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Separated at Birth: Revolutionary Road vs. Reservation Road

There has been much buzz surrounding the project that is bringing Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet back together for the first time since Titanic, a family drama based on a 1961 novel titled Revolutionary Road. Yet there's another movie that comes out this fall with a similar title which is also set in suburban Connecticut! Titled Reservation Road and also based on a novel, the thriller can easily be confused with Revolutionary Road, so I've devised a handy-dandy chart to help keep them straight:

Title Original Author and Publication Date Setting Premise Road Significance Stars Release Date
Revolutionary Road Richard Yates, December 1961 Mid-1950s suburban Connecticut Young parents April and Frank Wheeler struggle with the confines of suburban life and the repressive social atmosphere. Revolutionary Road is where the Wheelers live. Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kathy Bates, Michael Shannon Fall/Winter 2008
Reservation Road John Burnham Schwartz, October 1999 Modern-day suburban Connecticut The story revolves around one grieving father’s hunt for his son’s killer while another father begins to drown in his own guilt. Reservation Road is the site of the boy’s death. Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connolly, Mira Sorvino, Elle Fanning October 19, 2007

I've read both books and they're each worthy of a read before the film versions hit theaters. Between the two, however, I'd more recommend Revolutionary Road for its rich writing, depth and startling peek into the private life of a 20-something couple during a fascinating bygone era (the 1950s). Reservation Road is also a terrific read as a gripping, poignant page-turner. Both are roads you should wander down.

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