In the Navy during World War II, Vidal was forced to use point to point navigation whenever compasses failed. It is an apt analogy for his life, which has been filled with glorious triumphs as well as spectacular controversies. Never afraid to enter uncharted waters, Vidal has had relationships with innumerable luminaries, including President Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, and others.
Thoroughly engaging and, of course, provocative, Point to Point Navigation is the fascinating story of an American icon. Vidal himself narrates this memoir, intimately sharing the stories of his own life.
©2006 Gore Vidal; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"In short, the memoir is a perfect encapsulation of Vidal's outsized personality." (Booklist)
Gore Vidal is a master of the memoir. His book is so entertaining and informative, I find myself going back again and again to listen. And you need not listen in order - you can just drop in at any point and it feels like you are listening to Gore recount memories directly to you over tea. Fascinating! Highly recommended.
This memoir is not nearly as good as Vidal's 'Palimpsest,' which was a masterpiece of autobiography as well as witty social history. There were bits of exaggeration and maybe outright lies in the earlier book, but the ego is allowed poetic license.
In this volume the memories are running thin and they threaten to get maudlin. The lingering illness and death of Vidal's life-partner Howard Auster is a poignant tale, told with excellent reserve and no soppiness, but it does leave a big black cloud over the whole book.
On the other hand, we've got Gore Vidal himself reading the thing in his Mandarin drawl, and that blots out a multitude of sins. Gore revisits some of the favorites from the earlier memoir--Jack and Jackie, Tennessee Williams, his parents, Amelia Earhart--and brings them to life like Dickens giving a final-tour reading.
Gore Vidal at the end of his long and over-the-top life, here exhibits his wisdom, his wit and his frustrations, as he settles old scores and drops many a name.
There is much to be learned from this too soon ended short account of a remarkable life.
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