, and the brown fields and hummocks image error On my fling o meter scale, Revolutionary Road is a well traveled book, having been flung why does this past participle sound so ungainly across the room several times The initial trip occurred when Richard Yates gratuitously threw in this bit of over writing in the first chapter At first their rehearsals had been held on Saturdays always it seemed, on the kind of windless February or March afternoon when the sky is white , the trees are black, and the brown fields and hummocks of the earth lie naked and tender between curds of shriveled snow 4 It was the hummocks of the earth lying naked and tender among the curds of shriveled snow that made me yell fuck, and send the book airborne During these outbursts, my golden retriever always gets up and heads toward a corner in the room, nose to the wall, like one of those doomed characters in the Blair Witch Project.The book fails on many levels.Characterization It takes some doing to make Franzen s characters in the Corrections look warm and fuzzy by comparison In RR, the protagonist, Frank Wheeler, offers no redeeming qualities Our inability to identify with Frank or give a rat s ass what happens to him prevents the book from achieving its touted status as an American tragedy It s a tragedy all right, but one of bad writing and poorly executed characters, rather than pathos Frank Wheeler may be the most self absorbed, premeditated character ever created This man could not pick his nose without first deciding what angle might best favor the nose picking and if it could be done in an off hand, manly sort of way Throughout, these brittle, self absorbed, snotty, angst ridden for no particular reason characters drink and smoke copious amounts Their aimless path, similar to the circular journey of characters in The Sun Also Rises or The Great Gatsby is about the only aspect Yates has in common with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, to whom he is equated, by David Hare, one of the gushing, drunken critics quoted on the book s back cover However, I cared about Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Jake Barnes, and possibly even Brett Ashley Yates characters do not arouse my sympathy Frank s obsessive fascination with his own psyche, April s confused and curiously unexplained actions, Shep s doglike devotion, and Milly s blankness work against what is, ostensibly, a character driven novel.Theme As far as I could tell the only characteristically American theme a carefully vague phrase used by another critic quoted on the book s back cover exemplified is something like when manhood was in flower Frank and April s planned relocation to Paris is proposed by April, who in a crescendo of wifely devotion and guilt, declares herself a selfish bitch who s never given Frank the time he s needed to find himself and bring his genius to fruition Their intended escape from suburbia brings Frank and April closer, ramping up their love life and uniting them with a sense of superiority as they gleefully break the news to their less enlightened friends.The book s lack of any sort of moral compass contributes to its failure The manhood in flower theme is embarrassing, rather than noble Consider the following, which the reader should somehow take seriouslyHere Frank picks through the women in his life, dissects their physical attributes, and declares them lacking none of them worthy enough to lift him to manly triumph But as college wore on he began to be haunted by numberless small depressions.It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he d known so far had given him the sense of unalloyed triumph One had been very pretty except for unpardonably thick ankles, and one had been intelligent, though possessed of an annoying attempt to mother him, but he had to admit that none had been first rate Nor was he ever in doubt of what he meant by a first rate girl, though he d never come close enough to one to touch her hand There had been two or three of them in the various high schools he d attended, disdainfully unaware of him in their concern with college boys from out of town what few he d seen in the army had most often been seen in flickering miniature, on strains of dance music, through the distant golden windows of an officers club23, emphasis mine.But enough The book took another trip across the room, and I felt like Dorothy Parker when she wrote, at this point Tonstant Weader twowed up Like Shakespeare s fools, who often penetrate the layers of deceit and spout words of wisdom, John Givings, the crazy son of Helen Givings, theoretically serves to offer up moments of Truth Helen Givings and her husband have put their son in a mental health facility, and Helen thinks it would be good for their son, John, to talk to other young people Thus, the ill fated Sunday visits at the Wheeler s home But John s truths are less than dependable At one point, John channels Ayn Rand After first mocking April, John is impressed by her frank response and provides this Randean pronouncement John stared at her for a long time, and nodded with approval I like your girl, Wheeler, he announced at last I get the feeling she s female You know what the difference between female and feminine is Huh No But sadly we find out Well, here s a hint a feminine woman never laughs out loud and always shave her armpits Old Helen in there is feminine as hell I ve only met about a half dozen females in my life, and I think you got one of them here Course, come to think of it, that figures I get the feeling you re male There are aren t too many males around, either 201.I picked up the just airborne book and finished this sucker, but there isn t muchto write The book is a muddled, mawkish, maudlin tribute to some time and place I d like to think never existed.In sum, just picture aexistential martini laden white collar version of the theme song to Archie Bunker Boy, the way Glen Miller played Songs that made the Hit Parade.Guys like us, we had it made.Those were the days Didn t need no welfare state.Everybody pulled his weightGee, our old LaSalle ran great.Those were the days And you knew where you were then Girls were girls and men were men


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