Book Review: Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

And none shall be saved, not even those whose job it is to do the saving…

Wish I’d read this one as a teenager, alongside “The Catcher in the Rye”. Oh well.

It’s a hell of an achievement – a novella (75 pages or so) following the misadventures and mental decline (from a low baseline) of a 26 year old protagonist only ever referred to as “Miss Lonelyhearts.” Oppressed by, and wallowing in, the miseries of the Depression (a loaded term), the guy careens from one hopeless hapless helpless shituation to another. There’s some hugging, but no learning. The ending (no spoilers) is as bleak as the rest of it.

Beautifully written, scathing, unsparing. Highly recommended.

Now, gonna read “A Cool Million”, which was the reason why I bought the collection. And somewhere on a shelf in this house of too many books, (as if such a thing were possible) sits a copy of “The Day of the Locust”….

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