The first paperback edition to combine Gore Vidal s brilliant and energetic fantasy Myra Breckinridge with its sequel, Myron A moral masterpiece The Times London 10,000 print.
Myra Breckenridge Myron The first paperback edition to combine Gore Vidal s brilliant and energetic fantasy Myra Breckinridge with its sequel Myron A moral masterpiece The Times London print
Myra Breckinridge (1968) is a scabrous genderbender satire about an untouchable woman(?) out to claim her fortune from a sleazy Hollywood mogul. If you’re familiar with Gore Vidal’s haughtiness from one of his incalculable TV appearances it might take a moment to settle into this female(?) voice, but once the farcical frolics begin the novel is heap-good-fun. Among the more notorious scenes are Myra’s dildo rape of male chauvinist Rusty, and her failure to achieve Sapphic congress with the [...]
Gore Vidal’s satirical novel, “Myra Breckenridge” was, at one point, shocking. That it is no longer shocking---and, in fact, so ridiculously un-shocking as to be a soap opera cliche---is a testament to how much society’s views have changed on the book’s primary subject matter.Ostensibly, the book is about a lot of things. Vidal was a humorous and caustic social critic who, like some of his more relevant contemporaries (Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth), explored the inanity of [...]
I have no idea how this would read to somebody not familiar with classic Hollywood cinema (for as it is cheekily reiterated on several occasions: "in the decade between 1935 and 1945, no irrelevant film was made in the United States", emphasis NOT mine), if only because so much of the razor-sharp humor is wrapped up in knowing things like the ridiculous plot of The Seventh Veil or the absurdity of offhandedly proclaiming Since You Went Away a masterpiece or the humor in finding "the curve to the [...]
I will give you one star because your prose is so delightfully bitchy, Gore Vidal- especially the introduction, told from the point of view of "Gore Vidal"- but no more because this book is bad stupid. Like, okay, sure, dumb fluff, sixties queerness, obsessing about the movies of the forties because you're a silly two-dimensional cartoon, all that stuff is great. But, just as you get to write about trans women without doing any research (and therefore just make stuff up, like 'estrogen impedes h [...]
One of the most delicious, camp meditations on American pop culture ever committed to print. Gore Vidal has written a comedy of bad manners to rival Sheridan and WIlde. Pointedly vulgar, deliriously savvy, this novel knows exactly what it wants to do from its first moments. The first-person narrator announces the death of mataphor early on and then relates the entire lurid saga sticking to those ideological guns. Hilarious and brilliant and exactly right for the character and the world depicted. [...]
Bah, humbug. Everybody loves this book, and all I see is an uptight Cape Cod queen getting jealous after reading "Naked Lunch" and thinking "I can write like that!" Well, you can't Miss Gore. I'll stick to watching Raquel Welch tramp around in her foxy flag outfit.
Very daring in its day, this satire remains hilarious and thought provoking. Anais Nin, one of Vidal's lovers, was an inspiration for the grandiose voice of Myra while the perverse sophistication is the author's own. While these two books enabled many of us to cast aside our Sky God inhibitions the same prudes and hypocrites remain in charge. Well, they can't stop us being consensual adults in private or preventing the twenty year fetish club debauch I managed while, er, researching my own books [...]
Myra Breckinridge is one Sick Twist. I found this book shockingd I am not easily shocked. Myra is a trannie, a sadist, a revolutionary and completely nuts. However, Vidal's 1968 title character cannot be classified with most of the one-dimensional psycho transgender characters so common in our cultural production (Dressed to Kill, Sleepaway Camp and Silence of the Lambs to name a few). Myra believes that all human relations are based on "the desire in each of us to exercise absolute power over o [...]
I remember hearing all of the uproar over this book when I was young but this was the first time that I had read it. Maybe I would have liked it better years ago but now I just don't see the appeal. I'd always heard that it was a sophisticated, witty novel. All I read was a story that was very antagonistic toward transgenders and (here comes a spoiler so if you don't want to know, please stop reading) I also can't get over the rape scene. I'm certainly no prude, but the fact that a teacher tortu [...]
