Alex's Reviews > Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2016
Recommended for: mallory ortberg

Nathanael West wrote four short books, of which two - Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust - eventually became minor classics. He died in a car crash at 37, ensuring a namecheck in JG Ballard's Crash. He was a modernist, by which I mean he's a little confusing.

Miss Lonelyhearts was almost a graphic novel, which would certainly have been something; as it is, it's something else. The title character, never named aside from "Miss Lonelyhearts," stumbles through a life of agonizing empathy. He writes an eponymous advice column for a newspaper. He's crushed by and drawn into the suffering of others. There are a lot of references to Christ. (The problem with drawing one's attention to Christ parallels is that you're sortof spoiling your own ending.) It's short, powerful and elusive. It should be read in one sitting if possible, and with no prior knowledge of suffering.
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2014 – Shelved
February 6, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
June 8, 2016 – Started Reading
June 9, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
June 9, 2016 – Finished Reading

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