The Collected Works of Nathanael West

Nathanael West


The Collected Works of Nathanael West

The Collected Works of Nathanael West

  • Title: The Collected Works of Nathanael West
  • Author: Nathanael West
  • ISBN: 9781840226584
  • Page: 167
  • Format: Paperback



The four novels gathered here, Miss Lonelyhearts, A Cool Million, The Day of the Locust and The Dream Life of Balso Snell, constitute the complete longer works of one the most brilliant and original American writers.


Recent Comments "The Collected Works of Nathanael West"

I had already read Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust before I came across this collection. I was very impressed with Nathaneal West's style that I had to dig into the rest of his novels. Alas, there are only four of them in total. A Cool Million is about the myth surrounding the American dream and follows the story of our hero, Lem Pitkin, as he leaves town to make it in the big city of New York. The misfortunes that follow his endeavour are harrowing to say the least. In this novel it [...]

I’m kinda on the fence as to how to rate Nathanael West. He was definitely something of an interesting character, to say the least. Although I’m not so sure he was really all that likeable as a person but this is really beside the point. His writing is in many ways worth noting but what little there is of it is extremely uneven in quality. However, in content he is at least fairly consistent. Overall, I feel he can be viewed primarily as a satirist and a rather bitter and sarcastic one, if n [...]

Very unhappy with this book. It was a distorted creation of characters and circumstances to spell as much hopelessness, dysfunction and misery as possible. It reminded me of a demented comic book more than meaningful literature. While there are loose associations to greed, crime, cruelty and prejudice, it was so overdone and simplistic it was meaningless to me. Some reviews referred to its a parody or caricature. In my view this was giving it too much credit for a bitter distortion to invoke hop [...]

I could not understand the satire. If I were to read this again, I would need more than a book club to get me through. I definitely noticed the difference between how this and modern satire is written. It made me wonder if years from now people will struggle to read something I found relevant.

“Moooompitcher yaaaah. Oh I never hoped to know the passion, the sensuality hidden within you – yes, yes. Drag me down into the mire, drag. Yes! And with your hair the lust from my eyes brush. Yes Yes Ooh! Ah!” (p. 61).‘Nough said (or cited) about The Dream Life of Balso Snell, the first of four short novels in Nathanael West’s Complete Works. West was young at this point, just starting out, and quite enamored of words – or at least of the sound of them – not to mention of the proc [...]

Hard to assign a rating to a collection whose constituent parts are so widely variable. In descending order of worth:Miss Lonelyhearts - Tour de force. Five stars. Given its novella length, to describe it would be to spoil it.Day of the Locust - Somehow combines, in embryonic, chimeric form, the genres of Hollywood satire, hard-boiled noir, and Depression-era social commentary in a way that places it into a kind of retrospective, Fichtean trinity in which "The Grapes of Wrath" figures as thesis, [...]

A good friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel West wrote in the 1930's. He died with his wife in a car wreck, just two days after Fitzgerald died.I've only read Miss Lonlyhearts and The Day of the Locust and liked them both, but at the time I did think that they were a flawed. West's talent, though, seemed real, distinctive, and headed somewhere. Death mooted the issue.I used to push Miss Lonelyhearts on everybody I knew who read fiction. I don't even own a copy any more because I gave it to s [...]

More enjoyable than I remember from when I read it ages ago. Of the four novellas in this, I only read The Day of the Locust this time. It's not entirely my cup of tea: satire with characters who are all of them rather two dimensional on purpose. A pared down style that doesn't really allow for much elegant expression of the dour thoughts West is trying to convey (about society and human unfulfillment). Rather wildly changing perspective (definitely no Jamesian unity of narrative 'centre of cons [...]

I read this last summer on a whim; I had shelved some books next to it and some of the titles were familiar. So I gave it a tryd completed it in two afternoons.I was completely taken away by Miss Lonelyhearts, putting it in my heart right next to 'Franny and Zooey.' It is about the often ridiculous, but completely necessary quest for spirituality in one's life with a liberal dosage of post-war cynicism. The book is tragically funny, often heartbreaking. It is a black humor with a soul.Of the oth [...]

This selection of West's fiction pieces offers a comprehensive overview of the author's talents. Three of the pieces are overshadowed by the opus of the collection "The Day of the Locust", worth the price of admission with its lineup of richly created unlikable yet sympathetic characters in 1930s Hollywood. The other works offer insight into the author's talents but sometimes are too self-reflective of the initial sometimes pretentious intention, be it a mirror of the stream of consciousness sty [...]

Day of the Locust I hold dear. I buy any copy of it I find lurking in second hand bookshops. It's the least I can do. Savage satire and yet not so savage - rather than cold didactic condescension there's raw emotion and fire. On each page I have the feeling West is somehow simultaneously attracted and repelled by his characters. As if he's in this hell with them getting down and grubby with them. A Cool Million, a wonderful surprise. The sustained comic tone as fresh and funny as anything you wi [...]

Read The Day of the Locust for uni. Not a fan - the characters are unpleasant, nothing much happens, and the general unpleasantness is interspersed with occasional moments of real nastiness (grotesquerie, I suppose, although 'nastiness' seems more to the point).I don't understand what West is trying to say here, other than Hollywood is artificial and the people there are shallow. I'm told it's a classic of American literature, but for the life of me I can't see why - was this really one of the b [...]

Thank goodness for Wordsworth who have put together this budget edition of Nathanael West's work. It also includes an insightful preface looking at his life and career which ended all too soon. Influenced by Dostoyevsky, West had a talent for satire. Some of his work is too dark and bitter even for me, and it's interesting to ponder how he might have matured. But the opening pages of Miss Lonelyhearts - and the closing pages of Day of the Locust - are brilliant. His take on American life (and wi [...]

If you like the bizarre, the darker side of things (if you've ever read Horatio Alger you will find that "A Cool Million" is the exact opposite of his "boot-strap" books, everything goes tragically, and ridiculously wrong), examinations of the human condition, then you may like these books. I've read all four books in the collection, some more than once. Loved all of them. Very well written and thought out. Highly recommended. And, you'll find our where the name "Homer Simpson" comes from.

I only wish as many people would read Nathanael West as read his contemporary and close friend, F. Scott Fitzgerald. An excellent and provoking novelist of the jazz-age, writing of a new America of mass-culture and its dark and terrifying underside.


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    Posted by:Nathanael West
    Published :2019-02-25T00:44:35+00:00