Also, the rich and famous who have made it, come out to watch, almost like people stopping to look at an auto accident. As the contest grinds on, couples break down physically and drop out, and some plot desperately to gain an advantage. The sponsors also stoop to new lows in the hopes of profiting from the desperate dancers. There are rumors of the contest being fixed half way through, and then they weather an attempt to shut down the contest by the local morals society. Gloria, angry, bitter and outspoken in her desperation, curses the women as spoiled, interfering hypocrites.
I believe that what makes the novel a classic isn’t just its depiction of life in The Great Depression, but its larger portrail of life in every generation. It reveals how easy it is for dreams to crumble, and also how our egos can work against us by giving us goals that are beyond our capability to achieve. Gloria dreams and searches for redemption by becoming a Hollywood starlet, when in reality she is not that attractive. This universal theme is what makes the novel a classic and not just a snapshot of a desperate time in history.
It’s wonderful to see the book republished by Open Road, who released this book in eBook at the same time they republished McCoy’s other masterpiece of classic noir, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye. Both eBooks feature an extended biography of Horace McCoy and are nicely formatted.