Richard Yates's The Easter Parade is so grim and unrelenting that I defy anyone to recommend it to someone in real life. Seriously, aside from Margo Tenenbaum — a severely depressed character from a neat-looking (stylistically), but wholly sterile film — who do you recommend it too?
I have a first edition. It looks like this (see left).
The prose is cutting (i.e. razor-sharp, hurtful).
Actually, I think my friend Ralberto, who I went to college with would like it. And probably Gavin Butler (Guthugga Pipeline, Happier Hunting Ground, Coburg, et. al).