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Duluth

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  478 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Perhaps Vidal's most outrageous novel, this is an indescribable fantasy purportedly set in the city of Duluth (which, however, is near the Mexican border) & involving a tv show also named "Duluth" (a parody of "Dallas"), a spaceship that has landed nearby, the antics of a policewoman, Darlene Ecks, & much else.
"A wild spoof of absolutely everything: social pretens
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published May 12th 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 784)
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MJ Nicholls
Another of Gore’s raucous entertainments. This anarchic semi-satirical, semi-surreal novel flirts with the metafictional (two decades after its heyday) and flings about a dozen different plots at the reader that all intersect in sometimes random and sometimes logical ways. I gave up looking for the clever connective tissue between the elements fifty pages in, possibly because there isn’t any. Summarising the novel would also be a waste of my time, since the storylines all take various absurdist ...more
Adam
This is the most entertaining book that I have read for years.

*Who will be the new mayor of Duluth?
*What's inside the alien space-ship that has landed in the city?
*Who is Big John?
*And, will Chloris Craig, the author who cannot read or write, ever discover who killed Betty Grable?
*And whose baby is Darlene Eck carrying?
*Can the Marchioness of Skye get the secret plans, which she has stolen, to Napoleon in Moscow?

These and many other important questions can only be answered by reading Gore Vidal'
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Amber
First 10 pages: wow! So inventive and avant garde!

Next 30 pages: hm, this isn't really all that funny and is kind of just as trashy as the stuff it's supposed to be spoofing.

Rest of book: WTF, Gore Vidal? We're supposed to think it's funny that a female cop systematically rapes immigrant Mexicans and ultra-stereotyped black men (chanting "give me your okra and prunes!")? And then the immigrants gang-rape her as a revenge, but she doesn't really mind because she's a good sport -- until they try t
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Rick Edwards
soap opera -- actors shifting between dramas, dying on one, still living on another -- multiple presidents, one old one who sounds like Reagan -- Duluth same but different, corruption doesn't fit city I know, but it might be a reasonable modern projection of the Jay Gould types who put the place on the map. Racial-ethnic stereotypes. Illegal aliens as well as aliens from outer space. Media monopolies. Competing pulp novelists. Politics of manipulating public opinion. Had to overcome initial repu ...more
Tea Coopz
How does this have a 3.3? You people disgust me.

But seriously, very few people could've written a book with as weak a premise and garner a two-star rating. I wonder whether this book is a commercial or critical success. If it was (or is) either, I guess it says one thing about Gore Vidal: no matter what he puts out there, the public will force it down.

Some people want to create gods out of authors.
Ben Vogel
Hated this more than I've hated anything I've ever read. Ick.
anita Lauricella
the reveiw was probalby accurate 30 years ago, not now
John Uzzi
This wasn't up to my expectation.
Jonathan Fretheim
Race! Corruption! Rape!

This is kind of a satire/critique/pre-Idiocracy story made very lively by aspects of "fiction science" that apply to the parallel worlds where Vidal's characters reside. There's Duluth, the Minnesota city that happens to border Mexico and is home to many illegal aliens as well as society's elite; and there's "Duluth," the TV show.

Important to note is Vidal's Rosemary Klein Kantor character who is a popular novelist who uses not only the recently deceased from Duluth as sta
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M. Milner
A wild, reckless read, Gore Vidal's Duluth is a complete takedown of American pop culture, c. 1980. In just over 200 pages, Vidal spoofs everything from Ronald Reagan to conspiracy theories to romantic fiction to pulpy sci-fi. His novel is a jumpy ride through genres, styles and form, often moving between stories within stories, often with a sense of how reckless the plot can get.

