And so we stop worrying about them, because they're doomed anyway and not always because of their own shortcoming. We didn't get what Hollywood was, looking down at it from the North and thinking there was nothing there beneath all that surface. The reader should not confuse the artist Tod Hackett with the author Nathanael West. Depression era Hollywood certainly seems less horrifying and, well, depressing than other books about the same time in other parts of America. This enhances the dark mood of the novel, painting a picture of hopelessness in a city built on hopes and dreams. It's interesting, in this sense. The abuse he has suffered at her hands as a result has turned him into a brat who is unrepentantly cruel to everyone, but most of all to Homer Simpson, who finally snaps during the book's final sequence after Adore throws a rock at him and stomps the boy to death, which causes the crowd outside the film premiere to tear him limb from limb as they riot.
Nobody can have such a low opinion of himself and not have something dangerous boiling up inside, we think, and we're right. Whether that's a good or bad thing, of course, depends entirely on you. In a city full of strangeness, the people inhabiting West's Hollywood novel seem sharp and current. Nathanael West This is a hard hitting novel set against the backdrop of the dirty thirties when desperate times showed us the very best and very worst of people. As well as Tod, there's a whole bunch of unfortunate characters pulled into this spotlighted charade, most notably - Faye a wa Depressing, crushing realization that the American dream isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that Hollywood glitz and glamour is just going to screw you up sooner or later. A somewhat less carefully formed novel than Miss Lonelyhearts, The Day of the Locust is nonetheless intensely fascinating and demonstrates West's incisive psychological and social probing. Homer Simpson Bear in mind that this was written before Matt Groening was even born.
Their desire to startle was so eager and guileless. But one day, the dreams will end and the locusts will swarm and the whole fragile society will come crashing down. The highlights of this novel are in the parade of I had a hard time deciding to finish the book after the first mention of Tod Hackett's thoughts about the courage to rape a teenager but I forget. Maybelle Loomis and her son Adore are, perhaps, the most startling discoveries to the 21st century reader because raw foodies and stage moms have been around since 1939. Claude tries to counter Tod's arguments, but this just makes Tod angrier, and eventually the doctor he has telephoned is forced to sedate Tod. I suspect, from some of Faye's father's mannerisms, that he and Faye got up to the badger game a time or two.
I am afraid that Mr. The Hollywood metaphor's a great cliche. Sammy's is a story of hustle and flow, make and do and create. It is reality projected as fantasy. I re-read this for a recent book club and found myself appreciating it much more than I did back in college.
Yes, despite his appearance, he was really a very complicated young man with a whole set of personalities, one inside the other like a nest of Chinese boxes. The rest turns on your instinct. Tod is the protagonist, the straight man in this black comedy. Okay, that's enough procrastination for one night, or maybe even for a lifetime. Despite some sympathy for Tod's discomforts and much agreement with his analysis of the Hollywood world, West is critical of Tod.
We hate it for its car culture I guess though we drive up there too , maybe a little for the vapidly sunny weather ours isn't bad either , but really what we hate its Entertainment Industry and everything related, everything that represents. Every day of their lives they read newspapers and went to the movies. They have slaved and saved for nothing. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit I also have a Facebook blogger page at: As some of you know, I came dangerously close to packing it in and moving to Los Angeles this winter. And the dump grew continually, for there wasn't a dream afloat somewhere which wouldn't sooner or later turn upon it, having first been made photographic by plaster, canvas, lath and paint. Tod has rape fantasies about Faye often, and this seems completely reasonable to him.
I slowed down to hear what he was telling the women, who now seemed to be looking around in confusion. It is set in 2012 America, as you can see from this quote: Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. There is no smallest question that West can craft some lovely sentences and some incisive character sketches. Next to it was a highly colored shack with domes and minarets out of the Arabian Nights. When he left the room and found Earle outside the door, he tried to stick to the notion that Faye was sick, but Earle, unlike Homer, had the experience to know what Faye's moans really were, and he threw open the door and attacked Miguel. To underscore the futile misery of his job, the initially jaunty musical score drops sharply in tempo with each downturn in Harry's luck, each note as plodding as his footsteps. West spent the rest of his days in Hollywood, writing B-movie screenplays for small studios and immersing himself in the unglamorous underworld of Tinseltown, with its dope dealers, extras, gangsters, whores and has-beens.
The novel tells the story of the sycophants surrounding a drop-dead gorgeous 17 year old girl named Faye. But there are scenes in which his vision really does work. Your teeth would be driven into your skull like nails into a pine board and your back would be broken. With a weird ending that borders on the surreal, The Day of the Locust falls short of being a five star classic, but given West's startling descriptive acuity and searing portraits of American archetypes that live with us still, The Day of the Locust does what a great American novel should do, it holds a mirror up to ourselves and makes us examine the flaws under the make-up. Love is violence, weakness is violence, quiet is violence, stoicism is violence, art is violence, caring is violence, kindness is violence, desire is violence, everything is violence. The daily diet made sophisticates of them. I once thought the book was dry and overly cynical.
Rather, we have a study of a time and place. It's nice to be able to live one's life on foot, to pay social calls and run errands in a glamorous neighborhood, and who cares it's one so chichi I'd never be able to live there, no matter what unexpected turns my life happens to take? The bawdy chaos that litters their comings and goings seems hilarious at first, but when it merely abates to be reignited and replayed over and over again, the unbearable notion of everlasting despair rapidly begins to penetrate the ultra thin time-worn veneer. Of course, as is expected in these bleak Depression-era tragedies, the innocents are left to suffer as the heartless and guilty characters prance along without a care in the world, getting off scot-free. There's a certain cachet that comes with tossing out references to slightly-obscure yet classic novels. It set the scene for every David Lynch movie grotesque and the soundtrack for every Pixies song your head can bend itself around.
Both are the best-remembered works by their early-dead authors. He remains a central character even after the focus returns to the present and to Tod. Hollywood is taken as a metaphor for an America that was moving from depression to war, and its fantasies outrun themselves until all that's left is anarchy. And this at last wove the book together for me, made the preceding ~200pp make some sense to me. It doesn't mean they have to be enjoyable or even coherent.