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Gore Vidal

2 Reviews

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction

* A gripping tale of men struggling against nature and themselves. A great war novel and Vidal's first!

A boat of the army transportation corps fights through the fierce wind of the williwaw, carrying two officers and a chaplain with its crew. Human nature and the elements move the men through their uncertain destiny. This is Gore Vidal's first novel. Written when he was just seventeen and based very strongly on his own traumatic experiences in the US Navy as WW2 reached its end, this is a compelling story of one young man's bravery under fire.

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Praise for Williwaw

  • He had spent the two years in the Aleutian Islands crewing on US Army freight-supplying ships, an experience he distilled into a novel in nascent possession of the wit, elegantly uncluttered writing and keen intellect that have come to characterise his long career. - THE TIMES

  • Vidal's episodic structure rachets up the tension; his prose is sparse and elemental. There are calms, too, as incantory as a shipping forecast in this brief, unforgettable voyage. - GUARDIAN

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Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was at the centre of literary and intellectual life for half a century and wrote 'The Narratives of a Golden Age' series as well as countless bestsellers. He died on 31st July 2012.

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