Tonight I am off to my first ever book club meeting! The first title on our reading list is: Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates).I love Yates but I'd left this near the bottom of my To Read list because I had already watched the film. I know I am pretty much alone in thinking "movie first" is the best order in which to proceed with a book/movie combo, but I just think it makes so much more sense. Most people agree that the book is usually better than the movie, so this way around it minimises the chance of disappointment.
I find Yates' ability to conjure visuals with his words so strong that having seen the film a couple of years before reading the book made almost no difference to my reading experience. The images from the film faded from my mind after the first couple of pages. His writing is beautiful, sharp and desolate.
The only reason I wasn't more upset by the book was (I think) because I had just finished the emotionally raw Sweet Old World by Deborah Robertson. I found it tender, moving, melancholy and heartbreaking; it reminded me of feelings I've had and people I know and made me feel desperately sad for everyone. Yet it was still touching and gentle despite being so unutterably sad. It's hard to shy away from a book that feels so true, even if it is not about easy truths.