Month: September 2009

Things I've Read, Summer 2009

- Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
- Disturbing the Peace, Richard Yates
- Neuromancer, William Gibson
- Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick
- The Reader, Bernhard Schlink

Things I am reading:
- Young Hearts Crying, Richard Yates

Yates has been wonderful. I've always liked 'real stories' of people, leading unglorified lives, in heartbreaking situations not entirely their fault. Yates' male characters have distinct commonalities on the surface -- young ambitious men who (at least at the onset) think they are capable of achieving much, of succeeding at life - some version of the American Dream. They find girls, relatively young, and marry even though they imagine they can do better. Each resents, to some degree, his wife and his children. His job offers little to no joy or satisfaction. He's an alcoholic.

Revolutionary Road's male ends up alone after a (not too unexpected) twist at the end of the story. Disturbing the Peace's ends up in an institution. Not yet sure what happens to Young Hearts Crying's.

It's all mildly depressing. And the pattern that's beginning to arise between these plots suggest something vaguely sexist. But the prose is gorgeous, and genuine, and it's a story from the viewpoint of a man who really, honestly looks like he has no way out.

And that's the most painful and beautiful part.