Discontentment in 1960’s suburbia New York? Yes, we know all about that, at the very least from watching the TV series Mad Men.

So what makes “Revolutionary Road” stand out and earn a movie to boot? Nothing that I can discern. Four jaded characters, four conflicting points of view, a stillborn plot, a fumbled ending. The cast isn’t very likable — people arguing interminably with each other over trivial issues until they lose all interest for each other as well as for readers, and all that’s left is just plain dullness. One line articulated by the novel’s leaden heroine, April Wheeler, “Wouldn’t you like to be loved by me?” was worthy of a snicker.

Better stick to the stories of John Cheever for a much more masterful depiction of the period. Or watch Mad Men.

Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates
346 pages

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