Sunday, February 1, 2015

Revolutionary Road Review

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates is not a new novel, but it's new to me. I ran across it while searching for stories set in the late 50s and early 60s. Who knew that post-war suburbia had been so decadent?! Sure there were the ad men who populated Madison Avenue, those geniuses who promised Americans their Lucky Strikes would always be 'toasted', but Revolutionary Road is set outside this sphere.

The book opens with April Wheeler, the typical suburban housewife, doing a stint in community theater. The early pages aren't particularly captivating--I wondered if the book would even be worth finishing. But like a lot of great novels, I arrived at a certain point and realized I was reading something wonderful--can't remember just when I came to this conclusion either. (Much like taking Motrin for a headache and discovering, quite suddenly, that the headache left awhile ago, though the moment of its departure is impossible to pinpoint.)

The Wheelers are a young couple. Frank Wheeler, husband of April, believes himself superior to other men, and his wife shares this view. She indulges him despite his affairs outside the home--likely because she has had a tryst of her own. As the novel progresses, her indulgence and flattery reach crisis and pull the couple into a moderate bleakness. The conclusion of the book is horrific. I didn't realize how dark their lives had become until very near the end. I won't give the conclusion away here, but the sum of their conjoined psychosis is paid out in tragedy.

Highly recommended!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

At Hell's Gates

Please help this book succeed! It's coming out at the end of the month and the profits go to Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund.

More info coming soon...


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Famous Writers/Creepy Facts

Author Mark Twain was born in 1835, the very day that Halley's Comet first appeared. In 1909, he jokingly predicted that he would die upon its return. "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835," Twain said. "It's coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it." Mark Twain did just that, dying in 1910 on the date of the comet's next appearance.

Norman Mailer's novel Barbary Shore is about a Russian spy living in the US; this is the book's main character which, according to Mailer, was not his intention when he started the novel. He meant for this character to play only a minor role. After Barbary Shore was completed, the US Immigration Service arrested the man who lived upstairs from Mailer. The man's crime? He was Colonel Rudolf Abel, the top Russian spy working in the US.

In the 19th century Edgar Allan Poe wrote a book called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym--four survivors of a shipwreck are in an open boat for many days before they decide to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name is Richard Parker. In 1884, after the release of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, four survivors of a shipwreck, the Yawl Mignonette, were found in an open boat. To survive their ordeal, they ate the cabin boy. His name? Richard Parker.