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Revolutionary Road


Revolutionary Road

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    Available in PDF Format | Revolutionary Road.pdf | English
    Richard Yates(Author) Mark Bramhall(Narrator)
"A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." —William Styron

From the moment of its publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road was hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs. It's the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who have lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

In his introduction to this edition, novelist Richard Ford pays homage to the lasting influence and enduring power of Revolutionary Road.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Originally published in 1961 to great critical acclaim, Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road subsequently fell into obscurity in the UK, only to be rediscovered in a new edition published in 2001. Its rejuvenation is due in large part to its continuing emotional and moral resonance for an early 21st-century readership. April and Frank Wheeler are a young, ostensibly thriving couple living with their two children in a prosperous Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950s. However, like the characters in John Updike's similarly themed Couples, the self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled or happy in their relationships or careers. Frank is mired in a well-paid but boring office job and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her hoped-for acting career. Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre sprawl of suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities, free of the consumerist demands of capitalist America. However, as their relationship deteriorates into an endless cycle of squabbling, jealousy and recriminations, their trip and their dreams of self-fulfilment are thrown into jeopardy. Yates's incisive, moving and often very funny prose weaves a tale that is at once a fascinating period piece and a prescient anticipation of the way we live now. Many of the cultural motifs now seem quaintly dated--the early evening cocktails, Frank's illicit lunch breaks with his secretary, the way Frank isn't averse to knocking April around when she speaks out of turn all seem to belong to a different world--and yet the quiet desperation at thwarted dreams reverberates as much now as it did 40 years ago. Like F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, this novel conveys, with brilliant erudition, the poverty at the soul of many wealthy Americans and the exacting cost of chasing the American Dream. --Jane Morris --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review Text

  • By su48 on 27 April 2014

    I love love love this book...this is the second time I have read it (a rarity-I can't remember a book I've read twice until this one) It is brilliantly written, Yates writing is sharp and I think funny in the sense that his portrayal of the characters you can imagine so well. If you have seen the film, yes it is well done and accurate to the book but you have missed out on the fantastic writing of Yates which is a great shame as his writing really is such a pleasure to read I just wish he was still alive and could write more masterpieces like this one

  • By Mrs. S. Biddulph on 3 May 2009

    This is a beautifully written book, an American "Madame Bovary" for the fifties. Yates is a skilled and talented author. He portrays the frustration of an empty middle-classed life with an adept stroke of hand. On the surface Frank and April Wheeler have the "perfect" life - a young, successful couple with two kids, who live in a nice house in suburbia - the epitome of a good American family. But bubbling below is a deep-seated sense of unhappiness and two unfulfilled lives brimming with hatred and apathy. Although you feel some sympathy for the couple, the tragedy of the whole book is that they could have changed their lives and taken risks to avoid the humdrum nature of middle-classed existence. At times you could strangle them, their self-indulgence and selfishness is supremely bourgeois. But then again the desperation to love and be loved, the anger at having "settled" for what they see as an ordinary life and the overriding boredom of living on Revolutionary Rd, prove too much with truly awful consequences. This is a bleak, suffocating book, but one that is superbly written and which holds your attention through sheer mastery of language.

  • By Colin M. Davidson on 8 June 2013

    This is in a lot of ways a sad and harrowing book, which still echoes through life today.I would like to say I learnt a lot on how to avoid similar problems from it, but other than trying to be more honest in inter personal relationships I`m not sure I didThe writing is brilliant, the observation of life and personality superb.A lot of the issues are still relevant today and show that society moved on enormously in the first half of C20 but little since.For once I agree with the label - it is a vintage classic, just don`t read it to cheer yourself up!If you are thinking about just seeing the film - read the book first.Both are worth it but in slightly different ways.

  • By Guest on 25 August 2017

    Fictional account of life in an American prep school which goes into financial difficulties, and the class of 44 going into the last year of the wa, some romantic interlude involved

  • By Avidreader on 14 December 2016

    Excellent writing a real classic. A terrible story of trauma and isolation in small town America, but well worth reading

  • By Paul Reynolds on 16 February 2014

    Quite a lot of the critics referred to this book as some sort of modern Gatsby, and I can see why. As a modern deconstruction, this time of the traditional family, of forming a 'new life', and a host of other aspect, this work is dark and very readable. I really...well, 'enjoyed' isn't the word, but I really found this book thought provoking. Well worth a read.

  • By Michael Douglas on 18 October 2014

    I loved the film and thought even more of the book as it gives a transparent insight into the minds of April and Frank. It's a tragic tale and had they been simpler "folks", it could have finished with a happy ending with them seeing their journey as typical and relishing what they had but.......

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