The Dream Life of Balso Snell


By Nathanael West

cover image of The Dream Life of Balso Snell

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"West is still a satirist with few peers and no betters, and a writer of bleak, haunting power." — Kirkus Reviews. In this 1931 Dada-inspired work, the first novel of the author of Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, the eponymous antihero stumbles across the Trojan Horse and climbs inside, embarking upon a dream within a dream. His journey through a mental jungle blends grandiose literary and religious allusions with erotic and scatological humor, as he encounters a contentious guide, a biographer writing a biography of a biographer, and a mystic trying to crucify himself with thumbtacks. Innovative and original, West's novel takes an unforgettable look at the dark side of the American dream. Unabridged republication of the classic 1931 edition.

The Dream Life of Balso Snell