Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates ! Book Review



“That if you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone “

This book is different , really different from what all I have ever read. The beauty about it is  that half of the book happens within the mind of the characters , giving you a true insight into how twisted and honest human brains can be.

“Money’s always a good reason, but it’s hardly ever the real reason”

The book revolves around a married couple FRANK and APRIL WHEELER who live in the suburbs just outside New York on the Revolutionary Road (and hence the name )  with their 2 small kids . The book is set-in the mid 1950’s with the looming air of the war which has been left behind . The book is divided into 3  parts . The PART 1 revolves around the couple , and how they look down upon suburban life and the couples around them who live a boring life of wife doing the household job and tending for the kids , being the perfect wife , and the husband working in the city in a dull and a boring job which provides safety to take care of the kids and the family( a family which originates just to show his manliness ) . The Wheelers consider themselves to be more than that , and always felt that living in suburbs would be a phase which they would pass in a few years and eventually move to Europe( they shift from the city as April becomes pregnant )  . But ironically they are no different than their neighbors and April Wheeler understands that. So in PART 2 she hatches this plan of them travelling to Europe , she working there and Frank finding out who he is , living his life and pursuing the dreams he has always talked about. There are a few other characters too such as their friends MILLY and SHEP CAMPBELL , Mrs. GIVINGS their realtor and her family ( her sons character is someone you will never forget ). They are both highly excited about the move to Europe with Frank happy that he would no longer have to go to his boring half-ass job (but there is something that always keeps on nagging you about him , the feel that he’s all talk and no play for the plan) . And then comes PART 3 , during all this APRIL WHEELER gets pregnant and after this is where the real climax lies .

To hell with “love “anyway and with every other phony, time wasting, half assed emotion in the world .

Both the WHEELERS are complex characters . While reading it I didn’t judge any of them as they both were on a equal footing. APRIL WHEELER only loves her husband when he is nice . The husband persuades her to keep the kid and not to abort , though he didn’t even want the kid ,they both cheat upon each other (even during her 3 pregnancy).

In all and all when you read what’s going on in their head it just makes you question love, whos right – whos wrong , how people always settle for less in their life, how even after having everything people cannot be happy , how division of role of female-male have eaten up both their personalities, how we deceive people , run away from the things we have towards the ones we don’t , and how being happy is a state of mind .

I personally feel that its one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life !







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s