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In Bed with Gore Vidal Paperback – September 2, 2013


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In Bed with Gore Vidal + Pink Triangle: The Feuds and Private Lives of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Famous Members of Their Entourages + Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books, LLC (September 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626010412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626010413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tim Teeman is a journalist, author and broadcaster. For many years he worked as an editor, feature writer, and interviewer for The Times of London, most recently as their US Correspondent. In Bed with Gore Vidal is his first book. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Gore Vidal was a very complicated man.
Suzinne Barrett
Too much psychoanalysis, the same stories seemingly repeated again and again, maybe this was a book that never should have been written.
R. Patrick Baugh
Entertaining and compeling, a must book to read, especially for all those Gore Vidal fans out there.
Thomas Parry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Mr. Teeman's book to be extremely interesting, and, in many ways quite sad. The theme is clearly about becoming entrapped in an artificial public persona and not being able to break out of the self-created shell, no matter how false it becomes over time. I like the way that Mr. Teeman lets Vidal's relatives, friends, acquaintances and occasional enemies talk in their own voices and leaves it up to the reader to sort out their often conflicting stories. One thing is quite clear, Gore Vidal lied a lot about his feelings, sex life and relationships.

I do think that Mr. Teeman should have been a little more critical, and caught some of the more obvious flaws in some of the stories. Scotty Bowers and Gore Vidal were clearly close friends, but a very small amount of research would have demonstrated that they almost certainly could not have met in 1948 since there is no evidence that Vidal was in Los Angeles that year, which is very well documented in his biographies. It is much more probable that they met in 1955 when Vidal moved to Los Angeles to work for MGM. This would more closely correspond with what is known about Bob Atkinson, the model that Vidal was taken with. A "physique" photo set of Mr. Atkinson, described as "new" and dating to 1957, available in an online archive, shows a muscular man in his early twenties - exactly Vidal's type according to the book. Atkinson would have been in junior high or high school in 1948. Interestingly, physique photos of Scotty Bowers were offered by the same photographer at the same time.

The scene in the book that I enjoyed the most was the recollection by a friend of a drunken Vidal blathering on about Jimmy Trimble while Howard Austen, behind Vidal and out of view, makes a "jerk off" motion with one hand. That vision alone was worth the price of the book.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Suzinne Barrett VINE VOICE on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
Gore Vidal was a very complicated man. He clearly was homosexual, and yet for a variety of reasons (which are all gone into depth in this book) the author refused to ever claim the title. Am not widely read on Vidal, but will forever remember the day I picked up the paperback Myra Breckinridge from a discount book bin. Didn't know much about Myra, but did know it was XXX. And that was all I needed to know. The book is a triumph of voice in literature, and a laugh out loud riot.

Vidal - to all who knew him and to all who watched - was this if nothing else: the absolute master of the put down. Gore Vidal had notorious dust ups, some of which turned into lawsuits. Famous opponents - and maybe my favorite match-off - was against William F. Buckley. Gore once quipped that Buckley was "Hitler without the charm." William F. was certainly a character in his own right, pretentious with an array of frightening facial tics all while holding a seriously right wing perspective. Cut to the punch: Gore called Buckley a Nazi, and William F. called him a pink queer. Other combatants include Truman Capote and Norman Mailer. Gore sued Mailer, and Buckley sued Vidal. Sadly, we don't have this kind of fun in the literary world anymore.

Really enjoyed this book, but prospective readers do take the title literally. In fact, one could call this a sexual biography. It gets very sexual, and a lot of famous Hollywood names are dropped too, because Vidal was a screenwriter for a time. Found the writing of high calibre, so the sexual tangents blend in, the way good writing works. It comes as no surprise though that the Hollywood career didn't take off. Gore Vidal did not play well with others, ever.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By jd on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating, maddening, interesting, intellectual & brilliant man cannot be contained in one book - but sides of him that were not on display show up in Mr. Teeman's book. Previous biographies correctly spend more time on the novels, essays & plays as well as familial background. I found that I "heard" more of Gore Vidal in IN BED WITH GORE VIDAL than I have heard in the various biographies (including Mr. Vidal's own). It is apparent that Gore was formed by the time & the family in which he grew up as well as his time in World War II. He created himself as a public figure while remaining a private one (fiercely true to "himself"). In a way, he WAS the twin he seemed to be seeking (in vain).

This book isn't really as sensational as some appear to have found it. Having known some of Mr. Vidal's contemporaries in my youth I can assure you that he was not alone in his love/hate relationship with his sexual nature. More people express a deep love for him in this book than do not. His declining health must have severly frustrated him, particularly the effects of dementia - for one so very brilliant.

This book will remain with me to reread again and again - Gore Vidal never ceases to challenge one's mind.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy Tomorrow on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book: gossipy and intelligent it uncovers Gore Vidal's life away from the page sensitively and thoroughly. It's very respectful of Vidal, but very "real" about who he was, his private passions, his beliefs and the roots of his radicalism -- sexual and otherwise. It doesn't seek to define him narrowly, indeed it celebrates his complexity. A great, illuminating read for both those who are Vidal fans and the general reader curious about who he really was.
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