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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Revolutionary Road - Book Review

Revolutionary Road Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, wowza. This is one hell of a novel. Written with elegant precision - every character in it, major or minor, is incredibly well drawn. My sympathies shifted from character to character and back again. You love these characters, you hate these characters, you KNOW these characters. The novel is laced with humor but it never made me laugh. It was all so desolate and sad which is not at all the kind of mood I am ever in (I'm sickeningly, perennially cheerful), yet it was compulsively readable. I found myself every night staying up way past my bedtime because I had to read just a bit further!

This book transcends the age in which it was written. Although written in 1961 and taking place in 1955 the ideas and feelings in it could easily be placed in any decade. I would recommend that anyone in a relationship read this book. It could be good or bad for you, but there are things to glean from April and Frank Wheeler that just may make a difference in your own life.

Tennessee Williams said about Revolutionary Road, "Here is more than fine writing; here is what, added to fine writing, makes a book come immediately, intensely and brilliantly alive. If more is needed to make a masterpiece in modern American fiction, I am sure I don't know what it is."

I feel that way too. This is a classic American novel, one that deserves to be studied in school alongside The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

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