The Day of the Locust
By Nathanael West
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Admired by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and Dashiell Hammett, and hailed as one of the best one hundred English-language novels by Time magazine, The Day of the Locust continues to influence American writers, artists, and culture. Bob Dylan wrote the classic song "Day of the Locusts" in homage, and Matt Groening's Homer Simpson is named after one of its characters. No novel more perfectly captures the nuttier side of Hollywood. Here the lens is turned on its fringes—actors out of work, film extras with big dreams, and parents lining their children up for small roles. But it's the bit actress Faye Greener who steals the spotlight with her wildly convoluted dreams of stardom: "I'm going to be a star some day—if I'm not I'll commit suicide."