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The Essential Gore Vidal

On sale

19th October 2000

Price: £23.99

Selected:  Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349112671

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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.


Jay McInerney
Falling somewhere between the realms of Henry Adams and all of Monty Python, Gore Vidal has for many years served as America's own Tiresias - a seer and a scourge as well as an entertainer of the highest order
Roy Hattersley, Guardian
Gore Vidal is the most elegant, erudite and eclectic writer of his generation
Sylvia Brownrigg, TLS
A figure whose vibrant verbal presence has itself been an essential of American cultural life for the past fifty-odd years
Erica Wagner, The Times
There is no one quite like him, and if you do not know his work you should
Victoria Glendinning, Daily Telegraph
It is Vidal himself who is essential. Hail to the chief
John Sutherland, Sunday Times
A feast of Gore