Revolutionary Road and other sundry thoughts

So remember last week, when I was like, OH HAI, I IS BACK ON UR INTERWEBS… And then promptly didn’t post anything for almost a week? I am nothing if not consistent.

Even now I really have nothing to say. I think that my brain is filled with the anticipation of my impending trip home and the consuming knowledge that I have too much stuff to get done before Thursday when I get on my bike to ride to school to walk to the train to ride to the airport to get on a plane to get on another plane, to wait five hours in Seattle to get on another plane to drive for a half hour to get to my parents’ house.

I think it was less complicated and time consuming to get to Europe.

Anyway, on Kim’s recommendation I read Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates a while back. And by read, I mean listened to on my computer. The downloadable audio books the Cleveland library may be THE BEST THING EVER. While I was not overly impressed with the book (in fact, I was DEpressed), it was superbly written. Below are some excerpts that I enjoyed greatly.

“…he learned the unquestionably masculine, unquestionably middle class trade, of mechanical engineering.”

-Cue giggling from Lisa-

“Ted Bandy never looked his best in fine weather. He was an indoor man. His thin gray body, which seemed to have been made for no other purpose than to fill the minimum requirements of a hard finished double breasted business suit and his thin gray face were able to relax only in the safety of winter, when the office windows were shut.”

I can imagine exactly what this guy looks like. Incredible.

The next one’s really long, but I thought two things when I heard it (and I’m afraid #2 will be lost on those who didn’t grow up with me, sorry): 1. See, the east IS a terrible place where lazy people live! 2. Replace the words “the East” with Moscow, ID and remove “when college was over” from the last line and the quote embodies all that makes me not fit in there.

“Bright visions came to haunt him of a world that could and should have been his, a world of intellect and sensibility that now lay forever mixed in his mind with ‘the East.’ In the East, he then believed, a man went to college not for vocational training but in a disciplined search for wisdom and beauty, and nobody over the age of twelve believed that those words were for sissies. In the East, wearing rumpled tweeds and flannels, he could have strolled for hours among ancient elms and clock towers, talking with his friends, and his friends would have been the cream of their generation. The girls of the East were marvelously slim and graceful; they moved with the authority of places like Bennington and Holyoke; they spoke intelligently in low, subtle voices, and they never giggled… In the East, when college was over, you could put off going seriously to work until you’d spent a few years in a book-lined bachelor flat, with intervals of European travel, and when you found your true vocation at last it was through a process of informed and unhurried selection…”

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2 Responses to “Revolutionary Road and other sundry thoughts”


  1. 1 Kimwithak December 15, 2009 at 11:00 am

    The book is pretty depressing. But the writing is so magical.

  2. 2 Sharon December 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    yep, that last quote – so, real. nope, I guess you DON’T fit that mold. :-)


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