Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Day of the Locust (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0451523488 ISBN-10: 0451523482

9 New from $18.99 64 Used from $0.01
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback, September 6, 1983
$18.99 $0.01
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$8.97

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (September 6, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451523482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451523488
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Novel by Nathanael West about the savagery lurking beneath the Hollywood dream. Published in 1939, it is one of the most striking examples of the "Hollywood novel" in American fiction. Tod Hackett, a set designer, becomes involved in the lives of several individuals who have been warped by their proximity to the artificial world of Hollywood. Hackett's completion of his painting "The Burning of Los Angeles" coincides with the explosion of the other characters' unfulfilled dreams in a conflagration of riot and murder. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Nathanael West (1903-1940) - original name Nathan Weinstein (until 1926) American writer who died in a car crash at thirty-seven. Nathanael West published four novels. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I will read on a bit, but if I find many more, I will be returning the book.
La Favola
His description of his characters pain is so vivid that it touches you inside.
P. Jourdenais
The number of typos, wrong line breaks and grammatical errors are countless.
Jill A. Bossert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on July 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Day of the Locust" is about the strange, disparate people that invariably get drawn to Los Angeles in the 1930's, a time when studios put out assembly-line low-budget movies and employed revolving crews of extras, writers, and various technicians. The novel seems influenced by Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" in its portrayal of "grotesques," emotionally or behaviorally defective people on the fringe of society, but its tone is much more vibrant and frenetic; if "Winesburg, Ohio" is a petting zoo, "The Day of the Locust" is a three-ring circus.
At the center of the action is an artist and scene designer named Tod Hackett. He observes southern California with a sort of concerned detachment; he sees it as a wasteland of incongruous, tacky architecture and rootless people who come here to die. His discontent is manifested in his extracurricular plan to paint a canvas called "The Burning of Los Angeles."
Even though Tod may be considered the main character, he's the least interesting member of the cast; he's like the "straight man" in a comedy team. He's in love with an aspiring actress and occasional prostitute named Faye Greener who likes to use men. She has managed to hook a shy, lonely unemployed hotel bookkeeper named Homer Simpson (!) who moved to L.A. from Iowa for his health. Homer has compulsively fidgety hands and occasionally even exhibits the simplemindedness of his bald, mustard-colored cartoon namesake. Faye is also attracted to a lanky cowboy named Earle Shoop who works in a Sunset Boulevard saddlery store, does occasional movie work, and doesn't seem to know he's a caricature.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jason Richard on April 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of West's other novels - The Dream Life of Balso Snell, A Cool Million, Miss Lonelyhearts - and all three seemed to miss something that is hard for me to explain. A little two-dimensional, a little hollow. Neither the characters nor the novels themselves seemed to be totally fleshed out. But The Day of the Locust is different. And ultimately I think it is on this novel that West's reputation will either rise or fall.
This book will really live with you long after you've read it. I can easily bring to mind that spectacular cockfight (a fine bit of descriptive writing), Faye's teasing, Harry Greener, the midget, the scene in the nightclub when the cross-dresser sings, and that final horrific scene when the riot breaks out in LA. You can skip West's other novels and you won't be very deprived, but The Day of the Locust is not to be missed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jabberwocky on June 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Locust does a great job of showing the ugly side of the shiny veneer of Hollywood. The book deals with lust, desire, hope, disappointment, failure, rage, and death. To avoid being misleading, I should say that the movie business is not the front and center story here. The interpersonal relationships between a woman and her father and her suitors is the main plotline. Hollywood acts as a backdrop.

Faye is a failed actress who only gets work as an extra, and Homer and Todd are just two of the men who are drunk with desire for her.

This alternates with The Sound and the Fury for my favorite book. I've read it 3 times, which is as much as I've read any book.

...Locust is a quick read and never boring. Check out the movie too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By pisces on April 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
....To read Nathaniel West's description, it would seem so.

Every character in this novel of 1930s Hollywood is a greedy scoundrel. Every character is out for him/herself. Everyone's a sinner, and it's absolutely delicious.

I love novels with very eccentric, flamboyant characters. The kind of characters who perform on a dime. Faye, the main female character shakes, dances, gyrates, sings....for any audience, no audience etc..

Storywise, you never know what's real and what's make-believe....which is a metaphor for Hollywood itself.

The plot is Tod Hackett, an illustrator from the Mid-West coming out to Hollywood to work in pictures. The characters he meets, and the variety of personality traits, ticks, neurosis, dysfunctions are astounding. This is a novel of fringe, downscale, periphery Hollywood. The losers behind the scenes. Well, here's to the losers, because they move the plot and this has to be one of the most page-turning classic novels I've ever read.

All throughout the novel you get the sense something big is going to go down.....and the characters' own extreme traits drive this. I love it when a writer gets mileage, not from actual plot turns and twists, but solely from personality traits. The story feels like it's just moving along on it's own, as opposed to being heavily contrived.

I thought this novel was extremely interesting, thought-provoking, and suspenseful, as you never really know if the characters and scenes are play-acted, or for real. The reader is really left guessing. Is a fight, a real fight, when the participants just laugh the whole thing off at the end? Do these fringe characters really have all these personality ticks? Or, are these just affectations, at the ready for their next audition?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?