Related to: 'Palimpsest: A Memoir'

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United States

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal's reputation as America's finest essayist is an enduring one. This collection, chosen by the author from 40 years of work, contains about two-thirds of what he published in various magazines and journals. He has divided the essays into three categories, or states. State of the art covers literature, including novelists and critics, bestsellers, pieces on Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Suetonius, Nabakov and Montaigne (a previosly uncollected essay from 1992). State of the union deals with politics and public life: sex, drugs, money, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Holy Family (his essay on the Kennedys), Nixon, and finally Monotheism and its Discontents , a scathing critique of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In state of being, we are given personal responses to people and events: recollections of his childhood, E. Nesbit, Tarzan, Tennessee Williams and Anais Nin.

Little, Brown

Never Miss a Chance to Have Sex or Appear on Television

Jay Parini

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Two Sisters

Gore Vidal

Two Sisters is Gore Vidal's fictional memoir of a love affair with a beautiful set of twins in post-war Paris - a story skilfully interwoven with notebooks, diaries and the vivid fragment of a screenplay set in ancient Greece. In seductive settings from a brothel in a Parisian backstreet to the rooftops of seventies Rome, Vidal assembles his characters, real and imagined: Cocteau and Tennessee Williams, Gide and Mailer rub shoulders with creations as unforgettable as the ageing femme fatale Marietta Donegal and Hollywood hustler and flagellant Murray Morris. All are bound together in a mesmerising fiction that builds to an extraordinary conclusion.

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The Essential Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal

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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Season Of Comfort

Gore Vidal
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Duluth

Gore Vidal

When two women tragically perish in a Duluth snowdrift, the one called Edna is reborn in 'Duluth', the popular television series and the one called Beryl finds herself in a 'Hyatt Regency' romantic novel entitled ROGUE DUKE. In Duluth they do it all with word processors. Meanwhile Lieutenant Darlene Ecks, strip-search enthusiast, terrorizes a barrio full of illegal Mexican immigrants until they rise up in defiance, the mayor plumbs the mysteries of a bright red spaceship and a life and death contest is waged between Duluth's leading socialite and its foremost author to complete contradictory biographies of Betty Grable.Gore Vidal's wicked extravaganza sports special effects not expected in a novel; and it poses taunting puzzles like who is the guy they call The Dude? And why is it said, 'Every society gets the Duluth it deserves'?

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Messiah

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal's satirical fantasy, with a new introduction by the author. From his long-time hiding-place in provincial Egypt, Eugene Luther tells the story of John Cave, a former Californian undertaker, his rise to power and the subsequent global impact of his new religion.

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The Smithsonian Institution

Gore Vidal

Good Friday, 1939, and T., a sixteen-year-old schoolboy, arrives at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The museum is closed, but T. manages to slip in, and it would appear that somehow, he is expected. An old man, Bentsen, shows him around, and T. realises that all is not as it seems. As he goes to examine a Native American exhibit, he is drawn magically into the nineteenth-century world of a reservation of Sioux Indians. They like what they see of T. and immediately get the pot boiling. T. is forced to take refuge in the tent of a young Squaw. They become lovers, and she helps him to escape back to the safety of the Smithsonian.Back with Bentsen, T. explores the Smithsonian further and begins to fathom the mysteries of time travel. The Smithsonian scientists have discovered how to get back to the past, but still don't know how to travel to the future. T. puts his brilliant mathematical brain to the problem. However, given a glimpse into the future, T. sees his own untimely death, and becomes determined to prevent the outbreak of WWII...

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Julian

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal's fictional recreation of the Roman Empire teetering on the crux of Christianity and ruled by an emperor who was an inveterate dabbler in arcane hocus-pocus, a prig, a bigot, and a dazzling and brilliant leader.

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A Search For The King

Gore Vidal
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The Golden Age

Gore Vidal
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Point To Point Navigation

Gore Vidal
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A Thirsty Evil

Gore Vidal

From the poignant realisation as an adult of the cruel brutality of childhood in 'The Robin', man then comes face to face with himself as a boy in 'A Moment of Green Laurel': both stories combining the nostalgia and fear that haunt us all in old age. Meanwhile, in 'Erlinda and Mr Coffin', Southern etiquette is unashamedly turned upside down in a tale of amateur theatricals reminiscent of Dickens and Victorian melodrama.Yet it is in 'Three Stratagems', 'The Zenner Trophy', 'Pages from an Abandoned Journal' and 'The Ladies in the Library' (with more than a hint of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice in the latter) that we see Vidal as we know him best: cynical and provocative in these subtle tales of what was known in those days as 'sexual inversion'.

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Williwaw

Gore Vidal

A boat of the army transportation corps fights through the fierce wind of the williwaw, carrying two officers and a chaplain with its crew. Human nature and the elements move the men through their uncertain destiny. This is Gore Vidal's first novel. Written when he was just seventeen and based very strongly on his own traumatic experiences in the US Navy as WW2 reached its end, this is a compelling story of one young man's bravery under fire.

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Dark Green, Bright Red

Gore Vidal

In the tiny Central American republic of Tenango, a place of orchid--scented jungle, crumbling palaces and baroque cathedrals, the rainy season is over and the dusty days of winter have begun. It is time for revolution.In an old plantation house the conspirators meet: General Jorge Alvarez, returned from exile in New Orleans with his hothead of a son and his proud, beautiful daughter; a volatile entourage of disenchanted colonels and rebel priests; and Peter Nelson, an American soldier of fortune with his own reasons for joining the rebels. Yet when the waiting is over and the struggle for power under way, nothing in Tenango turns out to be what it seems, not even the tragedy that awaits them all.

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The Judgement Of Paris

Gore Vidal
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In A Yellow Wood

Gore Vidal

By night the glittering world of Times Square, cinemas, clubs and the brittle, played-out demi-monde . . . by day a wasteland of hollow men, lonely apartments and empty morning coffee stands . . . Robert Holton has just returned from the torment and strife of war in Europe and settled in a solitary existence working for a New York stockbroking business. The haunting memories of nights of love spent in Florence are suppressed as he struggles to succeed in an arid city.And when Carla turns up unexpectedly from his more passionate past, Robert finds he must choose between the fixed path of money-making and dull conventionality and the fraught, uncertain path of love and freedom.

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Selected Essays

Gore Vidal
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I Told You So

Gore Vidal, Jon Wiener
Sexually Empowering Books for Women

MY TOP 5

Sasha Grey, author of The Juliette Society reveals her Top 5 favorite erotic works of fiction, some of which heavily inspired ‘The Juliette Society’.