Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Myra Breckinridge

Myra BreckinridgeMyra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read many of Gore Vidal's historical fiction novels including Creation, Julian, and most of his Narratives of Empire series. I am aware of his sexual orientation, and while many of his historical fiction novels include sexual, particularly homosexual, themes and undertones, it is usually not an overt focus. I do not find the subject distasteful. In fact, I find that the sexual undertones add an additional layer of complexity to his novels.

However, I have avoided Vidal's books where the topic is more blatantly sexual such as The City and the Pillar: A Novel, one of his first novels. The previews that I read about Myra Breckinridge indicated that the theme was somewhat sexual in nature without being homosexual. I suppose that is sort of the case. The story has a few big twists. I did not find the biggest twist particularly surprising, but I am not sure it was suppose to be surprising. I found the book to be quite bizarre which I think was intended. There is one chapter that is very distributing and particularly painful to read. Even with the predictable twist and the painful section, I found the book to be interesting and even mildly entertaining.

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