Read Miss Lonelyhearts and A Cool Million by Nathanael West Free Online
Book Title: Miss Lonelyhearts and A Cool Million|
The size of the: 646 KB
Edition: Penguin Books LTD; New Ed edition
Date of issue: May 25th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780141184685
The author of the book: Nathanael West
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:Sometimes we are deprived of good works by the untimely death of a brilliant young author. Other times we heap underserved praise upon the works of authors because they die young. Alas, the latter is the case with Miss Lonelyhearts. Rather than being a brilliant exploration of the philosophical and moral quagmire and emotional devastation of living on the seamy underbelly of city life as so many reviewers have exhorted, Miss Lonelyhearts is a hodgepodge of uneven, unfinished thoughts by an author who is not yet in full command of his art. The characters are all supposed to be in deep emotional despair, but it is impossible to connect with them or their pain because so little of their lives is available to us. They are dressed up cardboard, mannequins wearing clothing. In the end, these are people we don't know and don't care about. They are riders on the subway of life. We get on, we notice they are absorbed it their own thoughts, their own pains. But the vision lingers only so long as it takes to exit the next stop. There is nothing there, no connection to remember them by. In the end we just don't care about them. We have our own lives to live. West is not up to the challenge. In all, a very unsatisfying read. Don't buy into the hype. This could have been a fine, fine novel in the hands of a better craftsman. 50 - 60 pages is just not of enough space in which to explore such a weighty subjects.
Read information about the authorBorn Nathanael von Wallenstein Weinstein to prosperous Jewish parents; from the first West set about creating his own legend, and anglicising his name was part of that process. At Brown University in New York, he befriended writer and humourist S. J. Perelman (who later married his sister), and started writing and drawing cartoons. As his cousin Nathan Wallenstein also attended Brown, West took to borrowing his work and presenting it as his own. He almost didn't graduate at all, on account of failing a crucial course in modern drama. West indulged in a little dramatics of his own and, in tearful contrition, convinced a gullible professor to upgrade his marks.
After spending a couple of years in Paris, where he wrote his first novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, he returned to New York, where he managed (badly by all accounts) a small hotel, the Sutton, owned by his family. As well as providing free board for struggling friends like Dashiell Hammett, the job also gave West ample opportunity to observe the strange collection of misfits and drifters who congregated in the hotel's drugstore. Some of these would appear in West's novel Miss Lonelyhearts.
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. All would end up in West's final masterpiece, The Day of the Locust.
West's life ultimately ended as tragically as his fictions. Recently married, and with better-paid script work coming in, West was happy and successful. Then, returning from a trip to Mexico with his wife Eileen, he crashed his car after ignoring a stop sign and killed them both. This was just one day after the death of his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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