Review: Revolutionary Road (the novel)

Posted at Nov 29, 2009 11:01 am

Last summer I watched the preview for the movie and declared that I had no wish to see the film. The two minute clip featured Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio alternately locked in passion or shrieking like lunatics and throwing furniture. It was like a flash forward for the doomed Titanic couple– if they had actually made it to marriage and stability. This, then, might have been a snapshot of their lives together: broken whiskey glasses, bewildered children, red, sweating faces and thudding, discordant background music– their fairy-tale ending—if young Leo hadn’t drowned in the Atlantic.
Thanks, but no thanks.
So when I saw the novel at a used book sale a few days ago (it was buy five, get the sixth free) I thought, oh, what the heck. Why not?

I read it yesterday in one sitting. There was no putting this one down. It literally had everything that I look for in a novel: Brilliant prose, vivid characters, and a plot line that flowed effortlessly and smoothly towards the climax. One of the reviewers on the intro page had written "a perfect novel" and the description made me cringe a little. It just begs to be contradicted; how can anyone describe a work of art as "perfect?" But really, I must admit that after reading Revolutionary Road, I have to humbly agree with his ambitious praise. It really was a perfect novel.

I suppose now I have to watch the movie.

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