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In Bed with Gore Vidal Paperback – September 2, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Having run through a number of articles and his own autobiographies, I came across Tim Teeman's book. Given the salacious title, I assumed it would be something gratuitous, inaccurate, and bitchy. In fact, it's not; it's extremely well researched and documented, and the complex picture we gain of Vidal through the book adds to an understanding of his complex character. The facts jibe with what has been written before, so to learn more about the details of each event is enlightening. It reveals the human and compassionate side of a man who wanted to be perceived as ice cold, and also a little of the humanity and fear behind the stoic blast-wall of his persona. The book provides extensive, sometimes overly detailed recollections from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. At the outset, a note regarding Vidal's failure to leave anything to his devoted nephew and others made me think this would be a slanted, betraying tell-all book with an axe to grind, but again it's not.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it is not gossipy enough to hold up to being so badly written.....the title promises much more than what the book deliversPublished 1 month ago by Carlos Raffo
Gore Vidal had a fabulous life, compared to most poor suckers' : International celebrity, hobnobbing with the Nobs, writing books that he wanted to write, sex galore, a male... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Brown Consignment
I am forcing myself to finish the book. The author writes to many times ( even on the same page) how Vidal and his friend complimented each other, what a great guy each of them... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tinamarie A. Mellodge
This is not a biography about his sex life but a interesting look at his seeming inability to publicly be out and proud. Tends to drag and repeat itself but still worth a read.Published 6 months ago by dolores plumlee
Interesting stories that don't really require the length of a book. There just aren't that many of them. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mike D
Mr. Teeman's book was much better than I expected; not at all "tabloid" as I had feared. It was well written and offered many keen insights into Gore Vidal's complicated... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
By no means a comprehensive biography of the prolific author, essayist and celebrity, Teeman's book fills in the gossipy parts left out of longer more serious accounts of Vidal's... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jim Provenzano
Gore Vidal found fame writing about homosexuality in "The City and the Pillar" but, for the rest of his life, apparently felt this accomplishment was useless as it... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jonster