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The Golden Age

On sale

6th December 2001

Price: £14.99

Selected:  Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349114279

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THE GOLDEN AGE is the final, eponymous novel that brings to an end what Gabriel García Márquez has called ‘Gore Vidal’s magnificent series of historical novels or novelised histories’, NARRATIVES OF EMPIRE. Like a latter day Anthony Trollope, Vidal masterfully balances the personal with the political, the invented with the historical fact. His heroine from Hollywood, Caroline Sanford, reappears in Washington as President Roosevelt schemes to get the USA into the war by provoking the Japanese. In the novel’s ten year span America is master of the globe, with Japan and Europe as colony and dependency under her empire. Against this backdrop there is a glittering explosion in the arts (we see the likes of Lowell, Bernstein and Tennessee Williams and witness the opening night of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE). But by 1950 and the coming of the Korean War, the Golden Age is over. For the reader who wants to be informed as well as vastly entertained about the last two hundred years of American history there could be no better place to start than with Vidal’s NARRATIVES.

Reviews

ANTHONY BURGESS
Our greatest living historical novelist
DAILY MAIL
Brilliantly evokes the decade when the US believed it was the undisputed master of the universe ... imperious, well-informed and wickedly accomplished, it brings American politics to life in a way that few other modern novels can match
DAILY TELEGRAPH
Vidal's satiric thrusts are enormous fun.
NEW STATESMAN
Crackpot theory has seldom been so suavely and entertainingly put across.
SCOTSMAN
Wonderfully compelling. It is serious and entertaining. It rings diamond-true. It is a novel for grown-ups; and that is something very rare in contemporary fiction
IRISH TIMES
This entertaining portrait of an imperial elite may well be, as Vidal intends, the version of US history that survives in the coming decades.
OBSERVER
Vidal's combination of learning, wit and disdain gets into your blood. He can change the way you think
LITERARY REVIEW
Iconoclastic, yet never mere satirical caricature, this remarkable novel sequence is a melange of historical demystification ... The bold sweep of Vidal's design continues to enthral, and throughout The Golden Age, as throughout the sequence, he delights in giving the read entree to a heady variety of gatherings ... Vidal's touch in handling these set pieces and portraying the famous remains wonderfully assured
SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
There are still few novelists with the ability to so vividly imagine a scene, and even fewer who so completely understand and write about the nature of power. And anyone who wants to learn about the history of the United States will learn as much from this series of novels [Narratives of Empire] as they will from the history books