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Miss. Lonelyhearts And The Day Of The Locust by [West, Nathanael]
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Miss. Lonelyhearts And The Day Of The Locust Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

In dark times, Miss Lonelyhearts shines the brightest light in the blackest places. For this reason West s novel has never felt more alive than today. --Nathaniel Rich"

Synopsis

Two short novels, one set in New York and the other in Hollywood, dramatically depict the extremes of the human condition and the destructive forces pervading modern American life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 612 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (5 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LLIUJS8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this wonderfully crafted mini-novel, Nathanael West captures the cultural essence of boomtown Los Angeles during its tumultuous adolescence. The dark, coarse, seamy side of the "California dream" is vividly portrayed here. The plot is not really the point in this period piece; the truth is in the characters and their always unfortunate interactions. For those who seek to understand the social history of southern California, this novel might be more useful than a half-dozen academic treatises.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nathanael West hits it right on the head. The subject matter of his most famous novel is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that it was written in the 1930's. What we take for granted as the sordid and seedy stories of Hollywood today are actually nothing new, but it takes a shrewd observer like West to show us how even the periphery of the glamour capitol can go down in flames. Perhaps the greatest single symbol is the hero's painting, titled "The Burning of Los Angeles". Think about that when you conjur images of Watts, Rodney King, Mark Fuhrman, and O.J. Simpson. I picked up this book when I saw it listed on the controversial "100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the 20th Century". Until then, I knew it only by reputation but it was well worth investigating. Nathanael West is the real godfather of Hollywood. A shame he is not around to comment on it today.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There's little more to say, because I agree with your earlier reviewers, except for the one who says the book ends so suddenly. Yes, but by then the author has stated his case and succinctly - it's a very short novel. It is not so much a story as a snapshot of Hollywood at its most decadent. Anyone who has read "Hollywood Babylon" will know that the 1920s and 1930s comprised the most decadent and sordid era of Hollywood - drugs, alcoholism, rape.For me there was nothing unexpected in this book, but I thought it dealt well with the Hollywood of that era, with a man [Tod] who is a talented artist, but who becomes embroiled in the really messy side of the film capital in the shape of the woman Faye. Some of the other characters, such as the Mexican, could better have been described by Hemingway and I felt the whole business of cock fighting reminded me of Hemingway's obsession with bull fighting - but not quite. However, unlike the lengthy novels of Hemingway [For Whom The Bell Tolls in particular], it is an easy read and it is a page-turner. A must for all serious readers of fiction who like to explore all aspects of humanity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brutal dismemberment of the myth of Hollywood Glamour. Wonderfully written & thoroughly evocative of the period we all think we know so intimately as the 'Golden Age of the Movies' No sign of the stars here, West's characters are one mis-step away from the gutter...

Vicious & venal men, rapacious women, & the poor, lost saps who, as the cynical narrator puts it, have come to Hollywood to die.. this version of the American dream is really the first circle of hell, in which the narrator, an artist who has come to Hollywood as a designer (everyone here is connected to, part of or consumed by 'The Movies' in one way or another) is painting a huge canvas of Los Angeles burning like Pandemonium, while the crowd of first-night movie fans turns into a ravening mob, hungry for blood...

A dark tragedy of a book, not for everyone, but if you enjoy exploding myths, dark humour & the exposure of the darkness beneath the surface of the world, you will enjoy this...And it's proof that, in Holly-Weird as in much else, "the more thing change, the more they stay the same.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been wanting to read this American classic ever since it was recommended in RV Cassill's The Writing of Fiction, which read when I was much younger than I am now. It's taken a shockingly long time to get around to read it. But I am glad I did. It is a modest book, crisp, terse and eloquent. The central character is 25 years old, and like many 25 year olds (including myself when I was that age) he seems a bit lost. I works in Hollywood in the thirties as a set designer, but doesn't push himself too hard. His wry observations of the Hollywood scene give the novel its flavour. He finds himself drawn to a young lady of dubious morals who wants to be a movie star. But you suspect that the only reason he's trying his luck with her is because he is bored. And who else is there? None of this sounds like promising literary material. But Nathanael West makes it work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I Don't know if it's ju
st my kindle but
Like others I have a majo
r problem with the formatt
ing of this kindle edition. I
f you find this revie
w hard to read the
n don't bother buying thi
s product.
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Format: Paperback
I discovered West quite late, at 49. Can't say it was love at first sight. First time I read Miss Lonelyhearts (just because it was mentioned in Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle) I admit I was disappointed. But then I've re-read all the three major novelettes (those in this paperback edition, which I recommend because you'll have in a thin, cheap volume the two best, plus his black humour masterpiece A Cool Million), and realized that so many American writers have stolen brilliant ideas from these three miniature novels that there must be something to them. I don't want to lecture anybody; go and read them. One can only regret such a talented writer died so young. Btw, the Day of the Locust has been ransacked by those who wrote Sunset Boulevard and by the Coen Bros.--all the apocalyptic LA/Hollywood mythology is there. A breath-taking narrative tour de force.
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