Revolutionary Road (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Revolutionary Road (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Seward Park (order processing takes 24 hours)
1 on hand, as of May 10 10:01am

Staff Reviews

This is a book that, over the years, has come up again and again as a book that a number of novelists have cited as one of the pivotal books in their reading development. I really wanted to get it under my belt before the onslaught of movie previews came out for it this fall. It is a brutal and aggressively critical but empathetic look at middle class suburban life. Published in 1961 and set in 1955, it certainly has a bit of a dated feel to it: what was clearly shockingly critical and revelatory at the time does not quite have the same effect today--many others have followed Yates' lead and carried on. Yet, still, the novel has an incredibly powerful punch. If you read this merely as a commentary on society, the novel does not quite have the thread you would think it needs. But it is actually Tragedy (capital T intended). Every small point early in the book is groundwork for what is to come. No character is safe from the author's harsh view of the world, nor are they abandoned in that world--they are all given their due sense of purpose and entitlement. It is touching and appalling. It is hard to recommend something this unpleasant and bleak. But here I am saying: get your high ball glass, fill it three fingers high, hold it tight, and dive into this book. 

— From Robert

Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List

“Set in the Connecticut suburbs of 1955, Revolutionary Road portrays the essential, continuing, now exacerbated American dilemma: How a young person might well live in America without conforming to the tedium of upward mobility and suburban family life. Nothing I have ever been told could have prepared me for this book's brilliance.”
— Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS


Hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs since it's publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who have lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

In his introduction to this edition, novelist Richard Ford pays homage to the lasting influence and enduring power of Revolutionary Road.

About the Author

RICHARD YATES was born in 1926 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992.

Praise For…

"The Great Gatsby of my of the best books by a member of my generation." —Kurt Vonnegut"Beautifully crafted...a remarkable and deeply troubling book." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780375708442
ISBN-10: 0375708448
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: April 25th, 2000
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries