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The Day of the Locust (Signet Classics)
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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.
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.
The secondary characters are fascinating in their brazenness and crudeness; you can almost smell them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the least enjoyable books I have ever read. How could it be included in a list of the 100 greatest novels?Published 6 days ago by Richard Maierle
This is a terrible edition of a classic novel. I bought this book with the intention of keeping it on my shelf, but this edition appears to be a cheap printing from a PDF or... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Garrett Williams
Gave this as a gift to an elderly gent in the nursing home. He was thrilled.Published 22 days ago by Denise
I'm stunned by some of the reviews that completely miss what makes this novel a timeless examination of the vacuum that lies at the heart of the American Dream. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tommie27
Do not buy this edition, it is riddled with formatting errors and typos. There are actually multiple typos on the first page! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alex Kovalovsky
This edition, published by something calling itself 'Popular Classics Publishing Co.', is like a bound PDF or a bootleg DVD. Don't buy it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by David Giles
DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION. This review is in no means a review of the novel itself. This version of the novel is filled with misspellings, typos, and alignment issues. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MB
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon.com. Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule. Read morePublished 11 months ago by The Cosy Dragon (Rose Herbert)