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Matters of Fact and of Fiction

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A major new collection of essays by one of America's most distinguished men of letters, including, among matters of fact, exposures of political dealings from the Adams family through Robert Moses, and, in fiction, Vidal's famous controversial study of some contemporary writers, "American Plastic," and his backward look at Tennessee Williams, "Some Memories of the Glorious A major new collection of essays by one of America's most distinguished men of letters, including, among matters of fact, exposures of political dealings from the Adams family through Robert Moses, and, in fiction, Vidal's famous controversial study of some contemporary writers, "American Plastic," and his backward look at Tennessee Williams, "Some Memories of the Glorious Bird."


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A major new collection of essays by one of America's most distinguished men of letters, including, among matters of fact, exposures of political dealings from the Adams family through Robert Moses, and, in fiction, Vidal's famous controversial study of some contemporary writers, "American Plastic," and his backward look at Tennessee Williams, "Some Memories of the Glorious A major new collection of essays by one of America's most distinguished men of letters, including, among matters of fact, exposures of political dealings from the Adams family through Robert Moses, and, in fiction, Vidal's famous controversial study of some contemporary writers, "American Plastic," and his backward look at Tennessee Williams, "Some Memories of the Glorious Bird."

30 review for Matters of Fact and of Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    The jaunt through the best sellers is an all-timer, and Vidal is very funny when dissecting the tendencies of academics. The Tennessee Williams sections is funny, frank and quite touching despite Gore's attempts at distance. The history lesson on the Adams isn't his best stuff, he somehow fails to communicate his own enthusiasm The jaunt through the best sellers is an all-timer, and Vidal is very funny when dissecting the tendencies of academics. The Tennessee Williams sections is funny, frank and quite touching despite Gore's attempts at distance. The history lesson on the Adams isn't his best stuff, he somehow fails to communicate his own enthusiasm

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    My first encounter with the inimitable Gore Vidal, and the only book I can think of that would make it bearable to be bedridden with mono. The opening essay, on how Hollywood shaped the literary and popular fiction on the New York Times bestseller list for a particular week, is a classic. No one could wield a rapier like Vidal, but here he praises with equal gusto: my lifelong interest in Louis Auchincloss began with Vidal's essay on the underappreciated (and now forgotten) author. If you still My first encounter with the inimitable Gore Vidal, and the only book I can think of that would make it bearable to be bedridden with mono. The opening essay, on how Hollywood shaped the literary and popular fiction on the New York Times bestseller list for a particular week, is a classic. No one could wield a rapier like Vidal, but here he praises with equal gusto: my lifelong interest in Louis Auchincloss began with Vidal's essay on the underappreciated (and now forgotten) author. If you still haven't read Vidal, this is as good a place to start as any, but don't stop here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Herb Hastings

    I first read this book about 40 years ago. Some of the topics are a bit dated but the writing is still crisp and the observations enjoyably jaundiced. Reading Vidal's take on the 70's makes you wish he was still around to turn his pen upon the current shenanigans that pass for our government. The sad truth is that no matter how pessimistic his picture of the future of our Republic, things have turned out much worse than even he expected. I highly recommend spending some time with this book. I first read this book about 40 years ago. Some of the topics are a bit dated but the writing is still crisp and the observations enjoyably jaundiced. Reading Vidal's take on the 70's makes you wish he was still around to turn his pen upon the current shenanigans that pass for our government. The sad truth is that no matter how pessimistic his picture of the future of our Republic, things have turned out much worse than even he expected. I highly recommend spending some time with this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    This may have been the second volume of literary criticism that I ever read ... And I remember reading it with a fervor never again duplicated. Perhaps because I admired Vidal's fiction, and because he expressed scant taste for what he calls the U Novel (fiction meant to be studied, not read for pleasure), this set of essays became a guide to contemporary literature for me. Highly recommended. This may have been the second volume of literary criticism that I ever read ... And I remember reading it with a fervor never again duplicated. Perhaps because I admired Vidal's fiction, and because he expressed scant taste for what he calls the U Novel (fiction meant to be studied, not read for pleasure), this set of essays became a guide to contemporary literature for me. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    André Plath

    Best Essay: Sex is Politics!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Guto

    It was the book that reveal the US entertainment industry to me. I loved reading it, Vidal is a master in essays always.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Arfwedson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tad

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marcelo Joazeiro

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neutron Steinman

  12. 4 out of 5

    Armen

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen-Leigh

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Amis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Smith

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sveta

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Bouboussis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Cole

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom Nap

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cate Gregory

  24. 5 out of 5

    Friendly Planet

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anthony McGill

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bradthad Codgeroger

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diskojoe

  29. 5 out of 5

    Breno Baldrati

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

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