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Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories
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Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories [Kindle Edition]

Gore Vidal
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Celebrated for more than fifty years as a world-renowned novelist, essayist, and political figure and commentator, Gore Vidal is less known for the exquisitely crafted short fiction he wrote as a young man. Like the work of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, his stories have been overshadowed by the author's triumphs writing in other genres. Still, Vidal's short fiction offers us a portrait of the young artist in the 1940s and 1950s. His subtle and comic tales often center on adolescence and homosexual themes. In Three Stratagems, a middle-aged gay man encounters a male prostitute while vacationing in Key West. In The Zenner Trophy, the star athlete at an elite boys school is expelled for sexual relations with a classmate. These stories were gathered along with five others into a 1956 volume, A Thirsty Evil, and for decades were thought to comprise Vidal's complete short fiction.

About the Author

Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, five screenplays, more than two hundred essays, and a memoir. Winner of the National Book Award for United Sates: essays 1952-92, Vidal lives in Los Angeles.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 941 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (9 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NEJ0Z8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,067,851 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a language so beautiful 11 Jun 2010
By bagoas
Please read this:

"The fools were in possession of the beach today. They sat watchfully beneath umbrellas, admiring the cold and radiant angels who could, they believed, exorcise the graceless shadow of the years and with firm flesh recreate youth and the sense of permanency, or its illusion. I suppose by now I know the hearts of the fools almost as well as I know my own and sometimes I am frightened when I watch their sad courtship of the treacherous angels for I see in them my own eventual fall from beloved angel to deluded monster. I too shall be old. I shuddered as I stepped over the ruined towers of a sand castle: yes, the beach was changed; I wonder, will it change again one day?"

It is impossible to write with a more elegant and concise way, and describe with a precision that it's cruel the anguish of aging and this pathetic need to find the bodies of young people as an antidote to the poison of our own death. This is an excerpt from a story, Three stratagems, which integrates this collection of short stories all written by Gore Vidal, written in the literary youth of the writer, who, in addition to his famous non-fiction, was primarily a novel writer, and not a short stories one.

Seven of these stories had been published before, but Vidal has decided to republish them when a researcher from a U.S. university, working in the archives of the writer, discovered an unknown story, precisely that which gives title to this volume. This is a story written at the same phase of the others, during a time when Vidal lived and travelled with Tennessee Williams, and is based on a childhood story of the author of A Streetcar Named Desire, spent with his grandfather.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vidal's short stories 26 Dec 2011
By Pensato
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing that he has written 24 novels and countless essays but only eight short stories all from the late 40s/early 50s. The gay-themed stories contain the boldest writing and are an excellent addition to 'The City And The Pillar' - very enjoyable and an excellent window onto a little discussed area of American life at that time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven 24 Jan 2007
By algo41 - Published on
I enjoyed the short preface very much, but the stories were of uneven quality. "Erlinda and Mr. Coffin" is exotic, fun, and while some social observations are made, it is a story written for the pleasure of spinning a tale. "Pages from an Abandoned Journal" is interesting and offers some insight into the lifestyle of a segment of the gay population. "Clounds and Eclipses", the hitherto unpublished story based on a childhood recollection of Tennessee Williams, is without merit, and the first story of the collection should be skipped.
5.0 out of 5 stars Literature classes 17 Aug 2013
By Orison Melo Jr - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I tend do use short stories in my Literature classes here in Brazil and I'm glad I'll be able to include Vidal's short stories next term.
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Artfulness 2 April 2013
By Joyce Metzger - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Vidal is better known to most readers for his intricate historical fiction. In this book, Gore Vidal's subtle and comic tales are centered around varied interests and locations, and are often colored by homosexual encounters of adolescence.
There is an uneven, erratic quality. If you are a reader fan, already familiar with works like, Duluth, 1876, Lincoln, Burr, and Empire, you can certainly appreciate this other aspect of the very versatile Mr. Vidal. His veracity will never be under scrutiny. There is the element of being introduced into, and behind the curtain, of a forbidden segment of the gay population. But, overall, these stories are well written and should be read for style. Every writer implants a part if himself into his work. Gore Vidal as certainly done that.
3.0 out of 5 stars Very unreliable 25 Jan 2011
By Mark McLaughlin - Published on
Some of these stories are good; The Robin, Pages from an Abandoned Journal. Some have potential; Three Stratagems and some are dead on arrival or feel like a sketch for a story that was never completed. Overall worth reading if you've never read Vidal, at least to pique your interest to read his novels or non-fiction but not something that is important for a collection or necessary to own.
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