Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

During a recent PD lunch with friends, I mentioned that I was reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I spoke a little about the book -- An outwardly popular and successful couple livin' in the burbs whose lives crumble horribly when they realize that their lives (as individuals, as a couple, as parents) aren't extraordinary, that, in fact, they're dull, unfulfilled, and false. One of my friends commented that she disliked books in which the characters or the situations made her feel awkwardly or psychologically uncomfortable. I agreed. But, later, as I continued reading Yates' book, I realized that don't dislike that feeling. Nope, not at all. In fact, it's quite the contrary -- I actually LOVE that uncomfortable feeling! And, many of the books that I've loved best have made me uncomfortable. The best popular example that gives off this feeling that I can think of right now is the play/movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The characters in Virginia, as well as Revolutionary Road, are passionate, flawed, desperate, selfish, mean, illogical, vulnerable. And, the thing is you want to look away from them, you want to feel different from them, you want to hate them. But, unfortunately, you can't because, at some level, you can relate to them and their neuroses, you see a bit of yourself in them. Hopefully, you get what I mean. And, if you do and you like what I'm talking about, then Revolutionary Road is a good read for you.

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