Two of the greatest satires ever written. Two of my favorite books of all time. I was reading a book by a current best-selling comedic author. I was in a state of un-grippedness. Read like a book being written in preparation for getting optioned as a movie (no style, which is very popular nowadays). I picked up Myra Breckenridge and read the first chapter (two pages long). I laughed out loud and was in awe. THIS IS WRITING.Vidal is one of the greatest writers ever. One of my personal heroes.
Not the second one, that one's not supposed to be any good. Just the first one.
I have to think that Gore Vidal's so-called "hyperreal" novels are only taken seriously because of his stature as an essayist (and reputation as a socialite). Thin plot, uneven pace, underwritten style, dated Hollywood references, flat characters, eccentric names: these novels are just Pynchon imitations gone wrong. Myra at least has its moments (all of which are near its beginning), but it spends 150 pages starting the book, then 60 pages trying to end it as quickly as possible: there's plenty [...]
Today author Gore Vidal is mostly known for his Narratives of Empire series of seven novels on American history published between 1967 and 2000. These books (Burr, Lincoln, 1876, Empire, Hollywood, Washington, D.C and The Golden Age) tell the history of the American Empire through the lives of two fictional families and their interactions with real figures in American history. Few recall the critical uproar caused by his 1948 novel The City and the Pillar that dealt frankly with male homosexuali [...]
Laugh-out-loud funny. Shocking, vulgar, bawdy. Initially found it intriguing because no, had never read anything like this before. Found Gore Vidal to be clever and initially it held my interest -- picked the book up simply because I wanted to see what Vidal was all about as a esteemed writer of our time. While initially I felt that this was a 4-star work, I definitely dinged it for "the scene" toward the end with Rusty and Myra. Since I don't want a spoiler here, not going to elaboratebut if yo [...]
Another old blogI recently finished reading Gore Vidal's Myra Breckenridge and the sequel, Myron. I don't really know what more to say about this book other than it was about a freakin' SCHIZOPHRENIC TRANSEXUAL! It was pretty funny, in it's own way, but is also kind of intimidating in it's discussions of sexual power over others, and the things some (psychotic) people will do to attain that power. Myra Breckenridge was written entirely from the perspective of post-sex-change Myra (formerly Myron [...]
Like Heinlein laying off "Stranger in a Strange Land" until the big cultural wheel turned into the 60s. Free love meant that everybody was running beyond any capacity to shock sexually; tearing down the last great wall of conservatism in a taggle of arms, legs and other dangly body parts. How did we get so staid again? Oh yeah, a killer sex plague! Handily, a moral weapon to aim at homosexuals in particular. Saved! A graphic novel. Sadly, the big reveal of the story was known to me somehow; but [...]
Fifty years after its original publication, Gore Vidal's comic masterpiece MYRA BRECKINRIDGE still feels fresher than a summer's eve. While an obsessive knowledge of 1940's American cinema certainly enhances the delirious pleasure of experiencing MYRA, its razor-sharp satire of show biz, "aberrant" "lifestyle" "choices", gender politics and pansexual panic seems absolutely contemporary, and is more relevant and necessary than ever. Like CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. it's timeless, relentless and laugh- [...]
This is my 3rd time reading Myra and my 2nd time reading Myron, and they are as brilliant as i remember. Though I didn't laugh quite as hard this time, simply because jokes aren't as funny the 3rd time you hear them, I still would put Myra Breckinridge up there with A Confederacy of Dunces as one of the funniest books ever written. Myra is two of the most fiercely unique characters ever created, and Vidal's take on gender, sexuality, & morality is genius. Wish I could have read this when it [...]
Myra Breckinridge states at the beginning of her book that her mission is to ‘re-create the sexes’ for the good of the human race and her campy, movie obsessed voice dominates this frothy novel by Gore Vidal. The plot involves her attempt to acquire her dead husband’s share of an inheritance of land in Westwood from his uncle, a former actor called Buck Loner who now runs an Academy for aspiring actors on the property. He takes her on as a teacher of Posture and Empathy at the Academy whil [...]
This is the first Gore Vidal novel I have read and I’m certainly not disappointed. I have always seen the human species as the agents of the apocalypse and my only criticism of that species is that it is so slow in completing its work. In this literary masterpiece and very clever anti-human satire I seem to have found an unsentimental and eloquent voice that’s in agreement. Myra’s observations on nuclear devastation, environmental destruction and the end of the human race challenge the ver [...]
