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andrenobrega

Omnilogikos: literati

I'll post here all the book related content that I usually share on my blog, be it comments, reviews, quotes or whatever else.

Currently reading

L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop)
Robin Buss, Émile Zola
Dicionário de Lugares Imaginários
Carlos Vaz Marques, Ana Falcão Bastos, Alberto Manguel, Gianni Guadalupi
Progress: 60/1040 pages

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

I knew nothing of Revolutionary Road (or Richard Yates for that matter) until I watched the movie by Sam Mendes in 2009 based on this novel. I really enjoyed it and decided to read the book. This daily life prose ain't exactly the kind of text I am used to reading, but knowing the messages it carried made me try it nonetheless.

The book follows Frank and April Wheeler, from their youth, to their marriage and life together, mostly from Frank's point of view up until the end, when it shifts to April's for a while before ending with their friends telling the rest of the story. Yates does a marvellous work describing situations, thoughts and opinions and the main characters are so credible you feel it might be your neighbours he's talking about. I felt I understood them, their feelings, their plans, their lies to themselves, their disappointments, their angers. John Givings, a man suffering from some kind of mental disorder, is an exceptionally well built and well placed character as his distance or differences from the regular people allow him to state what other might only think, creating unique situations that make their point and transmit their message as no others. Although it was a very interesting read and not at all disappointing, I did feel some boredom halfway through the book, as if I was reading the story in slow-motion. This may of course be as much a result of the way it is written as of the fact that I knew what would happen after having seen the movie. With Revolutionary Road, Yates shows the society seemly from a naive point of view, with the dreams of those who don't want to be just someone else, who don't want to follow other people's plans, to have other people's boring lives. He demonstrates how those resigned persons can find themselves becoming the conforming people they criticized, as if the needs of life in this society led them to that without notice. But he also tells of other ones, of those who still need life to be different, those who just can't get used to the paradigmatic middle-class life of the modern society.

I recommend this book both to people who would read it as a regular romance and to those who like to read about the relationship between the individuals and between them and the society, its standards and ideals. I'd rate it around 4-5 on the character creation but 3 on the story development.