Revolutionary Road is an American classic and has been made into a film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio which is due for release in 2009
Richard Yates was born in 1926 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992.
"So much nonsense has been written on suburban life and mores that it comes as a considerable shock to read a book by someone who seems to have his own ideas on the subject and who pursues them relentlessly to the bitter end," said LJ's reviewer (LJ 2/1/61) of this novel of unhappy life in the burbs. It is reminiscent of the popular film American Beauty in its depiction of white-collar life as fraught with discontent. Others have picked up on this theme since, but Yates remains a solid read. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Yates's debut 1961 novel revealed a growing and present malaise about middle-class existence as seen through the eyes of protagonists Frank and April. Believing themselves a cut above the rest of their neighbors and friends, the two set their sights upon a scheme to move to France and live a nontraditional life. However, much like the illusion of the white picket fence home, their dreams are not enough to stave off the reality of their unhappy life. Mark Bramhall sways back and forth between successful and annoying narration. Some character voices are caricatures, grating on the listeners' ears without much justification from the text. For others, the chosen voice helps to emphasize the sense (or source) of alienation that Frank and April feel about the people in their lives. However, Bramhall's tone does wonders for eliciting the ironic throughout Yates's prose. A Vintage paperback. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Here is more than fine writing; here is what, added to fine
writing, makes a book come immediately, intensely and brilliantly
alive...a masterpiece -- Tennesse Williams
The literary discovery of the year... It's as brilliantly nuanced as Updike's Rabbit sequence, and as sad as anything by Fitzgerald -- Nick Hornby * Guardian Books of the Year *
I hand out copies of Revolutionary Road to anyone who will take them...one of the most moving and exact portraits of suburbia in all of American literature -- David Hare * Observer *
The Great Gatsby of my time... One of the best books by a member of my generation -- Kurt Vonnegut
The best novel ever written about the death of the American dream -- Kate Atkinson * Daily Telegraph *