In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents....
Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life....
To all appearances, John Wilder has all the trappings of success, circa 1960: a promising career in advertising, a loving family, a beautiful apartment, even a country home....
In this first volume of his Frank Bascombe trilogy, Bascombe is a sportswriter attempting to cope with his failed marriage and the death of his son....
Winner of the National Book Award when it was first published in 1964, Herzog traces five days in the life of a failed academic whose wife has recently left him for his best friend....
On the Day of the Dead, in 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic and ruined man, is fatefully living out his last day, drowning himself in mescal while his former wife and half-brother look on, powerless to help him....
In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances....
At its heart lies the marriage of Peter and Maureen Tarnopol, a gifted young writer and the woman who wants to be his muse but who instead is his nemesis....
Yates movingly portrays a man and a woman from their courtship in the 1950s to their divorce in the '70s, chronicling their heartbreaking attempts to reach their highest ambitions....
Here are twelve magnificent stories in which John Cheever celebrates, with unequaled grace and tenderness, the deepest feelings we have....
Here is the story of Tom and Betsy Rath, a young couple with everything going for them: three healthy children, a nice home, a steady income....
When The Wapshot Chronicle was published in 1957, John Cheever was already recognized as a writer of superb short stories....
Eliot Nailles loves his wife and son to distraction; his Bullet Park neighbour, Paul Hammer, is a bastard named after a common household tool....
One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole....
Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse....
When Siegfried Sassoon publishes his declaration of protest against the war, the authorities decide to have him declared mentally defective and send him to Craiglockhart war hospital....
A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly....
The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century - a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes....
Any additional comments?
This is the perfect example for me of the importance of reading the book before I see the movie. I think if I had read the book first many subtle but important points missed in the movie would have made the story much better. The movie stressed odd scenes and omitted powerful details that developed the characters and their predicaments to a tee. Plus the way a reader pictures the settings and the people never seems remotely the way a casting team will set things up. That said--I liked the book. It depicted a slice of life from that odd time period of the 50's beautifully. It is a sad book but the characters are fully human and the story engages throughout.
33 of 36 people found this review helpful
Yeah, yeah Kate and Leo reunited on the big screen for the adaptation of Revolutionary Road, and while I enjoyed the movie, please don’t let it put you off or replace your reading of Richard Yates’ tremendous novel. Sure it’s depressing – it’s about realizing your life has become everything you never wanted it to be – but in Yates’ words, in Mark Bramhall’s narration, this is a powerful depressing: the kind of thought-provoking, heart-wrenching literature that we all need every once in a while.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
These characters are so fragile and damaged. It was painful at times.....so close to home! This 1960's "perfect" suburbia family crumbles right before your eyes. Each one is as "dysfuntional" as the other. I didn't like the ending but sadly it is very real and believable.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I hated this book for the first three hours or so---very upsetting marital fighting! But once it takes off, this is quite a study of two people and their lives in the 50s. I finished this book a week ago and still thinking of April and Frank! I want to see the movie now and see how it compares.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Beautifully written and exquisitely narrated, this book is captivating. Though the story is not uplifting, the characters are real and their plight is familiar nearly 50 years after the story was written. While it would be easy for the listener to judge the Wheelers and the Campbells harshly, to do so would be to fall into the same trap that captured them.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Yates is a beautiful writer--descriptive in a way that deeply involves the reader. One of the things I appreciated most about this book, a runner-up for the National Book award in 1962, is the accuracy with which he represents the 1950s, everything from work cublicles, the dawning age of computers, suburban life, the rise of psychotherapy (and its oppressive authority) and of course the pressure to conform and the difficulty of taking a different path (a "revolutionary road"). A major theme of this book, which I think is surprising for its era, is the nature of masculinity and its perils--how very hard it was to be a "real" man in the 50s. Yates has great skill at using metaphor and does a wonderful job with character development. This book is also beautifully narrated. Not only is the narrator's voice a pleasure to listen to, but his representation of each character very talented. Yates's depiction of the 50s gives great insight about why the 1960s became "revolutionary."
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
This is the story of a couple, tragically trapped in their facade of being 'perfect'. The time is the early 1960's and the 'traditional' values of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman are still held over from the 50's.
They are pent up and repressed. Once they are able to see what is truly happening in their lives, things explode. Ironically, it is a man who is mentally ill who is able to make the most telling and accurate observations of what is occurring interpersonally.
This is a captivating audiobook and it is very well narrated.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Yates was doing suburban malaise decades before people were talking about the latest Mad Men episode (not to bash Mad Men... love that, too). His characters and dialogue are sharp and drip with subtext.
Excellent book and reader.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I found this book to be one I did not want to stop listening to; it got me through several sessions at the gym. Although the story is a very depressing one, it held my interest. It is well written and I thought the reader did an excellent job. The characters were all believable, like people you may know. I highly recommend this book if you can deal with unhappy stories.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a poignant, intense novel. Yates's characterizations are spot-on and his prose immaculate.
