Picture of author.

Gore Vidal (1925–2012)

Author of Lincoln

147+ Works 28,310 Members 460 Reviews 118 Favorited

About the Author

Gore Vidal was born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal Jr. on October 3, 1925 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He did not go to college but attended St. Albans School in Washington and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1943. He enlisted in the Army, where he show more became first mate on a freight supply ship in the Aleutian Islands. His first novel, Williwaw, was published in 1946 when he was twenty-one years old and working as an associate editor at the publishing company E. P. Dutton. The City and the Pillar was about a handsome, athletic young Virginia man who gradually discovers that he is homosexual, which caused controversy in the publishing world. The New York Times refused to advertise the novel and gave a negative review of it and future novels. He had such trouble getting subsequent novels reviewed that he turned to writing mysteries under the pseudonym Edgar Box and then gave up novel-writing altogether for a time. Once he moved to Hollywood, he wrote television dramas, screenplays, and plays. His films included I Accuse, Suddenly Last Summer with Tennessee Williams, Is Paris Burning? with Francis Ford Coppola, and Ben-Hur. His most successful play was The Best Man, which he also adapted into a film. He started writing novels again in the 1960's including Julian, Washington, D.C., Myra Breckenridge, Burr, Myron, 1876, Lincoln, Hollywood, Live From Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal, and The Golden Age. He also published two collections of essays entitled The Second American Revolution, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982 and United States: Essays 1952-1992. In 2009, he received the National Book Awards lifetime achievement award. He died from complications of pneumonia on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Gore Vidal en octobre 2006, à Los Angeles

Series

Works by Gore Vidal

Lincoln (1984) 2,619 copies
Burr (1973) 2,364 copies
Julian (1964) 1,861 copies
Creation (1981) 1,568 copies
Empire (1987) 1,293 copies
1876 (1976) 1,266 copies
Palimpsest: A Memoir (1995) 1,073 copies
Myra Breckinridge (1968) 965 copies
Washington, D.C. (1967) 891 copies
Hollywood (1990) 832 copies
The Golden Age (2000) 761 copies
Kalki (1978) 629 copies
Messiah (1954) 491 copies
The Smithsonian Institution (1998) 446 copies
Duluth (1983) 398 copies
Myron (1974) 255 copies
The Judgment of Paris (1952) 222 copies
A Search for the King (1950) 192 copies
At Home: Essays 1982-1988 (1988) 175 copies
Williwaw (1946) 171 copies
Two Sisters (1851) 154 copies
Death in the Fifth Position (1952) — Author — 150 copies
A Thirsty Evil (1956) 145 copies
The City and the Pillar and Seven Early Stories (1995) — Author — 141 copies
Screening History (1992) 130 copies
The Impossible H. L. Mencken (1991) — Foreword — 129 copies
Thieves Fall Out (1953) 127 copies
Death Likes It Hot (1954) 110 copies
Death Before Bedtime (1953) 104 copies
Vidal in Venice (1985) 95 copies
The Best Man [Play] (1960) 94 copies
Visit to a Small Planet (1955) 94 copies
The Essential Gore Vidal (1605) 93 copies
Deadly Sins (1994) — Contributor — 83 copies
Dark Green, Bright Red (1950) 80 copies
Suddenly, Last Summer [1959 film] (1959) — Screenwriter — 79 copies
Virgin Islands (1997) 71 copies
The American Presidency (2003) 65 copies
In a Yellow Wood (1883) 55 copies
Best Television Plays (1956) 45 copies
The Season of Comfort (1949) 39 copies
Sex, Death, and Money (1968) 34 copies
A View from the Diners Club (1991) 31 copies
Lincoln [1988 TV mini series] (1988) — Writer — 28 copies
Rocking the boat (1962) 27 copies
Myra Breckinridge [1970 film] (1970) — Screenwriter — 23 copies
The Sicilian [1987 film] (1987) — Writer — 14 copies
Creación II (1994) 10 copies
Cry Shame! (1950) 8 copies
Creación I (1988) 8 copies
Dangerous Voyage (1953) 7 copies
Great American Families (1975) 6 copies
L'edat d'or : I (2001) 6 copies
The Best Man [1964 film] (1964) — Screenwriter — 5 copies
Ensayos 1952-2001 (2007) 5 copies
The Best TV Plays (1970) 3 copies
Democrazia tradita 6-1 (2004) 2 copies
Three Plays 2 copies
Impe rio (1989) 1 copy
On Our Own Now — Author — 1 copy
Paolo 1 copy
Naiset kirjastossa (1986) 1 copy
Lincoln T3 1 copy

