Disturbing the Peace (novel)

Disturbing the Peace (novel)
Disturbing the Peace  
Cover to the first edition
Cover to the first edition
Author(s) Richard Yates
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Delacorte Press/
S. Lawrence
Publication date 1975
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 1499096925

Disturbing the Peace is a novel by American writer Richard Yates. First published in 1975, Yates' fourth book concerns the crack-up and institutionalization of an alcoholic salesman. Semi-autobiographical, the novel was dismissed by critics as his weakest book.


Plot summary

A prototypical Yatesian dreamer, John C. Wilder is a bored but successful salesman of advertising space, living in New York who seeks refuge from the disappointments of his life in alcohol and adultery. He breaks down during a distillers' convention. Lacking sleep and the worse for alcohol upon his return to New York, he threatens his family. His friend, Paul Borg, has him committed to the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital in New York. Upon his release he seeks help from his family, psychiatrists, and AA meetings, all of whom he subsequently rejects. With the encouragement of a mistress, Pamela Hendricks, Wilder renews himself through their common love of movies and the prospect of making a film about his institutionalization. After a group of enthusiastic college students embrace his story and partially film his screenplay, Wilder leaves his family and job to move to Hollywood in the hopes of securing a deal that will complete and distribute the film. The loss of his mistress and the rejection he suffers from producers leads him even deeper into an abyss of paranoid alcoholic delusion. The novel ends with Wilder wandering the streets of Los Angeles, declaring himself to be Jesus Christ (mirroring a delusional incident in Yates' own life), and being recommitted to an institution.

Critical reception

Critics largely dismissed the book as Yates' weakest and wrote that it confirmed him as a one-book-writer.[1] Fourteen years after the success of Revolutionary Road, critics were expecting a novel as astonishing as his debut to confirm his status as a great writer. While Yates' short-story collection Eleven Kinds of Loneliness was celebrated, his second novel A Special Providence was panned. The lackluster sales and critical reception for Disturbing the Peace convinced many that "like Fitzgerald and so many others, he’d squandered his talent, drank it away."[1] This reputation persisted until the following year when Yates published his acclaimed novel The Easter Parade.

For some period of time, Joe Pesci held the film rights but never acted on it.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Disturbing the peace (disambiguation) — Disturbing the peace is a crime generally defined as the unsettling of proper order in a public space through one s actions. Disturbing the peace may also refer to: Disturbing the Peace (novel), a 1975 novel by Richard Yates Nancy Newman… …   Wikipedia

  • The Seekers (novel) — The Seekers is a historical novel written by John Jakes and originally published in 1975. It is book three in a series known as the Kent Family Chronicles or the American Bicentennial Series. The novel mixes fictional characters with actual… …   Wikipedia

  • The Easter Parade — infobox Book | name = The Easter Parade title orig = translator = image caption = Cover to the first edition author = Richard Yates cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Novel publisher = Delacorte Press/S.… …   Wikipedia

  • The King of the Golden River — infobox Book | name = The King of the Golden River title orig = translator = author = John Ruskin cover artist = country = United Kingdom language = English series = genre = Fairy tales, Fantasy, Novel publisher = Smith, Elder Co. (1851) release… …   Wikipedia

  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — ( Protocols of the wise men of Zion , Library of Congress s Uniform Title; ru. Протоколы сионских мудрецов , or Сионские протоколы ; see also other titles) is an antisemitic tract alleging a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. It …   Wikipedia

  • The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest —   Author(s) Ludwig Flammenberg (pesudonym of Carl Friedrich Kahlert) …   Wikipedia

  • The Mercedes Thompson Series — is a series of urban fantasy novels written by Patricia Briggs that follow the adventures of Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson, a Native American shapeshifter who was raised by Werewolves. The series is set in the Tri Cities area of Washington state in… …   Wikipedia

  • The Hunger Games universe — is a dystopic society in which the The Hunger Games trilogy is set. It consists of the nation of Panem which is located in North America at least 100 years in the future and 75 years after a major war has taken place in that future. Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

  • The Year of the Jackpot — is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, first published 1952, and collected in one of Heinlein s anthologies, The Menace from Earth .In the story, a trend following statistician finds romance and a disturbing conclusion. The story …   Wikipedia

  • novel — novel1 novellike, adj. /nov euhl/, n. 1. a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes. 2. (formerly) novella (def. 1). [1560 70; …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”