Can you love a book that you hated reading? I just finished Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road, which was by far one of the best novels I’ve read in years. It’s a searing and brilliant and thoughtful portrait of marriage, of our fears of mediocrity, of suburban malaise, of the fleetingness of our emotion and loyalty, of the ways in which our choices accumulate and suppress us, and of basic human limitation. How our expectations of adulthood often clash brutally with reality, and how when we communicate, we are merely spinning myths about ourselves. In this novel, communication is sometimes nothing more than a bad stage play, with practiced mannerisms to match.
Yeah, so it’s a complex and beautiful book, impossible to do justice to in a couple of run-on sentences. But then why did I find reading it so harrowing? It’s simple, really: the truth hurts.