Gore Vidal's second memoir (2006) gives more
insights into the man behind the mythos.
There are plenty of behind-the-scenes in Hollywood
tales, proper gossip and dirt-dishing, more than a
fair amount of name-dropping and arrogance, and
a slice of life from another time laid bare.
Particularly of interest to me were the reminiscings
of the final days of longtime partner, Howard,
which showed both a vulnerability to Vidal as
well as the very dated onus of men who grew up
in an era where self-awareness was so clearly
not acceptable. This environment impacted
even someone as robustly individualistic as Vidal.
There's a good bit of intimacy regarding aging,
building new identities, loss, and coming to
terms with life.
There are politics (including some revelations
about Vidal's personal political career I was unfamiliar
with,) and above all a sense of survivorhood that is
made clear is accessible to all who seek it.
Worldly and shrewd, "Point to Point"
is typical Vidal, yet exposed, with a map
of an unexpected life laid bare.
Love him or hate him--or, alternately,
a little of both--Vidal is never boring.
His lush command of language and
nuance captivate from start to finish.