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Buzz Book Club: The End of Revolutionary Road

Welcome back, members of the Buzz Book Club! Now that you've finished Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, we can talk about what all this suburban-life-in-the-1950s stuff is about. In fact, it will be interesting to discuss this book now as a whole work, rather than section by section, because we have every piece of the puzzle in place to sort out what Yates is driving at here.

The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, will be out in December, so we have plenty of time to mull over how on earth such a powerfully written book can be adapted for film.

Last week's assignment was to finish the book. After the jump you'll find some discussion topics that struck me as I read to the end. Also, if you're just joining and want to catch up, you can find all of our Revolutionary Road discussions thus far here.

Hopefully you're not too emotional after finishing this novel, so to discuss

  1. Can you imagine Leo as Frank and Kate as April? I'm having such a hard time with that! And while I love Kathy Bates, I had a totally different impression of what Mrs. Helen Givings would be like. What do you think? Who would you cast?
  2. Speaking of the movie, I’m curious which parts of the story you think will translate well to a movie and which you think are best suited to print. For example, in my mind, the events of the novel wouldn't work well in chronological order, so I'm curious to find out how the movie will give us the backstory as well as the "present day" happenings.
  3. After the first assignment, we discussed how there wasn't exactly one single character who stood out as the person we were supposed to be rooting for. By the devastating end, however, April had become almost like the heroine in my eyes, as she seemed like she was becoming more honest with herself. Did you find yourself rooting for any of the characters in particular by the end of the book?
  4. The theme of abortion is clearly front and center in this book — both literally (April's abortion) and figuratively speaking (the Wheelers abort their plan to move to Europe, for one). Is there a grander message about the idea of abortion that Yates is trying to get across?
  5. What did you think of the ending? Could you envision a different ending that also could have worked?
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