Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road.
Such comfort is to be found in a traditional third-person, omniscient, past-tense. Yates’s narration is so free of gimmicks and flows so easily from the mind of one character to another that the reader is hardly aware in any conscious way of a switch. What I also found heartening in this book, and what reaffirms my love of literature, is Yates’s way of getting at the subtleties of thought. When we see Frank Wheeler slip into a bit of negative thinking, fall for his own self-pity, or get caught up in bit of fantasy, we recognize that same trait in our method of thinking. This is what literature does best, or what makes great literature. What we read should remind us of who we are, awaken us to our own characteristics.
Revolutionary Road is particularly depressing because of its similarities to real life. We are given moments of fleeting hope, of grand aspirations that disappear in the drudgery of everyday life. As much as the novel is the story of how the suburbs consume those who thought they might be better it is also a story of how love fails the lovers. Not one thing amounts to as much as we initially make of it, and this is the truth that Yates gives us in this novel and the truth that I appreciate.
See also: The Best Books I Read This Year, pt. 1