Nathanael West fans are a disparate bunch. W.H. Auden, Matt Groening (there is a bookkeeper character in West’s 1939 novel The Day Of The Locust called Homer Simpson), F Scott Fitzgerald and Johnny Depp are all West fans.

It’s been more than 40 years since a biography of West and now, around 70 years after the American’s untimely death at the age of 37, Joe Woodward has written a new account of West’s life.

West, described by the author as a ‘homicidal driver’, was killed on 22 December 1940 as he was returning from a hunting trip in Mexico. He failed to stop at an intersection in California, drove straight into a car with a family and ended up fracturing his own skull. His new bride, Eileen McKenny, was killed too, leaving behind a young son from her first marriage.

Read the full review in The Telegraph

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