Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

“Alas! when passion is both meek and wild!”

with one comment

In his introduction to his review of Revolutionary Road, Peter Bradshaw refers to the rehabilitation of the source material:

It was a novel I first opened owing to the compelling evangelism of Nick Hornby, who made one of the suicidal characters in his 2005 novel A Long Way Down carry a copy of the book, so that it could be discovered on his corpse – an inspired continuation of the books romantic, self-sacrificial agony. Hornby almost single-handedly triggered a resurgence of interest in Yates, which led very materially to the emergence of this movie, a serious and intelligent response to the novel.

Now, I’m sure Hornby helped but I would suggest the 2000 Vintage edition of the novel with Richard Ford’s evangelical introduction had rather more to do with it. By the time Hornby’s novel was published it was already canonised in Time’s All-time 100 Novels list.

Otherwise it is a good review, although perhaps he gets a bit carried away whilst describing Kate Winslet’s face later on:

Her face, so powerful in its impassivity, yet with unreadable hints of fear and anger, has something massive and monumental about it up on screen, the sculpted form of a Roman empress: like the gigantic marble head of Faustina the Elder, famously unearthed with the colossal statue of Hadrian in Turkey last year.

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Written by Martin

30 January 2009 at 11:50

One Response

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  1. I started reading Revolutionary Road the other night. It’s a bit… brutal, if I can use that word.

    I’m not sure Hornby helped that much, given that, as I recall, A Long Way Down was the most poorly received of his books by some margin.

    The story told in all the magazine articles (that I’ve read, I should say) is that Kate Winslet was a big fan of the book and kept pestering Mendes to film it. I do not recall if they mentioned how she came to the book in the first place. Certainly, though, I’ve seen no mention of any Hornby influence.

    Nick H.

    31 January 2009 at 01:35


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