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Vidal, Gore. THE ESSENTIAL GORE VIDAL: "MYRA BRECKINRIDGE", "THE BEST MAN", AND OTHER PIECES. New York City, NY: Random House, 1999. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 988 pages. Fine/Fine.

Massive Reader of the author's body of work. The single best introduction to the remarkable oeuvre of Gore Vidal. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly copies that are signed on a tipped-in page. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents "The Essential Gore Vidal". Every aspect of the multi-faceted, multi-talented, and multi-tasking writer brought brilliantly to light in one hefty volume. Vidal has written in every literary form (except poetry, which he nevertheless also wrote, "dreadfully", while still a child and then a teen-ager), and left his indelible mark on all of them. Reproduces "Myra Breckinridge", his masterpiece, and "The Best Man", his landmark play about the American Presidency, in their entirety, plus generous excerpts from his other novels and a representative selection of his best essays. "The range and size of Gore Vidal's literary achievement is remarkable. He is a master of the historical novel, in which he has explored American history, ancient history, and the history of religion. He has developed his own style of science fiction combined with satire, and in the books he refers to as his inventions, he writes cautionary tales about sex, politics, art, and philosophy. He is at once a contrarian, a wise man, and a romantic. He is also wickedly funny and often outrageous. All of these qualities are evident in his essays, which deal with things about which he feels passionately" (Publisher's blurb). Kaplan has written an illuminating Introduction, prefaced each section meticulously, and appended both a Biographical Chronology and Bibliography. Gore Vidal died on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86, the last of the great American public intellectual/writers of our time. We live in the Age of Mediocrity, where (nearly) everyone is a critic/blogger/pundit mouthing timid, politically correct opinions. Pundits are retail thinkers, that is, they are not real thinkers. Someday, we will realize what we have irretrievably lost. An absolute "must-have" title for Gore Vidal collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen-marker on the title page by Gore Vidal. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page, as ALL other copies available online are. This title is a great collection. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Random House "true first" indications in the 20th century are "First Edition" followed by a number line that begins with 2 (instead of 1), a practice that the publisher did not change until 2005/2006, and even then, on a very inconsistent basis. A rare signed copy thus. Recipient of the National Book Award's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters". One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0679457461. $150.00

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