Chicago, IL (PressExposure) January 14, 2009 -- Novels written about life in suburbia are a hard sell generally. Richard Yates found that out when he published Revolutionary Road all those years ago. Even though the book was short listed for the National Book Award, the reading public was never aware of this masterpiece of suburban living. Now comes another little known novel on the suburbs. William Hazelgrove's http://www.billhazelgrove.com Rocket Man was just released December 1, 2008 and the reviews have run very strong with the Chicago Sun Times giving the book a rave review, "It is the funniest serious novel I have read since Richard Russo's Straight Man, rich with the epic levity of John Irving and salted with the underlying sickness and perversion of John Updike." The online community has been raving about this novel for months with sixty three reviews on Library Thing and over fifty reviews on Amazon. David Liss, a top reviewer for Amazon, summed up the book: "William Elliott Hazelgrove's ROCKET MAN is a brilliant piece of writing, a work that meticulously dissects contemporary life in America with such a keen eye that the author is able to catch at least passing glances at us all." The Chicago paper, Daily Herald just led off with a headline "Author's new novel takes on the Suburbs." http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=262957&src=5
While Revolutionary Road tracks the agnst of a couple in suburban Conneticut, Rocket Man tracks a couple in the suburbs of Chicago, struggling to hold onto their home in an economic downturn and railing against the conformity of their neighborhood. The parallells of these two novels is striking. Both involve upwardly mobile educated white people who find themselvs in the cultural dumps of suburban white America. The stories are striking in the same frustration these couples feel even with a fifty year gap. Both couples see themselves as culturally superior, wanting to find something that will give them fulflimment beyond the bland conformity of their cotton candy existence. Yates named his novel Revolutionary Road because he felt the placidity of the fifties had to give way to something more turbulent. We know now that the sixties were just around the corner. Rocket Man suggest the same thing at the end, giving us a view of vastly different suburban existence. The question is: what is just around the corner for us in the teens?