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Parties (Sun & Moon Classics) Paperback – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Sun & Moon Classics
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Sun & Moon Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557130299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557130297
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,157,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Thompson on May 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Carl Van Vechten has long been one of my favorite writers of what I started a while back to call "nightlife lit"-- The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, The Berlin Stories, for example, as well as their more contemporary descendents, Bright Lights, Big City and Less Than Zero. And Parties, Van Vechten's seventh novel, has always represented, for me, the pinnacle of his work (maybe it was for him too, since--although he lived another 30+ years--he never wrote another novel).

To get an idea of the appeal of Parties, then, imagine all that witty, drunken dialogue from Gatsby or Sun, with the tragedy and despair not removed so much as played for laughs. Then imagine a light plot filtered through a cheerfully queer sensibility, with portrayals of gay and bisexual characters (including the main male character, who loves both his wife and a young male bootlegger's assistant) that are strikingly open and unquestioning for the time, as well as a sexual openness bordering on free love or 70s-era swinger culture. Add to this Van Vechten's vast awareness of the popular culture of the day, with rich references to advertisements, pop songs, architecture, dance crazes, and other day-to-day life in the Manhattan of the Wall Street crash and its immediate aftermath (the novel was completed in April of 1930).

There's very little plot, per se. At the novel's center is David Westlake, whom everyone wants and who tries to please everyone. His wife, Rilda, is jealous of his escapades but seeks revenge with her own adventures.
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Format: Hardcover
Carl Van Vechten wrote seven novels in the comedy of manners genre.
He was also the first dance critic on The New York Times, an
accomplished essayist and photographer whose work appeared in the
original Vanity Fair. His last novel, "Parties" (1930), is a stylish
and outrageous ode to the 1920s and was published as the Great
Depression hit. His insights & observations on the 20s are
more astute than those of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here are the beautiful
and not damned. The players are charming worldings who take their
sexual pleasure where they find it - and never mind with whom.
This is a remarkable and hilarious book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 2_pelo on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author and book were noted in biography American Rose (Gypsy Rose Lee), and subject matter interested me. Not crazy about the author's writing style. Must have something to do with the time period?,but it just doesn't appeal to me. Have finished a few chapters but just can't get into it. I may try to read more in future, once I've finished other books.
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