By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated October 22, 2015 at 08:55 PM EDT
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Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal

type
  • Book
genre

Gore Vidal always wanted to be considered a novelist foremost, but he was just too good at too many other roles: essayist, memoirist, playwright, television fixture, bon vivant, and among the last of a dying breed of American intellectuals. Parini, a friend during Vidal’s final decades, pulls no punches in this posthumous biography, admiring Vidal from a distance but scrutinizing him up close. One senses that Vidal’s overstuffed life might have been more fun to live than read about—the book can be as name-droppy as its subject notoriously was—but Parini finds the man beneath the accomplishments. B+

Episode Recaps

Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal

2015 book
type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Jay Parini
publisher
  • Doubleday

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