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The Collected Works of Nathanael West: The Day of the Locust; Miss Lonelyhearts; A Cool Million; The Dream Life of Balso Snell (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Nathanael West
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Mar 2011 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction and Notes by Henry Claridge, Senior Lecturer, School of English, University of Kent at Canterbury

The four novels gathered here constitute the complete longer works of one the most brilliant and original American writers. West's vision of American modernity is terrifyingly comical and diagnoses the tawdriness and meretriciousness of much of American popular culture. His greatest work, Miss Lonelyhearts, which begins this collection, is unique in modern literature. It describes New York in the early years of the Great Depression through the point of view of an ‘agony aunt’ who corresponds with his suffering readers in the guise of ‘Miss Lonelyhearts: (Are you in trouble? – Do you need advice?)’. A Cool Million is, as its subtitle suggests, the ‘dismantling’ of a myth, here a caustic satire of the ‘rags to riches’ story. West's final novel, The Day of the Locust, is a comic, yet apocalyptic account of the fantasies of 1930s Hollywood. This volume concludes with West's parodic and surreal first venture into fiction, The Dream Life of Balso Snell.

Henry Claridge’s introduction to this new edition of West’s fictional writings contextualises his work in the United States of the Great Depression, in his evocation of 1930s Hollywood (where he worked as a writer of screenplays), and in the larger context of his Eastern European Jewish background, and, particularly, his reading of Dostoyesvky. The text comes with extensive annotations, a note on the textual history of West's writings, and a guide to further reading for both the student and the general reader.

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The Collected Works of Nathanael West: The Day of the Locust; Miss Lonelyhearts; A Cool Million; The Dream Life of Balso Snell (Wordsworth Classics) + The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics) + The Age of Innocence (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (15 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226584
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stories, Nathanael West is wicked 1 July 2014
By chiara
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing stories, Nathanael West is wicked. Any fans of The Drowned Man - 'Day of the Locust' included in this is absolutely essential reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss out! 31 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't miss out on these tales of woe from the times of The Great Depression because of the nature of the tales but because of the greatness of West's writing - especially The Day of the Locust.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Inexpensive for what it is! Recommend to anyone interested in or studying Hollywood fiction, 1930s fiction or the 'American Dream'.
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