August 30, 2012

Review: Cry Shame: A Novel

Cry Shame: A Novel
Cry Shame: A Novel by Gore Vidal

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'd never read any of Gore Vidal's books, and this was the only one of his novels that was available on Kindle (as opposed to his huge epic historical books like Lincoln, which are in eBook format). Anyway, this was apparently an early potboiler novel he wrote, and it starts off slow, with the main character being Graziella, a semi-slutty daughter of a poor Mexican lion tamer. The family moves from Monterrey to New Orleans, and then Graziella becomes a hootchie dancer, changes her name to Grace, and sleeps her way to Hollywood. Her climb up to the top echelons of Tinsletown stardom is pretty engrossing. But the ending is a TOTAL bummer . . . an undeserved shaming smackdown. So besides the enjoyable middle section about Hollywood, this is kind of a mess of a book and doesn't really cohere or satisfy. The language is adequate throughout, with some strange tonal choices. Blah.

I'll try Vidal again when Myra Breckenridge is available for Kindle.

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