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Writers of historical fiction should take notes on Vidal's excellent ability to relate history through snappy dialogue and description that is neither didactic nor pedantic. This is also a fast-paced listen, unlike much historical fiction.
I thought "Golden Age" excellent for its reflection on history/historiography, on America as Empire, and also as a novel in its own right - It seems to be both a modern novel and postmodern at the same time, by a novelist who was a minor actor in the events woven into novel.
One downside to the audiobook: I almost gave up on the listen in the first hours - the narrator seemed to have mastered neither the cadence of Vidal's sentences nor the voices of a couple of the characters, so she seemed to insert herself between listener and novel -- but that resolved by hour three.
Imagine! A novelist warning - in 2000 - about Presidents who trick the American public into supporting an unwanted war - not to mention the military-industrial-entertainment complex's use of drug wars and terrorism to maintain a constant state of mobilization for war - all related in an entertaining story. Vidal manages to relate not only the fictional elements but also the known history in a suspenseful manner.
Not everyone will agree with Vidal's ideas on American history, but he does argue for a view that is widely supported by professional historians.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
The Great Master of the historical novel leads us impeccably through the Roosevelt/Truman years with wit, hindsight and revelation. May all this great series be soon recorded!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful