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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust

by

Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust Cover

ISBN13: 9780811202152
ISBN10: 0811202151
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust sold poorly in West's lifetime, although they were critically praised; the New Yorker reported, 'Taken together, these two novels say more about the way we live now — and the things that brought us to our present pass — than any other work of fiction I can think of.' Despite, perhaps, his focus on desperation, West is a joy to read; subtle and quick, he is never heavy-handed, and his more thoughtful characters contain original (though often futile) insight into the nature of malaise. Influential, relevant, and disturbing, these novels remain an arresting and thought-provoking read." Jill Owens, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Miss Lonelyhearts, Nathanael West's classic novel, an advice columnist for a New York City newspaper is disheartened and disillusioned by the desperate letters he receives. Eventually, he begins actually getting involved in the lives of his letter-writers, a move he comes to regret deeply. First published in 1933, Miss Lonelyhearts was critically acclaimed, but when its publisher went bankrupt it was taken out of circulation, and West made almost no money from the book. West's final book, The Day of the Locust focuses on the fringes of Hollywood. Tod Hackett, late of Yale, designs sets for movies. Poor, awaiting inspiration for a great painting, he frequents the underbelly of California life, meeting various frustrated characters: a shy bookkeeper from Iowa, a smart-aleck child actress, a raging dwarf, and an ingenue.

Review:

"Taken together, these two novels say more about the way we live now — and the things that brought us to our present pass — than any other work of fiction I can think of." The New Yorker

Review:

"[T]he best picture we have of our rotting urban culture, our piles of tawdry technological junk in which human lives are first mired and then mangled." The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"West is an original comic poet; and he has made of the misfortunes of a young newspaperman...a miniature comic epic." Edmund Wilson

Review:

"Brilliant, savage, and arresting." Dorothy Parker

Review:

"Miss Lonelyhearts has brilliance, but it also has honest tenderness, a sense of the author's personality, and a reckless freedom of imagination — qualities that are even rarer today than when it was first published." Malcolm Cowley

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Lisa Brown, September 21, 2010 (view all comments by Lisa Brown)
my executive editor at the magazine i worked at in washington, DC, recommended that i read "miss lonelyhearts" awhile ago, but i was actually a bigger fan of "the day of the locust." both stories ring true, as if they had been written during the current recession rather than circa 1933. the plight of miss lonelyhearts—a man with a bizarre brand of savior complex—is a tragicomical train wreck from which you just can't look away, although each & every character (save for his column's anonymous, faceless readers) is intensely unlikeable. that being said: the typos & egregious misspellings that plague the letters to miss lonelyhearts made me want to take my trusty red pen & stab myself in both eyes. no offense to mr. west, as the grammatical & spelling errors (not to mention largely absent punctuation) are clearly intentional. it's just my cross to bear as an editor.

although the protagonist of "the day of the locust" isn't 100% sympathetic as far as characters go, he & the rest of the cast of characters are largely relatable—& none are without their flaws. the result is a startlingly honest portrait of california as america's ill-conceived "promised land," moved forward by glimpses into the lives of individual players who are at once unique/fully realized and archetypal. mostly, it's a commentary on the nature of violence & humanity's attraction to it. mob as living organism, yadda yadda yadda. clocking in at just 185 pages for both novels combined (novellas, really, but why split hairs), it's definitely worth the day or two you'll spend burning through its pages.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780811202152
Subtitle:
And the Day of the Locust
Author:
West, Nathanael
Author:
West, Nathaniel
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
American
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Motion picture industry
Subject:
California
Subject:
Los angeles (calif.)
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reset ed.
Edition Description:
Reset
Publication Date:
January 1975
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
185 p.
Dimensions:
8.54x4.62x.45 in. .40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 185 p. pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811202152 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust sold poorly in West's lifetime, although they were critically praised; the New Yorker reported, 'Taken together, these two novels say more about the way we live now — and the things that brought us to our present pass — than any other work of fiction I can think of.' Despite, perhaps, his focus on desperation, West is a joy to read; subtle and quick, he is never heavy-handed, and his more thoughtful characters contain original (though often futile) insight into the nature of malaise. Influential, relevant, and disturbing, these novels remain an arresting and thought-provoking read." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Taken together, these two novels say more about the way we live now — and the things that brought us to our present pass — than any other work of fiction I can think of."
"Review" by , "[T]he best picture we have of our rotting urban culture, our piles of tawdry technological junk in which human lives are first mired and then mangled."
"Review" by , "West is an original comic poet; and he has made of the misfortunes of a young newspaperman...a miniature comic epic."
"Review" by , "Brilliant, savage, and arresting."
"Review" by , "Miss Lonelyhearts has brilliance, but it also has honest tenderness, a sense of the author's personality, and a reckless freedom of imagination — qualities that are even rarer today than when it was first published."
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