Customer Reviews for

Revolutionary Road

Average Rating 4
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(88)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

My New Favorite!

This book caught my eye this past summer when I was browsing through B&N. At 15, a book about broken marriage is not exactly my usual cup of tea, yet there was something about the story that intrigued me. Well, that, and the fact that Leo DiCaprio was in the film versio...
This book caught my eye this past summer when I was browsing through B&N. At 15, a book about broken marriage is not exactly my usual cup of tea, yet there was something about the story that intrigued me. Well, that, and the fact that Leo DiCaprio was in the film version. (:
I definitely did not go into reading this novel with high hopes. Hell, I wasn't even expecting to get through the whole thing. But man, was I wrong! Since buying it in August, I've read it three times - and I never re-read books! Ever. That, my friends, is how totally awesome it is.
What was so completely fantastic about Revolutionary Road was the characters. Everything about them was so real - so scarily real, even, that I kind of felt like I was reading a book about myself...(Note to eye-rolling adults: Yeah, I may only be 15, but I could still relate to April and Frank in a surprising number of ways. So ha.) Anywho. The two main characters, Frank and April, aren't exactly likable folks. In fact, they're both pretty messed up and kind of annoying at times. And yet you couldn't help but feel bad for them, sympathize with them, and even root for their happiness as the novel went on. I know alot of people hated April, but I actually preferred her to Frank.
In addition to the amazing characters, the writing is absolutely exquisite. Yates did a fantastic job with writing a natural dialogue and describing emotions and surroundings without whipping out some annoyingly impressive vocabulary. By the end of the novel, not only was I crying my eyes out, (Yeah, so there's a piece of advice for ya: Have tissues on hand.) but I was also wishing I could write something that touching and, well, freaking amazing.
After reading it, I sprinted my butt off down to the Blockbuster to rent the film. Sadly, it was not nearly as good as the book - as is often times the case. The performances were great, but there was just something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. However, if you're lazy and aren't a fan of reading, I suggest you watch the movie. It's pretty much spot on plotwise, though not as nearly emotionally devastating. Or, at least, that's my opinion.

So yeah, I'm going to stop blabbering now, as most people have probably already skipped to the next review anyways...All and all, Revolutionary Road is now one of my favorite books and has earned its own permanent spot on my bookshelf. I highly reccommend it!

posted by Ivy26 on May 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

didn't enjoy

i really didn't enjoy this book. It was dark, depressing and too wordy. I have no idea how they could possibly make a movie from it.

posted by karen57 on May 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    So These Were the 'Happy Days'??

    Many critics believe Richard Yates to be one of the most overlooked--but best--author of the 20th century, and it's easy to see why in this well-written and perceptive study of a couple of intellectually snobbish New Yorkers who, for reasons not entirely of their own choosing, are forced to move into 'tickey tackey' conformist suburbia. The husband commutes and the wife stays home and keeps house; this was 1955, years before anyone thought of feminism as anything other than the suffragist movement. Most of the story takes place through husband Frank's perspective, and at age 30 he is proof that a man can have a midlife crisis at any age. He unwillingly takes a job with a large, IBM-like company to support the family and discovers, much to his horror and fascination, that he actually likes this work. But things are not going well at home. His wife April resents the time he spends in Manhattan, and not without reason. Yates doesn't often leave Frank's point-of-view but when he does, as when relating a fight between Richard and April, he cross-cuts so dextrously as to lend a whole new insight to the term 'battle of the sexes.' I reallly liked this book. I would hazard a guess that it appeared to be more existentially bleak when it was published in the early Sixties than it does today, when it can be put under a microscope and examined sociologically, warts and all. But it's a good read no matter what stance you take and you will, I bet, sympathize with at least one of the characters in it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2001

    A painfully honest look at 1950s suburbia

    Written in 1961, Mr. Yate's book is a piercingly clear, honest look at the lives of a couple in suburban Connecticut who are so caught up in their selfishness and self-aggrandizing lifestyle, that they fail to see their life crumbling around them. The writing is so honest at times that one wonders why all authors can't write this way. Highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2000

    Incredible

    Not only is this book well-written and eye-catching, it explores in depth the relationship between a husband and wife, their roles in society, and the devastating effect of unfulfilled wishes. It is one of the most overlooked books of the 20th century.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Phenomenal

    This is not a feel good book, so keep moving if that's what you are looking for. It is a very dark, unforgiving reflection on life and marriage that speaks very honestly to the way we live. Yates makes no heros out of anyone, all the characters are flawed and so real. And the movie is the best film adaptation I've seen; Dicapprio and Winslet could not have delivered a better performance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2009

    Just Wonderful

    I read this book because the movie was coming out. I finished it in one sitting. It was so gripping, and the characters are so real you begin to think that you're one of them. I was worried that the movie wasn't going to be as good because how could anyone put this piece of art into film and retain all of its wonder? The movie was dead on the book, as if I was reading it all over again. Highly recommended!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    AMAZING BOOK

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters are well developed, and the plot is interesting and makes you step back and look at your life. For those that say that it is about shallow people, I have to disagree. The characters in this book are dynamic, and have understandable values. Yes, Frank needs to get a hold on his temper, and April needs to learn to talk about her feelings and not make such rash decisions, but that certainly doesn't make them shallow. This book was definetely riveting and definetely moving. Yes, it is depressing, so if you're looking for a bright, sunny, happy book, then you probably shouldn't read this. And, contrary to what some people are saying, this book is not boring. It is definetely worth your time to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Revolutionary, Indeed.

