The movie "Revolutionary Road" kept going around in my head, and a few days later I found myself in a bookstore, looking for the Richard Yates novel the film was based on. There was an omnibus containing two novels ("Revolutionary Road" and "The Easter Parade") as well as a set of short stories ("Eleven Kinds of Loneliness"). I sat down in one of those easy chairs with the book, picked a couple of bits from Revolutionary Road, read the first short story, and was sold on Yates' prose.
Occasionally I say that I really go for well-expressed despair. And I was going to add that that fits the bill here, but on second thought, that's not exactly true - Yates depicts bleak, resigned hopelessness that doesn't even have enough energy left for despair.
Why do I do this to myself? Because it rings true. (But I'm still not ready to read Cormac McCarthy until the height of summer. And I will not read The Easter Parade until I've had a buffer of a couple of thrillers, chick lit volumes, or at the very least non-fiction in between.)