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Myra Breckinridge

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,697 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
Determined to reinvent himself and explore new territory in his work, Gore Vidal published a provocative satirical work destined to be on a collision course with social conventions in 1968. Written as a diary, Myra Breckinridge, someone determined not to be possessed by any man, recounts her day as she lives it out in the Hollywood of the '60s. Feminism, transsexuality, an ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 264 pages
Published 1968 by Little, Brown & Company
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Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana

Raquel Welch in tutto il suo splendore.

Che il grande paese, il Nuovo Mondo, avesse perso la sua innocenza, nel 1968, il fatidico anno in cui uscì questo romanzo, era un fatto già emerso, anche noto: ma che l’eroe a stelle e strisce potesse incarnarsi in un transessuale!

Il celebre capitolo 29.

Gore Vidal si chiamava in effetti Gore di cognome, una famiglia della buonissima società, imparentata coi Kennedy, fedeli al partito democratico fino al midollo. Omosessuale precursore di qual
Edward Lorn
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperbacks
Imagine having written a book in the 1960s and been criticized over being queer, and then someone reading your book in this day and age and calling you homophobic. What's the phrase I'm looking for... "Can't win for losing?" Yeah. That's it.

For the record, Gore Vidal was an intellectual who believed sex was a tool of the weak-minded. He didn't care much for love or physical relationships, and this book, above all else, shows that. To his credit, Gore Vidal hated everyone equally, because everyo
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
I'm a bit baffled by all the people who are offended by the retrograde gender politics of this book. Is it transphobic? Sure, at times. It's also (at times) equally misogynistic as it is man-hating, homophobic as it is radically queer, elitist as it is populist, anti-hippie as it is anti-East Coast elite. The contradictions and topics to take offense at are limitless. This is a true satire, lashing out at all who stand in Myra's path (including Myra herself). Everyone and everything is so comple ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
A short, depraved, outrageous farce that amuses and bemuses. Both funny and unsettling. Comedy and tragedy collide.

Gore Vidal manages to pour scorn on everyone and everything, especially the culture of late 1960's Southern California and everything that went into making it what it was. The central character, Myra, is a seductive anti-heroine whom we may simultaneously root for and despise. The farce is apparent early when we see Myra as alternately a mouthpiece for Vidal and an object for his sc
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
One of 1968's "shocking" bestsellers that is now a bit of a slog. (As Couples is to Updike; interestingly, the longueurs of both novels are attempts at Joycean stream of consciousness.) But Myra's voice is memorable, and that counts for something.
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Writing does not get better than this, but it's definitely not for everyone. It's sick and twisted, but hilarious and beautifully written. Myra Breckinridge is the most powerful female character in books thanks to the voice given to her by Vidal. I could "listen" to her talk all day.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Transphobic, misogynistic, anti-semitic, smug. The transsexual woman as insane, murderous rapist is a fairly tiresome & offensive storyline - especially when the ending involves Myra "recovering" from her insanity to return to life as Myron. Despite Gore Vidal's obvious pleasure with himself as some kind of subversive, the majority of the characters and storylines are actually fairly shallow & undeveloped. It appears that the success of the book relies on the reader responding with shock ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reading any work by Gore Vidal, I am always amazed at how well it stands the test of time. Many of the references in Myra Breckinridge are dated (and certainly would have been at the time of its publication as well), and yet the themes of the story still ring eerily true today. Sexual politics, gender roles, the nature of celebrity – all of these ideas play out today much as they play out in the novel. In particular, the quest for celebrity in the book calls to mind reality television stars of t ...more
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Myra Breckinridge" is a classic, brilliant satire of Hollywood. A man, obsessed with bringing down Hollywood, gets a sex change to turn into a gorgeous actress hellbent on destroying mainstream cinema as we know it! Hilarious, really clever.
Rupert Smith
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I had to choose one book that sums up what you might call ‘the gay sensibility’ it would be this, the story of a power-hungry transsexual rampaging her way through a dismal American college, ravishing hot jocks and referencing 40s films on every page. I was so obsessed by Myra Breckinridge in my 20s that I actually started writing my own diary in her voice. The sequel, Myron, is just as good. I was absolutely horrified when, after Vidal’s death, serious literary commentators suggested that he ...more
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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
More about Gore Vidal...
“Let the dust take me when the adventure's done and I shall make the dust glitter for all eternity with my marvelous fury.” 5 likes
“I believe in justice, I want redress for all wrongs done, I want the good life-if such a thing exists-accessible to all. Yet, emotionally, I would be only too happy to become world dictator, if only to fulfill my mission: the destruction of the last vestigial traces of traditional manhood in the race to realign the sexes, thus reducing population, while increasing human happiness and preparing humanity for its next stage.” 2 likes
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