Day of the Locust - Nathanael West BOOK REVIEW | Summary and Q&A

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June 4, 2016
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Better Than Food
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Day of the Locust - Nathanael West BOOK REVIEW

TL;DR

A nihilistic pulp noir story about the disillusionment and despair in the early Hollywood era.

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Key Insights

  • 🥳 "Day of the Locust" explores the dark side of Hollywood during the early studio era.
  • 💔 The book delves into themes of disillusionment, broken dreams, and the harsh realities of the entertainment industry.
  • 🎁 The characters in the story represent different facets of the despair and madness present in Hollywood.

Transcript

only those who still have hope can benefit from tears when they finish they feel better but to those without hope like Homer whose anguish is basic and permanent no good comes from crying nothing changes for them they usually know this but still can't help cry well it's a holiday in Cambodia where people dress in Black good afternoon everybody Welc... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main theme of "Day of the Locust"?

The main theme of the book is the despair and disillusionment experienced by those who come to Hollywood with high hopes, only to be crushed by the harsh realities of the industry.

Q: How does the author portray the characters in the book?

The author gives each character complex layers, with Todd representing the observer of the dark side of Hollywood, Fay embodying the delusional dreamer, and the dwarf neighbor providing dark comedic relief.

Q: Is "Day of the Locust" a fast-paced read?

Yes, the book is a quick read, with a dialogue-driven narrative that keeps the story moving at a brisk pace.

Q: How does the setting of Hollywood contribute to the overall story?

The setting of Hollywood adds to the themes of despair and broken dreams, with the characters surrounded by a decaying atmosphere and a sense of hopelessness prevalent in the industry.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "Day of the Locust" is a quick read that takes place in early Hollywood and explores the themes of madness and broken dreams.

  • The story follows Todd, a painter working in Hollywood, who is gathering ideas to paint an apocalyptic mural depicting those who have come to California to die.

  • Todd falls in love with his neighbor Fay, who dreams of becoming a star but possesses a sinister side.

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