I genuinely still don't know what to make of these two novels, which I read back to back over Easter. They were recommended by a work colleague with a taste for the outrageous, so maybe I should not have been surprised, but for a novel which is clearly so literary to be so bizarre and out there was a new one on me! The language and attitudes are rather outdated (the novels were written in 1968 and 1974 respectively and it shows)but the satire on American life and attitudes remains pretty sharp.H [...]
Being two separate books, this requires two reviews.Myra Breckenridge is the predecessor to transgressive literature. One can see how much Palahniuk pulled from Vidal's delivery of the twist when he wrote Fight Club. Vidal succeeds with his tremendous feat of combining obscene ideas with satirical and critical opinions of materialist America and its conservative agendas. Myron is a less funny, a less extreme, a less innovative, a less interesting version of Myra. Throwing the couple into 1940s H [...]
Looking at the world through the eyes of a 1950s starlet who thinks she is the sexiest woman alive was fun. Gore Vidal created a cartoon-like character, Myra, who has modeled herself after numerous Hollywood stars and has delusions of her own grandeur. The book was entertaining, gender-bending, and it seems fairly shocking and subversive for its time of publishing in 1968. Although, now its rape scene and transgender character come off as strange and unrealistic rather than subversive. I am stil [...]
This is a strange, dark, gruesomely amusing and darkly cutting pair of novels. The edition I have has both novels in it. In the first, Myron is Myra - megalomaniacal, narcissistic, single minded and powerful. There is one particular scene in the novel which is both pivotal and shocking and is what caused the book to be banned in Australia at least. The second novel, Myron, is even stranger. Myron finds himself trapped inside the TV during a filming of a B-rate Hollywood move in 1948. But chapter [...]
"Or as Diotima said to Hyperion, in Hölderlin's novel, 'It was no man that you wanted, believe me; you wanted a world.' I too want a world and mean to have it.""Is it possible to describe anything accurately? That is the problem set us by the French New Novelists. The answer is, like so many answers to important questions, neither yes nor no. The treachery of words is notorious.""It is impossible to sort out all one's feelings at any given moment on any given subject, and so perhaps it is wise [...]
I have managed to own and lose so many copies of this book. And yet I keep prowling used bookstores to re-buy and re-read it because I absolutely adore it. Myra Breckinridge is definitely the strongest of the two novels, although Myron is delightful as well. I honestly can't get enough of Myra's "voice". It also occurred to me, after recently re-reading Invisible Monsters that Chuck Palahniuk very likely got some inspiration from Myra when creating Brandy Alexander. I think this book is effing f [...]
Ok. This one is tough because I DID appreciate the writing and some of the more intellectual theories running through both books. On a side note, I ended up googling a ton of the actors and actresses mentioned and got a bit of an education in Forties cinema. BUT, I was so disturbed by the rape scenes that they I can't say I really enjoyed the books as much as I might have wanted to. I'm not trying to be moralistic here - it just personally was not my cup of tea. Interested to read some of GV's o [...]
Though Vidal displays an obvious and impressive mastery of the English language, the simple fact is: Once you have inured yourself to the contextually shocking depictions of sex and debauchery you are left with a fairly boring tale of a sociopath on a convoluted mission of self-empowerment. Worth reading for a certain sense of late 60's kitsch, but not necessarily the sort of work which leaves the reader with any lasting emotional impression.
Underneath the bitchy camp dialouge is some potent ideas about sex, overpopulation, and identity. It was a joy to read while being a product of its time still shocks and titilates the reader whit a high form of trashy melodrama and pornographic details. Should be required reading in high schools then maybe kids would read and begin to be more open minded about sexual identity and the history of film.
After reading these two novels all I can say is.t my cup of tea.At first the novel went quite fast and it was entertaining, although I find Myra as a character rather annoying,soon after it started to feel really stretched.As satires go, this one isn't a bad one. Especially the ending of Myron I really enjoyed and the use of language was spot on. I guess a word to describe this book/story would be-shocking