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The Day of the Locust
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Monthly Book Reads > Day of the Locust, The - September 2019

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Darren (dazburns) | 638 comments Mod
In September we will be reading The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West for our State of the Nation category - who's in?
The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments Same again--packed and ready to go. Two short books this month--should be easy to get to in short order.


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Marilyn | 47 comments Agreed. Two short books and both available from the local library. I plan to read them later in the month.


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Fay Roberts | 363 comments I'm halfway through and it's a nice easy read. Nothing earth shattering as yet though but I think that's because I've recently read Breakfast at Tiffany's and a couple of others with similar themes so the whole "lusting after the bad girl in a by gone age thing" is too fresh in my mind.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments How can 'lusting after the bad girl' ever get tiring?


Leslie | 825 comments I have got the book (courtesy of the Open Library) and plan to start in a few days...


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Fay Roberts | 363 comments @bryan. Lol - not tiring just not earth shattering. I finished and it’s fine. I enjoyed it. I won’t remember it in 3 months though. Also, I think I am really grumpy in general as when I finished I thought to myself “people in Hollywood are selfish? Who knew?!?!?”


Leslie | 825 comments I finished today and I agree with Fay that it is an easy read even though I didn't find any of the characters appealing.


Phil (lanark) | 428 comments My first in-copyright download from the Open Library. Can't believe that it actually worked and I can now start reading it! (The Getaway isn't available, from there unfortunately, so I've had to buy that one).


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Fay Roberts | 363 comments I love Open Library Guys and am so glad so many of you are using it this month 😊


message 11: by Leslie (last edited Sep 07, 2019 12:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leslie | 825 comments Fay wrote: "I love Open Library Guys and am so glad so many of you are using it this month 😊"

I think I first learned about it from you! I love it too - lots of titles my local library doesn't have in digital form :)

I went ahead and read "Miss Lonelyhearts" as the copy I got had both books. It also was about unpleasant characters but I had more sympathy and interest in the main character (who is unnamed except as 'Miss Lonelyhearts').


Jackie | 88 comments I am a bit late joining in, but ready to go now. Only 99p!


message 13: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil (lanark) | 428 comments I liked it, but its comedy is dark as pitch. It's also pretty old school in its sexual politics and has the trends I've seen in male-written US novels in holding up essentially schoolgirls (Faye is 17) as the epitome of sexual objects.


Leslie | 825 comments Phil wrote: "I liked it, but its comedy is dark as pitch. It's also pretty old school in its sexual politics and has the trends I've seen in male-written US novels in holding up essentially schoolgirls (Faye is..."

Well, you have to remember that it was written in the early 1930s. However, my feeling is that for many American males, 16-18 year old females still are the epitome of desirable sexual objects! To me, the term 'schoolgirls' implies a much younger group though technically even 18-year-olds are still in school so the term does apply.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments I finished. I liked it more than I thought I would at the beginning.

I don't necessarily think that West was holding up schoolgirls as the epitome of sexual objects--I think Faye is a class all her own, or, if she's representative of anything, it's a particular kind of grasping, shallow person whom Hollywood attracts (or West is telling us it attracts).

I'm not really sure I buy the idea that many American males think that 16-18 year old females are the epitome of desirable sexual objects either, but I don't have any statistics to back that up. Maybe they do.


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Fay Roberts | 363 comments @Brian - not to lower the tone but pornhub reckons they do 😉


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Christopher (Donut) | 232 comments I have put off posting this, from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, but now, so to speak, I can't help myself:

... Twenty minutes on the Internet xxx trade is all it takes to realize that the sexual peccadilloes of modern people are clichéd, sad, incomprehensible, and/or a combination of all three. If you are to take “real” porn at face value, you would be forced to conclude that women rarely have pubic hair, except for those who are advertising as having more pubic hair than normal. There seems to be an unabated demand for naked teenage girls, although there also seems to be a tacit understanding that any moderately small-breasted thirty-one-year-old woman can pass for a teenager if she has pigtails and a lollipop.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments Fay wrote: "@Brian - not to lower the tone but pornhub reckons they do 😉"

I think Pornhub caters to a lot of interests.

Well--I can't argue the point. It seems to me that 16-18 is very young, and I don't see the average young woman of that age as being very desirable. There would definitely be exceptions to that, but those that were exceptionable would have traits other than being 16-18 that made them so.


message 19: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 232 comments I'm getting to this pretty late.

I do remember having this for a brick and mortar book club, but not finishing. Now I am encountering all my highlights from before.

I was going to say that the slang is pretty out-of-date, in some cases.

If you google "nautch joint," the first result is the quote from this book, although further down the etymology comes from Urdu:

Nautch - Oxford Reference

www.oxfordreference.com › view › acref › acref-9780199829941-e-32292
nautch n. (also nauch, nautchery, nautch house, nautch joint) [Urdu/Hind. nāch, dancing, usu. as an exhibition of Indian dancing, thus a nautch girl, a dancing ...



message 20: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 232 comments It's easy enough to explain why this is dicey.

Why it's funny? Harder to explain.

... While Tod mounted the steps to reach his outstretched hand, he shouted to the butler. “Here, you black rascal! A mint julep.”

A Chinese servant came running with a Scotch and soda.



Jackie | 88 comments So late finishing this. Not the fault of the book itself for sure, it was a very good read. The book started out as a black comedy of some not very sympathetic characters, but by the end my hair was standing on end. The last scene was quite disturbing to me, but I was dragged right into the nightmare. Deserves it place on this list for sure.


Leslie | 825 comments Being late is no problem here (at least as far as I am concerned)!


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