But in Revolutionary Road — a bitter look at suburban life in the 1950s — it's a grotesque display at a lunchtime meal that haunts the main character, Frank Wheeler, for much of his life. The scene is a dribbling affair where a corporate bigwig proceeds to chew with his mouth open and dunk rolls in the gravy boat.
Sometimes bad can be so, so good.
Read on for an excerpt...
Oat Fields's mouth did not close while chewing and it left white streaks of food on the rim of his water glass. Once he softened the hard crust of a roll by holding it submerged in the gravy boat for some time before he lifted it to his reaching lips, allowing part of it to fall and leave a bright tan stain on his vest.
This ill-mannered character ends up being a symbol of all things mediocre Frank becomes later in life. And yes, it's a little icky, but memorable (and pivotal) all the same.
On a Thirsty Reader note, Frank and his wife April spend as much time smoking and drinking as they do eating actual meals. Check out Nora's post on whiskey, the Wheelers' drink of choice.
(Photo: Strand Books)