Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road

Have you seen the movie Revolutionary Road? I haven’t. But there was a new copy of the book at my favorite second hand bookstore so I figured I’ll read the book first. Bought it in 2010. Finally read it.

Did I like it? I’d have to say I had difficulty getting through the first chapter. It was a little too slow for me. Boring. Or perhaps that’s really how it was meant to be. It was, after all, about 1950s/60s American suburbia, and the disintegrating marriage of Frank and April Wheeler. And I couldn’t relate to either theme.

There was nothing to like about April or Frank. They were merely pretending with each other. Feigning love and interest. That they stayed married so long was a surprise to me. That Frank had kept his job without really doing anything significant, is even more of a surprise.

Eventually though, it became about living. Or imagining about living. And I could relate to that.

The end is tragic. And it isn’t the death that makes it so. It’s the realization that they didn’t have to just imagine what a wonderful life they had or could have. They could have actually lived their dreams. They could have actually made them happen.

But they didn’t.

And that’s what I’m afraid of doing in my life.

But I am no longer afraid. Because I have recently found inspiration to believe that, yes, it is never too late to be what I might have been.