The Time of Our Time


Not the Best of Mailer or the Essential Mailer, The Time of Our Life is an often mesmerizing attempt to reflect the times through the distorting mirror of the writer’s own intense preoccupations during the 50 years since his first novel, The Naked and the Dead. The fiction, nonfiction, journalism, speeches, debates, and one TV transcript (the 1971 confrontation with Gore Vidal on Dick Cavett) are arranged in chronological order by subject matter, so early Mailer and late Mailer rub elbows when they are describing, say, Watergate. As this anthology makes clear, he’s barked up a few wrong trees: Hipsters and graffiti weren’t ever going to save us from corporate blandness, bad architecture, stale politics, and stifled sex. But no observer has had a keener instinct for the essences of politicians’ characters or for the textures of celebrated and marginal American lives, and no contemporary American writer has been less willing to say only what it is safe to say. A

The Time of Our Time
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