Vidal writes with ease and grace, and roams through many subjects and genres. He is a master of the historical novel, in which he has explored American history, ancient history, and the history of religion. He has developed his own style of science fiction combined with satire, and in the books he refers to as his 'inventions' he writes cautionary tales about sex, politics, art, and philosophy. He is at once a contrarion, a wise man, and a romantic. He is also wickedly funny, and often outrageous. This collection (the only single volume that includes Vidal's fiction and his essays) contains two complete works - MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, his most famous novel, and THE BEST MAN, a play about the American presidency. There are selections from THE CITY AND THE PILLAR, his early, controversial novel about homosexual love, and excerpts from later works as JULIAN, DULUTH, and LIVE FROM GOLGOTHA. Selections from the American history novels - BURR, LINCOLN, 1876, EMPIRE, and WASHINGTON, D.C. - have been woven together to provide a continuous narrative.
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(197mm x 135mm x 50mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
Vidal's supreme intellect makes him a man who can write on any subject; from sex to politics, Tennessee Williams to Henry James, public life and personal life, he expresses himself with ease. This is the only single volume to contain both his fiction and essays, and editor Kaplan provides a knowledgeable introduction to each selection. A must for fans and an excellent starting point for newcomers to Vidal's work. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » It must seem no less galling than appropriate to Norman Mailer that not even a year after the appearance of his own bulky retrospective volume (The Time of Our Time) there arrives this bracing sampler of his formidable old enemy's variegated prose wares: on display - in judiciously mixed proportions - are the complete texts of Vidal's once notorious novel Myra Breckenridge (a then-timely jeu to which the years haven't been kind) and his outrageously savvy JFK-inspired play (The Best Man); choice excerpts from the loosely related fictional revisions of American history that began with Burr and extend (thus far) to Washington, D, C., and middling ones from other novels varying in quality from apprentice-like (The City and the Pillar) to dizzyingly inventive (Duluth) and urbane (Julian). Twenty-five miscellaneous essays and reviews offer eloquent tribute ("Eleanor Roosevelt," "Montaigne"), incisive political analysis ("The Day the American Empire Ran out of Gas"), and inspired mockery ("Ronnie and Nancy: A Life in Pictures"). Essential work, indeed, and a good deal more fun to read than the work of many other highly esteemed writers who take themselves much more seriously. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal was at the centre of literary and intellectual life for half a century and wrote 'The Narratives of a Golden Age' series as well as countless bestsellers. He died on 31st July 2012.