The Day of the Locust
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"The Day of the Locust" is the celebrated 1939 novel about the Great Depression, set in Hollywood, California, its over-arching themes dealing with the alienation and desperation of a broad group of odd individuals who exist at the fringes of the Hollywood movie industry. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Day of the Locust #73 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its list of 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.
guards, Hanoverian light horse, with their flat leather caps and flowing red plumes, were all jumbled together in bobbing disorder. Behind the cavalry came the infantry, a wild sea of waving sabretaches, sloped muskets, crossed shoulder belts and swinging cartridge boxes. Tod recognized the scarlet infantry of England with their white shoulder pads, the black infantry of the Duke of Brunswick, the French grenadiers with their enormous white gaiters, the Scotch with bare knees under plaid skirts.
into the hall. A jacket and trousers, a shirt, socks, shoes and underwear, a tie and hat followed each other through the air in rapid succession. With each article went a special curse. Tod whistled with amazement. “Some gal!” “You bet,” said the dwarf. “A lollapalooza—all slut and a yard wide.” He laughed at his own joke, using a high-pitched cackle more dwarflike than anything that had come from him so far, then struggled to his feet and arranged the voluminous robe so that he could walk
When he finished, she laughed and lifted the cocktail to his mouth. “Drink it, damn you,” she said. She tilted the glass, but he didn’t open his mouth and the liquor ran down his chin. He wiped himself, using the napkin without unfolding it. Faye called the waiter again. “He doesn’t like champagne cocktails,” she said. “Bring him brandy.” Homer shook his head. “Please, Faye,” he whimpered. She held the brandy to his lips, moving the glass when he turned away. “Come on, sport—bottoms up.”
realized that a lot of it wasn’t jumbled so much as timeless. The words went behind each other instead of after. What he had taken for long strings were really one thick word and not a sentence. In the same way several sentences were simultaneous and not a paragraph. Using this key, he was able to arrange a part of what he had heard so that it made the usual kind of sense. After Tod had hurt him by saying that nasty thing about Faye, Homer ran around to the back of the house and let himself in
Have you seen what’s in the swimming pool?” She pulled him along. The air of the garden was heavy with the odor of mimosa and honeysuckle. Through a slit in the blue serge sky poked a grained moon that looked like an enormous bone button. A little flagstone path, made narrow by its border of oleander, led to the edge of the sunken pool. On the bottom, near the deep end, he could see a heavy, black mass of some kind. “What is it?” he asked. She kicked a switch that was hidden at the base of a