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The Gore Supremacy (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

James Wolcott
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 17 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Novelist, essayist, memoirist, playwright, screenwriter, actor, sexual liberationist, traitor to his class, balloon-popper of the pious and pretentious, the country’s last true man of letters (they should now retire the title), Gore Vidal belonged to the Greatest Generation of American authors, and was the last great one to go. (He died on July 31st, 2012 at the age of 86.) The triumphant arc of Vidal’s literary career wasn’t solely a mastery of language, though that never hurts. Handsome, poised, slim, charismatic, able to hold his own in verbal fisticuffs without losing his imperious cool, Vidal was the premiere star author of his generation, the one who elevated the role of talk-show guest to a command performance--a theatrical event. He brought the electronic crackle of the TV screen to his prose and the tactical precision of his prose to combat debate on TV. His near-violent altercations on camera with William F. Buckley, Jr. and Norman Mailer are the stuff of YouTube legend and the secret to The Gore Supremacy.

A contributing writer to Vanity Fair, a partisan observer of pop culture, and the author of the New York-in-the-70s memoir Lucking Out (which comes out in paperback this fall), James Wolcott has been a closeup observer of Vidal on-camera and off for more years than seems respectable. This, his first Kindle Single, is his way of paying homage--and saying goodbye.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 108 KB
  • Print Length: 17 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008YOJRW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,128 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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 26 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful essay about Gore Vidal. In response to Vidal's last read I think of C.S.Lewis, 'some day we will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again'. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wolcott, on delicious form, writes a paean to Gore Vidal, noting his wit, his prodigious talent and his many feuds. Wolcott does not forget how Gore lost his powers late in life and turned into a paranoid curmudgeon, but prefers to remember the man in his prime, as should we.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the Gore Supremacy 29 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Not bad. Quite interesting, though I would have preferred it to have been longer. Gore was a one-off and is missed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essay Vidal Would Have Enjoyed 19 Aug. 2012
By Seth M Guggenheim - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So much has been written about Vidal through the years, and especially after he passed on this July. This essay is a true standout, though, and its engaging prose will edify Vidalophiles and newcomers to Vidal alike. Wolcott, naturally, refers to the oft-told stories of Vidal's public scrapes with the likes of Mailer and Buckley, but he does not dwell on them. Wolcott places Vidal in context, and makes the reader yearn for the days when David Susskind sat in a cloud of cigarette smoke on his show with the likes of Susan Sontag, and when Dick Cavett engaged his guests in discussions worth listening to. What I especially appreciate, in a goosebumpy kind of way, is Wolcott's deliberate refusal to immerse us in the products of Vidal's unfortunate mental decline toward the end of his life. This is not a fawning tribute; it is a fair one and one which Vidal himself would have appreciated.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Words seldom failed Gore Vidal" 19 Aug. 2012
By J. Chambers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Whether you were a fan of Gore Vidal or not, it was hard to ignore him. As one of the rising stars of the literary world after World War II, he was one of the generation of writers who became as comfortable in front of a TV camera as he was with a typewriter. As well known as he would become for his novels and stage plays, Vidal is perhaps even better known for his classic TV appearances. I'm old enough to actually remember the 1968 Democratic Convention when Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. faced off as political commentators, and the head-to-head with Norman Mailer on the Dick Cavett Show a few years later. That era of TV has long since ended (how many authors have you seen on talk shows lately?), but James Wolcott has captured the essence of the times in the Kindle Single "The Gore Supremacy." Vidal described his personal credo as "Never say no to sex or appearing on television."

Obviously a fan of Gore Vidal, Wolcott rehashes the highlights of Vidal's tumultuous career, including the rejection and blackballing his early gay novels received from mainstream reviewers. Vidal forged ahead, however, eventually achieving mainstream acceptance and popularity. But he never cared about being liked, preferring to sit on his throne "dispensing papal benediction to those who came to pay homage."

A very readable account of Gore Vidal, a one of a kind character.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tender, lingering voice 19 Aug. 2012
By Paul Reece - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
In all of his reasonable and warranted lamentations on the passing of the last master, Wolcott has overlooked a voice that keeps us all listening despite a year of tragic literary losses. It is his own.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 17 Oct. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An homage to a man who may have been America's last public intellectual. This work highlights classic Vidal at his best and is an enjoyable, often amusing read. I am almost 65 years old and have followed Mr. Vidal since college, and always found his curmudgeonly persona quite engaging. Reading this reminded me how much he will be missed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the tank for Vidal and Wolcott 27 Aug. 2012
By Gerald Howard - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the title of this review indicates, caveat lector: I was Gore Vidal's last book editor and am James Wolcott's current one. Fair warning! But I want to tell prospective readers that this is a lovely, eloquent and touchingly elegaic piece of writing, one that not only captures Vidal in all his singularity (while not shining off his flaws) , but that mourns the passing of the literary culture in which such a figure could flourish. It is the best such piece produced since Gore Vidal left the building.
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