The phrase "a child of his/her time" is often used to excuse a person in history's behaviour and to deflect from looking deeper into their character and nature. In this book however, I think the concept of being of a certain time, and what this can mean in the different contexts of individual life stories, is brilliantly explored in the portrayal of two young people living a seemingly very typical North American life in the fifties.
Yates renders intricate, unforgivingly blunt portraits of Frank and April Wheeler as they try to navigate their lives around societal expectations and norms, repressed hopes and dreams and their own and each others deep personal flaws. As both people increasingly relinquish their individual ideals in order to reach the promised land (as they see it) of Europe, where both are sure that their lives will finally come into fruition, the desperation that lies at the heart of this novel becomes more and more apparent, until it culminates in a horrific ending - an outcome composed equally of the failings of a particular society at a particular time, and of the timeless, flawed and weak nature of humanity.
Mark Bramhall does a solid job narrating this audiobook. Without going over the top, he manages to give each character a distinct voice and conveys the subtlety of the characters' emotions and interactions very well.
real, haunting, powerful
Frank & April Wheeler are really two of the most memorable characters I have encountered in my reading. The author allows you to see both of them in the most vulnerable ways throughout this book. It is like being a fly on the wall in the home of what you envision to be the "perfect couple" and finding out that they really do have flaws just like everyone else.
While Revolutionary Road is sad and dark, it is also simply beautiful. I am ashamed to say I had not heard of this book prior to watching the movie (which I also found to be exceptional) and I am so glad now that I discovered it. It is a powerful story that left me in a state of numb contemplation. It truly is a realistic portrayal of how people have so many dreams of what they want for their life only to get swept up in the mundaneness of everyday living and discover that many of their dreams will never be fulfilled. This is just one version of what can happen to people when they have that realization. Be forewarned, it is a bit on the depressing side. Nevertheless, I would certainly recommend it because it was an excellent listen and a story that is every bit as relevant today as when it was written. Just a side note- I find it interesting that the author uses the name "Frank" for the main character Frank Wheeler because this is such a "frank" literary account of real life behind the shiny image of 1950s suburbia. I wonder if he thought of that when he chose the name or it was just a Freudian slip?
The book is great. The plot is touching. Till the very end you hope everything will be fine, and it's really hard to keep yourself from drawing a parallel between the heroes' lives and that of your own. Indeed, what happened to the heroes could have happened to Romeo and Juliette had they not died.
A special tribute must be paid to the narrator. Due to his unsurpassed skill the heroes and even their voices are so vivid. The book has lots of dialogues, but due to Mark Bramhall you can not only recognize who's talking immidiately, but also feel the finest nuances of their mood!
Excellent. I was drawn to think, suffer, and feel with all the characters. I'll read all his other novels ASAP. Wrenching, but great.
This was an agonizing book. Despite the characters troubles, you sympathize little with them because of their constant nagging and self congratulatory nature.
or be depressed when you listen. Not a bright spot in the book.
The reader was okay, but it sounds really strange for a man with a fairly deep voice speaking in a little girl's voice.
Completely different than most books I read, so it was a very nice treat. Great story and very good writing; characters jump right off the page (or audio). Hope the movie of the same title is as good.
Good narration and literature and story line is neat for what it intends. However I would like to think there is more to most people's lives than this store would like us to understand. The story was not entertaining and for me not enjoyable nor thought provoking. Just sad.
I hate saying this, because we are all supposed to be impressed by Yates, but the only way to get through the annoying yelling and whining in this story, is to make it into a movie with Leo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet. It's like listening to hours worth of your neighbors fighting. If you don't have enough stress in your life, then listen to this book. The narrators voice was also soooo boring... so when you are not listening to the bickering, you are just bored to death with the in between story. I just couldn't get through it... I decide that it was better to lose the money spent then to have to listen to one more minute.
I chose this book because I had heard how realistic it was. To be quite frank, if this is a 'realistic' look at any couples life, I truly feel sorry for them. Rather I feel the author uses Frank and April to represent and sum up the time at which they were together. This book is very deep and should not be taken for face value. Not a top choice for a light read.
The author does do a great job of capturing the times though. The way he describes the roles of men versus women and the struggle for them to coexist. I feel that this couple was caught in a downward spiral, each fueled by the other towards their demise.
The plot was rather boring at times, especially in the first part. To be honest, I listened to part one, then didn't pick up part two until several months later because I was so bored and disinterested. However, part two has it's fair share of humor and depth. There were times where I was disgusted, especially with each of their behaviors and choices; however, they were also trapped in the society they were living in.
I'm sure there's obviously people who would love this type of book, but I'm not one of them. A literary professors dream.