Basically, this is a novel about a mayoral election in Duluth, a city just south the Canadian border. It's also a sto
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Ed Rogers
Jan 12, 2015 Ed Rogers rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I don't know how I've missed this. Vidal is a great writer with exception of 'myra', 'creation',and 'messiah' I thought I'd read them (Burr and Washington DC being particular favorites). then I stumbled over this at the library. It is witty and funny...even hilarious here and there. I'm bummed I deprived myself so long. you'll not regret reading this one.
Kevin Cole
Still not as good as "Myra Breckinridge," but close. Among Vidal's fantasy satires, this is the most epic and insane. Every time you think it can't wilder and funnier, it does. I read it in a few days.
Louise
Only Gore Vidal would conceive a plot about characters being like movie stars and appearing in films, TV shows and other novels when they are off duty in the novel you are reading.

The idea was great, but its execution was flippant and there is gratuitous everything. I stayed with it only to see how he would tie it all up. Had the book been longer, I wouldn't have finished it.

I'm still not sure that I get the significance of Duluth being 9 miles from the Mexican border with a view of Lake Erie, a
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Tracey
I started reading this book. I bought it at a used book sale because of the title Duluth, which is the name of the city in northern Minnesota where my grandfather grew up. It became apparent right away that this book had nothing to do with the Duluth I know. It is a science fiction book and had so many weird things going on I couldn't pursue reading it. (I think it is set in the future and all the geography of our country has been mixed up/around. It probably comes out later that there have been ...more
Moureco
Gore Vidal tem uma imaginação absolutamente delirante. Citando Italo Calvino: 'Vidal pertence àquele grupo de escritores do nosso tempo que, precisamente porque tiveram sempre os olhos abertos às desordens e distorções do nosso tempo, escolheram a ironia, o humor e a comédia - ou seja, todos os instrumentos literários pertencentes ao universo do riso - como forma de ajustar contas.'

Em português, existe uma edição da Difel, com o mesmo título do original e já muito difícil de encontrar.
Luis
Para mi es una de las mejores Novelas de Gore Vidal, tiene todos los elementos de su prosa y de su mundo: La sociedad decadente americana, los trust economicos, lo dantesco y lo fantastico como mezclar ciempiés espaciales con politica economica. En fin. Su mundo me encanta.
Chris
A ridiculously absurd, yet stunningly meticulous and well-thought out, satire of everything American in the early 1980s, from corruption and racism in law enforcement, to flagrant plagiarism in writing across all mediums. Duluth is the single best book I have ever read.
Robert Hyers
While Vidal is one of my favorite writers of both fiction and creative non-fiction, this just didn't do it for me. I don't think I made it past the first 50 pages. Once 2 of the characters (I can't even remember their names) drove themselves into another novel, I was done.
Brian Fagan
Next to Myra Breckenridge, Gore Vidal's best "hyper-novel." The first time I read it, it was just an entertaining novel with wall to wall craziness. The second time I read it, i got the subtext. There is a lot going on in this book. Check it out.
Jase
This is one crazy ride. When this came out, they compared it to the TV show Dallas. Sometimes it was tough figuring out the difference between the show and the story. I love the character of Darlene and the barrios.
Robert Brewer
The narrative voice for this book struck me as someone trying to be cooler than he/she really is, someone trying too hard. Maybe that's the point? But with all the crazy happening in the novel, it's just a boring read.
Marco Cerbo
Rocambolesca vita di una città americana immaginaria, con agenti corrotti, lotte razziali, arrampicatori sociali e persino alieni. Da leggere in fretta per essere coinvolti e non perdersi nella trama.
Dylan
exceptional. functions as both effective social commentary/ hilarious satire, and a well-crafted piece of post-structuralist literary experimentation. funniest book i've read in awhile.
Jesse
A wonderful ride. Deserves to be examined more thoroughly. Why is it no longer in print? It remains fresh.
Ashley
unabashedly sexist and racist but if you try to maintain an sense of humor, this book is hysterical.
Tom Schulte
This fanicful farce forever changed the way I see push-pins!
Duncan
This book was so fun and funny. What characters, and what a world!
Lian-yi
A funny-as-hell satire but comes across as obnoxious.
tmll
i never really knew...
pjr8888
Jun 22, 2012 pjr8888 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the senator Thomas Gore, and he later became a relation (through marriage) to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Vidal ran for political office twi
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