Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories

Clouds and Eclipses The Collected Short Stories Celebrated for than fifty years as a world renowned novelist essayist and political figure and commentator Gore Vidal is less known for the exquisitely crafted short fiction he wrote as a young man

  • Title: Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories
  • Author: Gore Vidal
  • ISBN: 9780786718108
  • Page: 294
  • Format: Paperback
  • Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories

    Celebrated for than fifty years as a world renowned novelist, essayist, and political figure and commentator, Gore Vidal is less known for the exquisitely crafted short fiction he wrote as a young man Like the work of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, his stories have been overshadowed by the author s triumphs writing in other genres Still, Vidal s short fictionCelebrated for than fifty years as a world renowned novelist, essayist, and political figure and commentator, Gore Vidal is less known for the exquisitely crafted short fiction he wrote as a young man Like the work of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, his stories have been overshadowed by the author s triumphs writing in other genres Still, Vidal s short fiction offers us a portrait of the young artist in the 1940s and 1950s His subtle and comic tales often center on adolescence and homosexual themes In Three Stratagems, a middle aged gay man encounters a male prostitute while vacationing in Key West In The Zenner Trophy, the star athlete at an elite boys school is expelled for sexual relations with a classmate These stories were gathered along with five others into a 1956 volume, A Thirsty Evil, and for decades were thought to comprise Vidal s complete short fiction.

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      294 Gore Vidal
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      Published :2018-08-15T06:27:02+00:00

    One thought on “Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories

    1. Rowena

      This was a great collection of short stories, my first Vidal book in fact, and it definitely exceeded expectations. The stories had very interesting characters, twists in the tale, humour, wit and great use of the language, moral issues were discussed, hypocrisies revealed. I'm looking forward to reading more Vidal.

    2. Marija

      I initially wasn’t aware that Vidal wrote short stories. Eight stories make up this collection and actually they’re rather good, though I did notice that they sort of resemble the tone and style of Tennessee Williams. But this does make sense, as Vidal mentions in his preface that these stories are almost like a response to Willams’s work. Generally the stories explore themes of innocence, identity, acceptance and sexuality, yet each story shows a different facet of those themes, with each [...]

    3. Cathy DuPont

      One of my favorite Florida authors, James W. Hall was in St. Augustine a few years ago and when I met him I told him I had read all of his books, poetry and short stories. One story I even read twice. He asked with a playful smile, “You didn't get it the first time?” “No,” I explained, “it was in two separate books. I 'got it' the first time.”These collected stories of Gore Vidal, well, I admit, I did have to go back to re-read a few paragraphs so that I was sure I 'got it.' Vidal is [...]

    4. Sara Fleenor

      I adore this collection. Each story was a portrait of an intriguing character. I felt as if I actually knew these people and not that they were contrived purely for a reader's entertainment. Before starting this book I was a little wary because of its less than stellar reviews. Upon completion I'm pretty sure some of the reviewers are big Harry Potter fans.

    5. Ted Farrell

      This is my first time to read anything by Gore Vidal. I absolutely loved a collection of short stories. Written in a simple direct style, but nevertheless prose that is both absorbing and elegant, this is to my mind, a little masterpiece. The plot of each story has a twist, which while never explicit, gradually reveals itself. I found the collection hard to put down.

    6. Miguel

      "The fools were in possession of the beach today. They sat watchfully beneath umbrellas, admiring the cold and radiant angels who could, they believed, exorcise the graceless shadow of the years and with firm flesh recreate youth and the sense of permanency, or its illusion. I suppose by now I know the hearts of the fools almost as well as I know my own and sometimes I am frightened when I watch their sad courtship of the treacherous angels for I see in them my own eventual fall from beloved ang [...]

    7. Rachel Swords

      As someone with two degrees in English, you'd have thought, somewhere along that eight year journey of education, that I would have read/studied something by Gore Vidal. I'd heard his name before, but never knew much about him. The other day I watched the documentary "Best of Enemies" detailing his legendary debates with William Buckley, and their snappy banter had me rolling. The documentary also highlighted Vidal's successful writing career, and so I was intrigued enough to finally seek out hi [...]

    8. Matthew

      Gore Vidal's collection of short stories that was re-issued when Tennessee Williams was dead long enough for Gore to include the tale about TW's childhood. As Gore honestly points out in the foreword, he was traveling around with TW some summer when they both decided why not write some short stories. In later years, an archivist at Harvard phoned GV to say "hey, we found an unprinted story." And here we are.Gore puts forth the collection with about as much "happy accident enthusiasm" as the stor [...]

    9. Elizabeth (Alaska)

      Seven of these stories were originally published in 1956 under the title A Thirsty Evil. The title story was written at about the same time, but at the request of his friend, Tennessee Williams, it was withheld from publication at that time. Vidal was reminded of this story by a Harvard archivist in 2005, and the collection was republished with its inclusion. These eight stories are a marvelous collection and I feel lucky to have found it by accident at the Friends of the Library book sale last [...]

