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The City and the Pillar: A Novel

Written by:
Gore Vidal
Narrated by:
Will Damron

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2019
6 hours 25 minutes
A literary cause célèbre when first published more than fifty years ago, Gore Vidal’s now-classic The City and the Pillar stands as a landmark novel of the gay experience.

Jim, a handsome, all-American athlete, has always been shy around girls. But when he and his best friend, Bob, partake in “awful kid stuff,” the experience forms Jim’s ideal of spiritual completion. Defying his parents’ expectations, Jim strikes out on his own, hoping to find Bob and rekindle their amorous friendship. Along the way he struggles with what he feels is his unique bond with Bob and with his persistent attraction to other men. Upon finally encountering Bob years later, the force of his hopes for a life together leads to a devastating climax. The first novel of its kind to appear on the American literary landscape, The City and the Pillar remains a forthright and uncompromising portrayal of sexual relationships between men.
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James R.

Every minute works. Although frozen in a specific period in time, this story remains surprisingly topical. The discussion in the middle of the book, when characters observe that the government should have no involvement in the private lives of its citizens, rings true today in support of same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and trans rights. Author Gore Vidal is surprisingly restrained, perhaps because of the year in which the book was published. If delivered today, an author would be expected to include more jiggly prose. Indeed, Vidal, who was chastised widely for the gay protagonists in "The City and the Pillar" got the last laugh when he earned million$ for writing "Myra Breckenridge," this book's polar opposite, to titillate his earlier naysayers. This modern American classic is highly recommended. And the narrator does a terrific job too!

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It was a moving portrayal of Jim and yet it seemed to move him from an idealist to a very hurt young man, unaware of his pain, and unaware of his hurtling toward a blind predation. It was very similar to A Separate Peace but instead of jouncing a limb it ends in violence. It makes you question whether Jim ever loved Bob, or just obsessed over him. i felt sorrow for the characters.

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