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Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies: The Life of Gore Vidal by Jay Parini

bookshelves: nonfiction, nonfic-nov-2015, radio-4, published-2015, biography, autumn-2015, books-about-books-and-book-shops, lit-crit
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from November 06 to 13, 2015




Description: The life of Gore Vidal was an amazingly full one; a life of colourful incident, famous people and lasting achievements that calls out for careful evocation and examination. Through Jay Parini's eyes and words comes an accessible, entertaining story that puts the life and times of one of the great American figures of the post-war era into context, that introduces the author to a generation who didn't know him before and looks behind-the-scenes at the man and his work in frank ways never possible before his death. Parini, provided with unique access to Vidal's life and his papers, excavates buried skeletons, but never loses sight of his deep respect for Vidal and his astounding gifts.

Parini recalls his first encounter with Vidal, and relates a priviliged but lonely childhood

Gore goes to war and emerges with a first novel.

Lacklustre reviews of The City and The Pillar send Vidal into retreat in Europe.

Vidal starts writing for the small screen and becomes a star at churning out TV drama

Vidal finds fame at last with Myra Breckinridge