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Browse audiobooks by Gore Vidal, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
The third volume of Gore Vidal's magnificent series of historical novels aimed at demythologizing the American past, 1876 chronicles the political scandals and dark intrigues that rocked the United States in its centennial year. Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, Aaron Burr's unacknowledged son, returns to a flamboyant America after his long, self-imposed European exile. The narrator of Burr has come home to recoup a lost fortune by arranging a suitable marriage for his beautiful daughter, the widowed Princess d'Agrigente, and by ingratiating himself with Samuel Tilden, the favored presidential candidate in the centennial year. With these ambitions and with their own abundant charms, Schuyler and his daughter soon find themselves at the centers of American social and political power at a time when the fading ideals of the young republic were being replaced by the excitement of empire. 'A glorious piece of writing,' said Jimmy Breslin in Harper's. 'Vidal can take history and make it powerful and astonishing.' Time concurred: 'Vidal has no peers at breathing movement and laughter into the historical past.'Show more
Kidnapped and held to ransom by Duke Leopold of Austria after the Third Crusade, Richard the Lion Heart, it is said, was found by his faithful troubadour Blondel de Neel. But how? And what trials did the faithful and long-suffering lyricist have to overcome to find his king? Gore Vidal paints a broad, colorful, and poignant picture of a man searching for his master; for the symbolic king who is the goal of man’s eternal quest; for the spiritual centre of his life.Show more
For readers who can’t get enough of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Gore Vidal’s stunning novel about Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel—and who served as a successful, if often feared, statesman of our fledgling nation. Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated—and misunderstood—figures among the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. But he is determined to tell his own story, and he chooses to confide in a young New York City journalist named Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler. Together, they explore both Burr's past—and the continuing civic drama of their young nation. Burr is the first novel in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series, which spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to post-World War II. With their broad canvas and sprawling cast of fictional and historical characters, these novels present a panorama of American politics and imperialism, as interpreted by one of our most incisive and ironic observers.Show more
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.Show more
A sweeping novel of politics, war, philosophy, and adventure—in a restored edition, featuring never-before-published material from Gore Vidal’s original manuscript—Creation offers a captivating grand tour of the ancient world. Cyrus Spitama, grandson of the prophet Zoroaster and lifelong friend of Xerxes, spent most of his life as Persian ambassador for the great king Darius. He traveled to India, where he discussed nirvana with Buddha, and to the warring states of Cathay, where he learned of Tao from Master Li and fished on the riverbank with Confucius. Now blind and aged in Athens—the Athens of Pericles, Sophocles, Thucydides, Herodotus, and Socrates—Cyrus recounts his days as he strives to resolve the fundamental questions that have guided his life’s journeys: how the universe was created, and why evil was created with good. In revisiting the fifth century B.C.—one of the most spectacular periods in history—Gore Vidal illuminates the ideas that have shaped civilizations for millennia.Show more
In the tiny Central American republic of Tenango, a place of orchid-scented jungle, crumbling palaces, and baroque cathedrals, the rainy season is over and the dusty days of winter have begun. It is time for revolution. In an old plantation house the conspirators meet: General Jorge Alvarez, returned from exile in New Orleans with his hothead of a son and his proud, beautiful daughter; a volatile entourage of disenchanted colonels and rebel priests; and Peter Nelson, an American soldier of fortune with his own reasons for joining the rebels. Yet when the waiting is over and the struggle for power under way, nothing in Tenango turns out to be what it seems, not even the tragedy that awaits them all.Show more
In Death Before Bedtime, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is invited to the home of a venerable senator to help strategize his imminent run for president. On the night before he’s to announce, though, the senator is murdered in his bed. No longer needed as a political publicist, Sargent finds himself helping the police find the killer. He deftly navigates an eccentric cast of characters, all of whom are suspects: the rebellious daughter; the sycophantic aide; the grieving widow; and the power-hungry governor with his eye on the senator’s job. Somehow, between charming the senator’s daughter and glad-handing Washington’s elite, Sargent still manages to methodically put the pieces into place and sees that politics truly is a cut-throat business.Show more
In Death in the Fifth Position, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is hired by a ballet company on the eve of a major upcoming performance. Handling the press seems to be no problem, but when a rising star in the company is killed during the performance—dropped from thirty feet above the stage, crashing to her death in a perfect fifth position—Sargent has a real case on his hands. As he ingratiates himself with the players behind the scenes (especially one lovely young ballerina), he finds that this seemingly graceful ballet company is performing their most dramatic acts behind the curtain. There are sharp rivalries, sordid affairs, and shady characters. Sargent, though, has no trouble staying on point and proving that the ballerina killer is no match for his keen eye and raffish charm.Show more
In Death Likes it Hot, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargeant travels out to a posh beach community to help a wealthy socialite plan an end-of-summer party. His enjoyment of the sun, the surf, and the company of a lovely young fashion reporter is interrupted by the death of the socialite’s niece: she mysteriously drowns while swimming on a crowded beach. No one suspects murder until the police find a lethal dose of sleeping pills in her system. As Sargeant watches the police’s investigation unfold, he keeps an eye on the grieving socialite; the victim’s famous painter husband; a suspiciously cheery brother and sister; and a garrulous tabloid columnist. Now, instead of planning guest lists, wine choices, and menus, Sargeant is faced with a killer unlike he’s ever faced: highly sophisticated, devilishly clever, and just as smooth as he is.Show more
When Gore Vidal’s New York Times bestseller Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace was published, the Los Angeles Times described Vidal as the last defender of the American republic. In Dreaming War, Vidal continues this defense by confronting the Cheney-Bush junta head-on in a series of devastating essays that demolish the lies American Empire lives by, unveiling a counter-history that traces the origins of America’s current imperial ambitions to the experience of World War Two and the post-war Truman doctrine. And now, with Cheney-Bush leading us into permanent war, Vidal asks whose interests are served by this doctrine of pre-emptive war? Was Afghanistan turned to rubble to avenge the 3,000 slaughtered on September 11? Or was “the unlovely Osama chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan?” After all, he was abruptly replaced with Saddam Hussein once the Taliban were overthrown. And while “evidence” is now being invented to connect Saddam with 9/11, the administration are not helped by “stories in the U.S. press about the vast oil wealth of Iraq which must—for the sake of the free world—be reassigned to U.S. consortiums.”Show more
Perhaps Vidal’s most outrageous novel, this is an indescribable fantasy purportedly set in the city of Duluth (which, however, is near the Mexican border) and involving a TV show also named Duluth (a parody of Dallas), a spaceship that has landed nearby, the antics of a policewoman, Darlene Ecks, and much else.Show more
While America struggles to define its destiny, beautiful and ambitious Caroline Sanford fights to control her own fate. One of Vidal’s most inspired creations, she is an embodiment of the complex, vigorous young nation. From the back offices of her Washington newspaper, Caroline confronts the two men who threaten to thwart her ambition: William Randolph Hearst and his protégé, Blaise Sanford, Caroline’s half brother. In their struggles for power the lives of brother and sister become intertwined with those of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, as well as Astors, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys—all incarnations of America’s Gilded Age. “Mr. Vidal demonstrates a political imagination and insider’s sagacity equaled by no other practicing fiction writer. Like the earlier novels in his historical cycle, Empire is a wonderfully vivid documentary drama.” — The New York Times Book ReviewShow more
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