Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#8: The City and the Pillar (Gore Vidal)

on May 24, 2014

Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m still wondering what the title refers to!  That level of confusion seems to be the norm when reading Vidal’s novel.

The City and the Pillar was published in 1948 and resulted in Vidal being blacklisted in many literary circles. The novel follows the sexual discovery of Jim, a young man whose first sexual encounter is with his friend, Bob. The story follows Jim’s pursuit of other men in an effort to fill the void left by Bob’s departure.

The book, often called crass and vulgar by its early reviewers, was not explicit in its sexual scenes until the final encounter between Jim and Bob.  However, the novel lacked much development of its central plot.  This was a case of coming across an author I recognized and knew I wanted to say that I had read some of his work.  By the time I was certain the writing did not measure up to Vidal’s reputation, I was over halfway through the book.  I can now say I’ve read Vidal…..and don’t plan to do it again!


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