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POINT TO POINT NAVIGATION refers to a form of navigation Gore Vidal resorted to as a first mate in the navy during World War II. As he says, 'As I was writing this account of my life and times since PALIMPSEST, I felt as if I were again dealing with those capes and rocks in the Bering Sea that we had to navigate so often with a compass made inoperable by weather.' It is a beautifully apt analogy for the hazards eluded (mostly) during his eventful life.
From his desks in Ravello and the Hollywood Hills, Gore Vidal travels in memory through the arenas of literature, television, film, theatre, politics, and international society, recounting achievements and defeats, friends and enemies made (and on a number of occasions lost). Among the gathering of notables to be found in these pages, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, and Francis Ford Coppola. Some of the book's most moving pages are devoted to the illness and death of his partner of five decades, Howard Austen, and indeed the book is, among other things, a meditation on mortality, written in the spirit of Montaigne.
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The gloves are off, no punches are pulled (Nicholas Haslam, SPECTATOR)
Vidal has ever been an exquisite writer . . . The aperçus are tossed off on page after page with a casual flick of the wrist, the judgements are acute, finely observed and always memorable . . . He still rages . . . we should be jubilant that there is no (Rod Liddle, SUNDAY TIMES)
America's foremost man of letters . . . an engaging and insightful book (IRISH TIMES)
A fitting finale to a life that was always navigated by stars (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
In this sequel to PALIMPSEST, the celebrated novelist Gore Vidal ranges freely over his remarkable life with the signature wit and literary elegance that is uniquely his.
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