Studied mannerisms

There were signs of this tutelage in Maureen’s too-heavy make-up and too-careful hairdo, as well as in her every studied mannerism and prattling phrase – her over use of words like “mad” and “fabulous” and “appalling,” her wide-eyed recitals of facts concerning apartment maintenance, and her endless supply of anecdotes involving sweet little Italian groceries and sweet little Chinese laundrymen and gruff but lovable cops on the beat, all of whom, in the telling, became the stock supporting actors in a confectionery Hollywood romance of bachelor-girls in Manhattan.

page 130 in Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. A book with such clever descriptions, so precise dialog and interesting characters that I find myself trying to understand how he does it. But every time I try and put a structural perspective the story pulls along with such ease and speed that I forget what I am doing and just enjoy the read. An extraordinary book for anyone stuck in the daily grind with once big dreams.


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