    I've always had a great interest in the culture of 1950's & 1960's society, so naturally I was drawn to this novel's setting. It was until my roommate told me that I had to read the novel before we could rent the film featuring Leo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet. I was a little hesitant to read the novel, thinking it was going to be a melodrama about all the unrest among the beginnings of American suburbia. However, this book was absolutely remarkable. Though the protagonists, Frank & April, were riddled with discontent within the simple-minded people and society of suburbia and 1950's NYC workplace - contrary to society's "Cult of Domesticity." Yates, the author, lays underneath the story on the surface a deeper meaning that many people were yearning for at this time. Many taboo issues, such as abortion and adultery, are addressed in this novel.
    Overall, I am very happy that I had read this novel - well worth the $7.99 :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2014

    Awesome

    Great book, could not put it down. Very sad though. Good movie as well

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  • Posted December 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A MUST READ!

    A MUST READ!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    fully recommended

    an amazing read very well written & in my opinion a book impossible to put down once into it.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Best Book I've Read This Year

    Beautiful and impacting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Truthful

    This novel embodies the alienation in suburban America. To achieve the middle class lifestyle one must destroy their family and personal connections with them. In the US money, property and things mean more than human connections. After all this nation was founded on the ideal of life liberty and the pursuit of property.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Great

    I own a copy of this book and think its a classsic.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My favorite book!

    To me, more than any other book I have ever come across, encapsulates the modern human condition. It is a story about the everyday struggle against loneliness, about discovering and summoning the courage to follow your dreams (however big or small), overcoming crippling fear, about what it really means to be and pursue happiness, the struggle to communicate with even those closest to you, honestly confronting yourself, and the journey towards finding (or even just recognizing) the meaning of it all. To me the greatest stories have always been about loneliness and every human's desire to make some kind of connection, however small. And the story of Frank and April Wheeler is told her with such disturbing clarity and thoughtfulness, that it is hard to shake once you have turned the last page. I have never found 2 characters to be more intimately drawn in a way that I could not stop living with them. It's not a bright and shining tale to be sure, but it is one that will deeply resonate and hopefully illuminate aspects of your own life in the process.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Excellent

    Revolutionary Road is now my favorite. Having never read Richard Yates, I am astounded at his original and deep style of writing. He is comparable to Sallinger in my opinion. He brought every character to life and really left the rest up to the imagination. The plot in RR is so true and honest, that it almost doesn't seem fair. Although one may know the ending before reading it, that is not the point. The point is that Yates is able to lure you in to the lives of the Wheelers, and is able to relate their experiences with your own in one way or another. I recommend this beautiful novel to anyone who is searching for an incredibly honest and refreshing read. This is one that I will re-read, often. It supercedes the film, which is also brilliant in my opinion.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Uniquely insightful

    Never before have a read a book that describes with such insight what really goes on in the hearts and minds of what may look on the surface like the "perfect suburban couple", primarily in the 50s and early 60s, but still true today.How does one reconcile the ideals of one's youth with the realities of adulthood? Which of the characters is truly morally superior? This book will haunt you forever. I wish there were more like it.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This novel is amazing.

    There is so much to say about this novel. It dares to ask the questions wht is normal and who made the rules about the life we live. Set in the 1950s, April and Frank Wheeler seem to be the perfect family with two kids and a nice house, when they make the decision that this life is not the one they wanted when they first started out. They make the unheard of decision to move to Paris, a place that Frank has been and April has always to go to. One monumental thing changes their plan and the fall out from the choices that are made are disastrous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    excellent

    i wonder why it took so long to get popular

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    Awesome read

    I highly recommend this book, it was a fun read even though the topic was a little depressing...it takes you to the understandings of love and hardship through a war driven era. It was also a pretty quick read, and definately kept me wanting to see the movie! Enjoy the book if you get a chance to read it! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Revolutionary Road By: Richard Yates.

    Here is a little background on this book and author. Revolutionary Road, the first novel of author Richard Yates, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1962 along with Catch-22 and The Moviegoer. When it was published by Atlantic-Little, Brown in 1961, it received critical acclaim, and the New York Times reviewed it as "beautifully crafted... a remarkable and deeply troubling book."
    In 2005 the novel was chosen by Time as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.

    Revolutionary Road, is about a married couple named Frank and April Wheeler, who live in the suburbs of Connecticut. They are unhappy with their marriage, and their lives. Frank hates his job; she stays home with the kids and unfortunately she doesn't know who she is anymore.

    The story really unfolds when April comes up with a brilliant idea to pack up and move to Paris.

    So if you decided you don't want to read this book after you get to a certain point. Please keep reading cause it is really worth wild. This book is very interesting and different.

    I enjoyed this book, it was well written, and thought up. It was also very touching for me, on so many different levels. I certainly cant wait to read more from this author.

    So if your having second thoughts....don't think anymore. Get it trust me, you will enjoy it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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