Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Book Review: The Easter Parade

The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

I read somewhere that The Easter Parade was Richard Yates's most depressing book. I doubt that it was really written like that, but I was already a fan of Revolutionary Road and his short stories, so I picked up the book and was eager to get to it. Sometimes, though, your impression of the book you're reading is impacted by the books you read immediately before that one. Coming off two good reads, I was disappointed by this one.

The Easter Parade is the story, the life story really, of two sisters. Things for them and between them never really improve. We watch the same disjointeness over decades. While we are sad to see people not live up to their potential, it diverges so little from the normal course of life that we are hardly surprised.

I enjoy Yates's more formal style. It is immediately confortable and unpretentious. It is writing like you learned in AP English. And that is a nice change from many more modern novles.

In no way did the book live up to Revolutionary Road. Here the misery was quiet, buried under complacency and compromise. So, it was depressing, yes. I just was looking for something that would strike me a little deeper.

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