The Day of the Locust
The novel, right up to the end, was called The Cheated by West. It wasn't perfect, he realized, but nothing else seemed as true and right.
Certainly "cheated" fit Faye Greener. Faye, his heroine-grotesque, takes up the whole of chapter 3 and prepares us for one of the magnificent sequences in the book--Claude Estee's party.
"She was a tall girl with wide, straight shoulders and long, swordlike legs. Her neck was long, too, and columnar. Her face was much fuller than the rest of her body would lead you to expect and much larger. It was a moon face, wide at the cheek bones and narrow at the chin and brow. She wore her 'platinum' hair long, letting it fall almost to her shoulders in back...
"She was supposed to look drunk and she did, but not with alcohol.
"Her invitation wasn't to pleasure, but to struggle, hard and sharp, closer to murder than to love. If you threw yourself on her, it would be like throwing yourself from the parapet of a skyscraper. You would do it with a scream. You couldn't exactly rise again. Your teeth would be driven into your skull like nails into a pine board and your back would be broken.
"He managed to laugh at his language, but it wasn't a real laugh and nothing was destroyed by it."
And onto the party he goes....