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Gore Vidal, wannabe aristocrat and proud degenerate

Lewis Jones reviews Jay Parini’s Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies: The Life of Gore Vidal Jay Parini

Little, Brown, pp.464, £25, ISBN: 9781408704639

History for Gore Vidal was a vehicle to be ridden in triumph, perhaps as in an out-take from Ben-Hur, which he worked on during one of his stints as a Hollywood hack, camping up the script to annoy Charlton Heston. Not only did he ride the Vehicle of History, but as its amanuensis and avatar, born and raised to the purple, in his mind he somehow was History, and of his many achievements the greatest was to persuade others to share that belief.

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