    10. Christopher

      Enjoyable collection by Gore Vidal. Some stories are more like musings, or remembrances. "moments" than actual stories. In these, the story has no clear end, it's more like he uses a moment in time (such as, a walk down an old street after a party) as the backdrop to express his personal feelings and thoughts on a given subject. Some of the stories in this book read like the thoughts of somebody who's people-watching, which I liked, as I myself am an observer of people in general. Others were mo [...]

    11. Janice Hussock

      I've read Vidal's historical fiction, Burr and Empire, in the past and loved it. When he recently died,literary critics wrote that his short stories were perhaps better than his fiction. I was intrigued so I borrowed this collection from my local library. The stories have certain common elements, characters with wealth who attend elite private schools and universities, esp. Princeton and Yale. Washington, D.C. society is a frequent element. These stories are true gems. Reading them is so pleasur [...]

    12. Tisha

      I picked up this book of short stories to get a taste of Gore Vidal's writing. This being said, I do think I will enjoy his historical fiction novels. As for his short stories, most of them are moments rather than stories and while I had a minor frustration about his choice to not provide the whole story, I actually came to appreciate it. I felt like I was walking into a scenario already in progress, without complete knowledge as to what happened to cause the momentor how it ends.Intriguing. 3.5 [...]

    13. Michael

      Fiction A-Z Book "V": Clouds and Eclipses by Gore VidalThis is my first experience with Vidal, and I think I'd be interested in going on to his longer fiction. There's a coldness in regard to character in some of the stories that I found off-putting, but Vidal has a definite style that I liked overall. The stories range in tone and type, and it's interesting to see the hints toward questions of sexuality that Vidal was putting forward in the 50's.

    14. Matthew

      I'm not sure that I'm sold on Vidal but, particularly in light of the fact that these 8 short stories are the only ones he ever wrote, this is a great collection. I really admire his unwillingness to give the reader all the facts; and I love that there are obvious typos throughout. Clearly either his editor or Vidal himself thought that the strength of name would distract people from caring too much.

    15. Jack

      Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams spent a summer in Italy together, which precipitated the stories in this volume, one of which has never before been published. It's fascinating in part due to Vidal's egotism - he seems determined to prove he can out-write Williams in that writer's own milieu, the short story of domestic drama. So the stories collected here have a distinctly Williams tone, but with the occasional searing wit that is Vidal's signature.

    16. Paul

      Amazing that he has written 24 novels and countless essays but only eight short stories all from the late 40s/early 50s. The gay-themed stories contain the boldest writing and are an excellent addition to 'The City And The Pillar' - very enjoyable and an excellent window onto a little discussed area of American life at that time.

    17. Matt

      All in all, a decent collection. The stories are of uneven quality, some, such as "Zenner Trophy" are of good quality while "Three Strategems" and "Erlinda and Mr. Coffin" leave something to be desired. That being said, the quality of the writing throughout is superior, and it is clear while Vidal is revered for his prose.

    18. Graham

      Interesting set of stories. Some fairly subtle, some adorned with quasi-twist endings that struck me as kinda bizarre. Overarching theme of the hypocrisy of polite, conventional society underpins all the works present. Ahead of its time for dealing with homosexuality, though it's never addressed by name exactly.

    19. Morgan Wills

      Loved it! Gore Vidal is such an amazing writer. My favorite was the Ladies in the Library. The only downside--I wanted more! I wanted a full novel on each story. But alas, that's the short story blues.

    20. renee

      These short stories are fabulous. Often short stories don't seem to have an ending to them. These all have a point and what a wonderful point they have. They're all well written and I was quickly taken in by each story.I am now on a journey to read many many more of Vidal's work.

    21. Nitya

      Vidal's stories start in the middle, end in the middle and have no resolution. I can't make up my mind if I like them or not. However I'm spending a lot of time thinking about them after I finish reading the short stories!

    22. Powells.com

      Due to the rediscovery of the previously unpublished title work, all eight of the short stories by one of America's most highly regarded contemporary writers are now gathered together for the first time.Recommended by Jack, Powells

    23. Kerfe

      Vidal has a way with words--"(he took many pills; his heart murmured)"--but the world he creates is a shallow one and the stories seem slight.

    24. Alvin

      Vidal's stories are, as everyone else has noted, like watered down Tennessee Williams short stories. They're still keenly observed, delightfully spare, and well worth reading.

    25. Jeanette

      Beautifully crafted short stories with inviting and well-drawn characters. Thoroughly Gore Vidal -- . Great night time reading -- savoring one story at a time.

    26. Jason

      I seem to be drifting toward short stories these days. This collection reminded me why I like Gore Vidal as a writer.

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