Published separately and with uneven success in the Thirties, the works of Nathanael West have been collected and now reappear with a perceptive introduction by Alan Ross. The four novels outline man's collapse under the burdens thrust upon him by the political and economic exigencies of the Thirties. The bravado of sex talk at cocktail parties had lost its luster; the wisecracks once received with cynical approbation were diminishing in number and waning in enthusiasm. The competence of the intellectual reaps only the realization that life is terrible and despairing. The Dream Life of Balso Snell an excursion into the innards of the Trojan Horse, is ostensibly directed to an elite audience. Though aggressively esoteric and surrealistic, the novel prepares the way for subsequent novels of a greater depth of content and maturity of presentation.... Miss Lonelyhearts is the story of a martyr-journalist who writes the advice-to-the-lovelorn column and who, in the face of the inherent miseries of his assignment, commiserates with his readers and becomes skin unto them. Delivered of its intellectual enobbishness Miss Lonelyhearts is a succinct and moving commentary on the tragedy of human life. A Cool Million, a satire on the Horatio Alger theme, and The Day of the , a story of the West, fulfill the promise of the earlier novels. The latter is a culmination of the maturity of West and will serve as an entry for him to the permanent roster of perhaps great American literateurs.