He tells the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a young couple who long to be special but who are trapped in the conventions of their middle class, middle of the road and mediocre marital existence.
Yates has created a harsh but perceptive criticism of the superficial American society of the time that rings true to the present day. The narrator does a fine job with the clearly distinguishable voices.
This is certainly not a light listen but it is a devastating one that you shouldn't miss.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful
Undoubtedly the most underrated writer I have ever had the pleasure of reading!
The minute observations Yates presents in this novel are devastating and honest. A timeless tale.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It took a while to get going but stick with it as the plot gets better and then it's a case of not wanting to stop listening!
I hated this. It maybe an accurate social critique of post-war middle class America, but if so, how depressing. It was harder to listen to than read, because of the harsh voice of the reader - again, maybe realistic but unpleasant. In the end I gave up, and will be returning it, hopefully for something more enjoyable.
I think that Richard Yates must be the reincarnation of Edith Wharton! The same sharp knowledge of human nature, personality and the claustrophobic influence of the social milieu, wonderfully observed.
?He closed the door and started toward her with the corners of his mouth stretched tight in a look that he hoped would be full of love and humor and compassion; what he planned to do was bend down and kiss her and say 'Listen: you were wonderful.' But an almost imperceptible recoil of her shoulders told him that she didn't want to be touched, which left him uncertain what to do with his hands, and that was when it occurred to him that 'You were wonderful' might be exactly the wrong thing to say ? condescending, or at the very least naive and sentimental, and much too serious.
'Well,' he said instead. 'I guess it wasn't exactly a triumph or anything, was it?' And he stuck a cigarette jauntily in his lips and lit it with a flourish of his clicking Zippo.
'I guess not,' she said. 'I'll be ready in a minute.'
'No, that's okay, take your time.'
He pocketed both hands and curled the tired toes inside his shoes, looking down at them. Would 'You were wonderful' have been a better thing to say, after all? Almost anything, it now seemed, would have been a better thing to say than what he'd said. But he would have to think of better things to say later; right now it was all he could do to stand here and think about the double bourbon he would have when they stopped on the way home with the Campbells. He looked at himself in the mirror, tightening his jaw and turning his head a little to one side to give it a leaner, more commanding look, the face he had given himself in mirrors since boyhood and which no photograph had ever quite achieved, until with a start he found that she was watching him. Her own eyes were there in the mirror, trained on his for an uncomfortable moment before she lowered them to stare at the middle button of his coat.?
About the superficiality of people's lives and dreams quite slow moving but thoughtful and not overly exciting.
I found his book terminally boring and impossible to relate to the characters who seemed to simply be caricatures of themselves.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
The forthcoming film adaptation by Sam Mendes starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Leonardo DiCaprio seemed an intriguing substantial follow up to his earlier American Beauty ? so a good starting off point to read the book before seeing the film. The previously unknown Richard Yates is a welcome addition to the cannon of American baby boom angst-generation. This territory has in recent years has been wrestled from the New Yorker writers and East Coast sensitivities of John Updike to become almost the domain of the TV writer and slightly off the wall film makers ? like David Lynch, who relocated the action to the West Coast - or the late Southern Gothics like Tracey Letts who gave us a freaked-out speed-addled version of Tennessee Williams.
Here the action is plainly suburban, Connecticut compliance and Eisenhower domesticity ? and the great escape of this 1950s world is a relocatoin to post war Paris.
There are so many contemporary parallels and yet it seems a different world. The male-bonded corporate boys club in which Frank Wheeler is ensconced just about still exists in our Finance sector. We are now just about ten years too late to see it in the American Corporations who have now outsourced their bonhomie and business lunches ? but it was there and Yates? un-air conditioned mid-town lunch with Bart Pollack is as close as contemporary fiction gets.
April Wheeler?s 1950s housewife is now a dream ? but all the more powerful in our popular contemporary property, cookery, celebrity driven representations and probably more real than ever. But the inter-dependence of the married couple has now gone and we have become atomised beyond consideration of the single young man ? John Givings ? who provides the touchstone of this novel.
Our relationships are what define us and good writing is what defines a good novel. Yates? observations are accurate, there is insight and terror in what he sees and, yes, this is a great book.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I was hesitant to listen to an audiobook because I knew it would be annoying if the reader intoned things differently than I would have in my head. How lucky I was to find a book read by Mark Bramhall! He is one of the best readers I've heard in my life, probably THE best American reader! In fact his reading reminded me very much of the way my father would read books when I was a child. He is so skilled that you can actually hear the smallest punctuation marks in his voice- little things like parentheses, dashes, and quotation marks! Such a joy to listen to, I wish I could give him more than five stars!