Associated Works

Tarzan of the Apes (1914) — Introduction, some editions — 4,872 copies
The Golden Bowl (1904) — Foreword, some editions; Introduction, some editions — 2,751 copies
The Art of the Personal Essay (1994) — Contributor — 1,375 copies
Collected Stories (1985) — Introduction, some editions — 510 copies
Gattaca [1997 film] (1997) — Actor — 373 copies
Collected Stories, 1939–1976 (1979) — Introduction — 362 copies
The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (1992) — Contributor — 320 copies
Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict (1901) — Foreword, some editions — 225 copies
The Best American Essays 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 221 copies
Atheism: A Reader (2000) — Contributor — 182 copies
Selected Speeches and Writings (1992) — Introduction — 173 copies
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press (2002) — Foreword, some editions — 172 copies
XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits (1605) — Introduction — 159 copies
The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998) — Contributor — 158 copies
Granta 32: History (1990) — Contributor — 151 copies
The Best American Essays 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 138 copies
Confessions of an Art Addict (1960) — Foreword, some editions — 121 copies
The Christopher Street reader (1982) — Contributor — 117 copies
Caligula [1979 film] (1979) — Screenwriter — 94 copies
The Celluloid Closet [1995 film] (1995) — Self — 89 copies
India in Mind (2005) — Contributor — 81 copies
Roma [1972 film] (1972) 75 copies
Where Joy Resides: A Christopher Isherwood Reader (1989) — Introduction — 74 copies
The Edith Wharton omnibus (1978) — Introduction — 73 copies
The Best American Essays 1986 (1986) — Contributor — 70 copies
All Trivia: A Collection of Reflections & Aphorisms (1933) — Foreword, some editions — 68 copies
10 Short Plays (1963) — Contributor — 63 copies
Gay Sunshine Interviews. Vol. 1 (1978) — Interviewee — 60 copies
Angels on Toast / Wicked Pavilion / Golden Spur (1989) — Introduction, some editions — 57 copies
With Honors [1994 film] (1994) — Actor — 56 copies
Why We Fight [2005 film] (2005) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Erotic Impulse: Honoring the Sensual Self (1992) — Contributor — 53 copies
Best American Plays: Fifth Series, 1957-1963 (1952) — Contributor — 43 copies
The Signet Book of Short Plays (2004) — Contributor — 28 copies
A Bush & Botox World (2007) — Foreword — 19 copies
The Left Handed Gun [1958 film] (1958) — Original play — 15 copies
New World Writing: Fourth Mentor Selection (1953) — Contributor — 13 copies
New World Writing: First Mentor Selection (1952) — Contributor — 11 copies
Against the Beast: An Anti-Imperialist Reader (2004) — Introduction — 11 copies
Best of Enemies [2015 film] (2015) — Actor — 4 copies
Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal [2015 film] (2015) — Archive footage — 3 copies
What Makes a Man G.I.B.* *Good in Bed (1979) — Afterword — 2 copies
Short Plays for Reading and Acting (1970) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

19th century (128) 20th century (405) adventure (327) Africa (131) American (412) American fiction (204) American history (298) American literature (779) anthology (325) autobiography (161) biography (396) classic (214) classics (210) DVD (142) essays (1,136) fantasy (271) fiction (4,494) first edition (132) gay (259) Gore Vidal (355) hardcover (145) historical (245) historical fiction (1,515) historical novel (186) history (853) literary criticism (143) literature (714) memoir (278) non-fiction (673) novel (982) politics (647) read (295) religion (149) science fiction (211) short stories (267) Tarzan (196) to-read (1,268) unread (248) USA (436) Vidal (149)

Common Knowledge

Members

Discussions

The City and the Pillar in Combiners! (June 2022)
Dreams of President Abe Lincoln in Dreamers (February 2017)
Gore Vidal, 86, RIP in Book talk (August 2012)

