miss lonelyhearts – nathanael west

Miss Lonelyhearts

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!


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