Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Few More Thoughts on Revolutionary Road - With Spoilers

Because I just can't let this go.

The book, as I said in my brief review, was fantastic. I loved the flow of the story and getting to know the characters in all their flawed humanness. I was right there with them in their heads and in the room as they went about the messy business of being, well, human. I cheered and cringed and lived right along with them.

Okay, so. Here's where I had a problem. First it was John Givings, the off-the-wall, speaks-his-mind, no-social-filter, schizophrenic, institutionalized son of real estate agent/neighbor/friend Helen. Did you get that? Anywhoo, so Helen brings John over to Frank and April's house for a 'social outing' every Sunday, only to have John just talk SHIT to the already stressed Frank and April. They do not need this extra stress! And if memory serves me correctly, Helen brings John over three more times before Frank and April's marriage finally implodes. I know they already had a lot of stress and issues between the two of them, but holy hell! Having someone say "I'm glad I'm not THAT kid" as he's pointing to Aprils protruding pregnant belly, is just . . . omg. Nooooo!

And then! As if introducing John into the mix at the end of the book is not enough, Frank, in all his weakness, has to say, 'Maybe you should have had the abortion after all'. Oh crap. You idiot. Don't say that! I knew, at that point, that no matter how much hope I had had, this was not going to turn out so well.  April is already just hanging on by a thread. The writing was on the wall and still I held out for a decent, even just ambiguous, ending. Yates has me hanging on for something, anything. Is it any wonder, then, that she ends up DYING because of a botched self inflicted abortion?! Holy crap! Where did that come from? She didn't have to die to make an impression on me that she was hurting. Let them live out their lives like the rest of us, growing and learning from our mistakes, advancing and retreating, ebbing and flowing. Life can be a bitch (sometimes) and then we die (always), but it's how we handle things in between that makes us who we are.

To me, April dying was a cop-out on the author's part. It was overkill.  I loved the book until John came along. It was all down hill form there. Please Please Please let the next Yates book have a better ending.


Tracy said...

OK, OK, I'll read it! (um, I read the intro, but not the rest of your post, to avoid the spoilers)

Trish said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think. It was a really good book but I just had a problem with the ending.