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Customer Review

6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disturbing but interestng, 29 Jan. 2002
This review is from: The Day of the Locust and the Dream Life of Balso Snell (Penguin Modern Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
These are the only Nathanael West stories I've read (I don't know what else he's written, or even how much of it there is), and while I found them entertaning and interesting, they are also quite dark and left a foul taste in my mouth. The first story seemed more serious, and pottered happily (or not so happily) along on the lines of manipulation and desire. In fact, it reminded me a little of "The Great Gatsby", but I've only read both that and this once apiece, so it could well be due to mere superficial similarities. It's not something I would read to escape from my own life when it all gets too much - I wouldn't like to fall into that world while I was feeling vaunerable or insecure! - but it's interesting to observe from a safe distance.
The second story, on the other hand, while still a little weird and dark, is much more frivolous and funny. It's lined with strands of fevered logic which are interesting to read and justify the word "dream" appearing in the title.
All in all a book I'm very glad I read, but one I was equally glad to finish in the knowledge that it was a world I didn't have to re-enter for a while.
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