The Day Of The Locust
By Nathanael West
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The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West ranked # 73 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Day of the Locust is a 1939 novel by American author Nathanael West, set in Hollywood, California during the Great Depression, depicting the alienation and desperation of a disparate group of individuals whose dreams of success have effectively failed.
One of the main characters in the novel is named Homer Simpson (which was not the source of the name Homer Simpson in The Simpsons animated television series).
The characters in West's novel are intended to be representative of the mix of actors, artists, businessmen, dreamers and vagabonds with whom West came into contact while working as a screenwriter in 1930s Hollywood. And so, all of the characters in Day are outcasts who have come to Hollywood in search of something or another. For the most part, West's characters are intentionally shallow and iconic, and "derive from all the B-grade genre films of the period" (Simon, 523). West's characters are Hollywood stereotypes, and West's portrayal of these stereotypes is most often absurdly hyperbolic.
The novel was adapted for the screen in 1975.
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