Reviews

I was studying Emperor Julian's writings in the past and consider myself relatively well-versed in what remained of Mithraic mysteries and those few scattered sources on other mystes' traditions. Since I studied middle neoplatonism in depth along with Chaldean theurgical underground - and I still humbly do not consider myself an expert - a friend of mine commended this book to me. He knew that I'm both pro-nobilitas, anti-christian, a history buff and looking at the golden times of high antique through the prism of a tear that was semblant of the one left behind in Alexandria when the "Dionisian company abandoned it", when Hypatia was murdered and Serapeion destroyed. I always found Julian the last hope of pagan Rome, a great potential reformer, unifier and a hope to plant seeds to renew the spirit of Rome. I read this book blushing with joy, like a little child, at times grave, at times uplifting with ethos, at times flirtatious or self-important and thinking "what would I do" from the perspective of each character in the book. Extremely well-researched, visible throughout the captivating narration, excellent grasp of human nature. As a sidenote, it also left a personal mark on me by situationalism. I finished the last two chapters at 4 AM in the morning, when an old acquaintance of mine - an underdeveloped love from years ago - that started blooming only recently was sleeping nearby. I looked at her from time to time with a smile on my face and then after finishing the book joined her in sleep, kissing her gently in the most gracious manner I could conjure with a simple gesture. For that, I will remember this book for the rest of my life.… (more)
 
Flagged
Saturnin.Ksawery | 38 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |
Extremely well written. Vidal places interesting characters at the center of interesting historical times. The resulting story is engaging and insightful into social animal human nature.
 
Flagged
BookyMaven | 10 other reviews | Dec 6, 2023 |
Vidal is erudite and well read on the intricacies of the founding fathers, having written a series of very good books about them and their era. This is like dipping your toes into a nonfiction version of these stories, the interpersonal conflicts, the differing philosophies, of the revolutionary era to the first presidents. Tangents are frequent and opinions come fast and freely, not just about the past but then (then) present, with many allusions to prescience in the founders being relevant to early 2000s politics.… (more)
 
Flagged
A.Godhelm | 14 other reviews | Oct 20, 2023 |
A thoroughly nasty, but very enjoyable, memoir, in which Gore Vidal shamelessly and wittily takes the opportunity to settle scores with numerous well-known people who aren't around any more to answer back, whilst at the same time doing his best to impress us with how many of the great and famous he has rubbed shoulders with at one time or another. I frequently felt uncomfortable about laughing out loud at this book, but it was hard not to.

Lots of vitriol is directed at his mother; at the Kennedys (he shared a stepfather with Jackie); at the US literary establishment, which he accuses of blacklisting him after the publication of The city and the pillar with its explicit same-sex love story; at Truman Capote (accused of being short); at President Truman's "national security state" (fair enough); at European cinema for its deluded notion that directors are more important than writers; at Charlton Heston; at Hillary Clinton (insufficiently impressed at meeting him); at the English royal family (dim); and at just about everyone else who appears in the book, with the minor exceptions of Tennessee Williams, who is only mildly teased, and Vidal's grandfather Senator T P Gore, who can do no wrong.… (more)
 
Flagged
thorold | 13 other reviews | Oct 15, 2023 |

Lists

1990s (1)
1970s (2)
1940s (1)
1980s (1)
Books (1)

Awards

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

John Updike Contributor
Richard Howard Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
William Trevor Contributor
Mary Gordon Contributor
A.S. Byatt Contributor
Tennesse Williams Original play
Jon Wiener Interviewer
Alex Thomson Cinematographer
Etienne Delessert Illustrator
Paul Jay Introduction
Mae West Actor
Rex Reed Actor
Mario Puzo Original book
Alessandra Osti Translator
Günter Panske Translator
Carlos Peralta Translator
Jack Ribik Cover designer
Larry B. Stevenson Author Photo
Gérard Joulié Translator
Mark Summers Illustrator
Dolf Koning Translator
Jordi Arbonès Translator
Silvia Morawetz Translator
Kinuko Craft Cover artist
Dan Cashman Narrator
Alberto Cellotto Translator
Dolf Koning Translator
Heloisa Jahn Translator
Sheridan Germann Cover designer
Diogo Mainardi Translator
Tore Gill Photographer
Harry Bennett Cover artist

Statistics

Works
147
Also by
60
Members
28,310
Popularity
#714
Rating
3.8
Reviews
460
ISBNs
794
Languages
23
Favorited
118

Charts & Graphs