The Golden Age

Gore Vidal, Author, Gore Vidal, Read by, Kathryn Walker, Performed by
Gore Vidal, Author, Gore Vidal, Read by, Kathryn Walker, Performed by Random House Audio $26.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-52753-7
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-71214-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-50265-7
Hardcover - 720 pages - 978-0-375-43082-4
Paperback - 467 pages - 978-0-375-72481-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-04103-5
Open Ebook - 311 pages - 978-0-307-81661-0
Paperback - 467 pages - 978-0-349-11427-9
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Vidal's latest historical novel, which focuses on the FDR, McCarthy and Korean War periods, is like a gathering of Washington, Hollywood and New York gossip columnists--all of whom are Vidal personae arguing American politics and culture among themselves. Vidal even turns up as a character from time to time to remind us of his own role in 20th-century art and artifice. Raised in the house of his grandfather, Oklahoma senator Thomas P. Gore, Vidal did in fact know many of the top players in the midcentury American game; thus the novel's details of unromantic affairs, political shenanigans and history-shaping manipulations are rendered believable. Narrator Walker is wonderful. She has a deep, sexy, expressive voice reminiscent of Lauren Bacall, at turns amused, ironic, sardonic, sometimes even serious. At the end, Vidal himself narrates, waxing philosophical on the end of the century and his life during that time. Because this four-tape abridgement of a 720-page book often leaps across chronology, it sometimes takes a minute for listeners to orient themselves, but it's worth the effort. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, July 24). (Sept.)
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