I'd put off reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates for years and years and years. Now that I've finished the book, I see that waiting was a good thing. A very good thing. So good, in fact, that I wish I'd waited even longer.
Why? The book was so good, I can't quite seem to enjoy anything that has come after it. I've tried. I've picked up novel after novel, collection after collection. Nothing is Revolutionary Road. Nothing is that perfect blend of disdain (bordering on disgust for one's characters, which is fascinating when pulled off and I'll have so much more to say on that later, but all of it has been said I'm sure, as I'm so late to the dance on this one and I don't want to be the girl that discovers this obviously great novel years after all the important people have already deemed it uber-great and I'm just showing my truly unstudied colors by talking about it in such excited tones well after such a thing was acceptable) and office minutiae and dashed dreams and lives stuck in perpetual suburbia even when they fancy themselves better than all that. It was a delicious read - funny and ouchy and deep and dark and then funny again. Nothing I've picked up since has that kind of meat on its bones. I'm not sure what I'll do.
All this comparison to a recently read book that I loved begs the question: what book had this effect on you? What book colored all else that came after it...even if only for awhile?