miss lonelyhearts – nathanael west
Miss Lonelyhearts was first published in 1933 and is a black comedy set in New York during the Great Depression.
Miss Lonelyhearts is (unsurprisingly) an advice columnist for a popular newspaper, but (more surprisingly) is actually a man. never named throughout the book, Miss Lonelyhearts answers the letters of the cities sad, depressed and desperate, whilst slowly spiralling into despair himself.
He falls into a number of bizarre encounters, usually with the people that have turned to him for help and seems to suffer from some kind of Christ complex.
I have no idea why I decided to read this book – I am sure there must have been a recommendation somwhere, but can’t remember where! I have never read any of West’s books before, and can’t even remember having heard of him before I heard of this book.
It was well written, although obviously rather retro in it’s style! there seemed to be no direction for the story, and I couldn’t even really understand the ending that much. There were two possible outcomes, and I’m not sure which it was. It seemed a rather dramatic ending too for a story of a man who was rather non-descript and uninteresting!
It was interesting enough, but not a nook I would particularly recommend!