• The City and the Pillar

  • A Novel
  • By: Gore Vidal
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1948, 1965 E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Introduction © 1995 by Literary Creation Enterprises, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about The City and the Pillar

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Do not listen to the introduction!!!!!

Gore Vidal gives away the ending. Not hinting at it, literally saying what happens. Guess what book I won’t be reading now. I can’t believe they included that. So idiotic.

13 people found this helpful

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Great story, surprise ending

Gore Vidal has a way with words. The story flows beautifully. A story of passion and disillusionment, and a portrait of gay life in the post WW2 era.

1 person found this helpful

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The mother of all queer fiction...

Perfectly captures the pathos of mid-century America for closeted homosexuals. Self-hating men, in denial, they love to suffer, want only what they can't have, and will do anything to get it.

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STAY AWAY!!

What a piece of s#!t!! I've heard for years what a breakthrough book this was...what a disappointment. Don't waste your time, brain cells, or credits on this dreck!!

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Garverdale was always a great writer.

I had heard about this title but had never read it. Even though Gorbett all has always been one of my favorite writers. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it, because it was really great read. Great story great characters and a really enjoyable read

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Hasn't Aged Well

It kept my attention and there were a few laughs; but there were also some cringes. The amount of times rape is casually brought up is awful, and there is a rape scene that is incredibly disheartening. Also the book just kinda wondered in my opinion and the story was a little all over the place for my taste.

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  • That Man
  • 06-26-20

Romantic tragedy

Beautiful, moving story of not just 'coming out of the closet, which is painful and powerful enough, but about our dreams and fantasies that we hold onto, for maybe a lifetime. Vidal skilfully steers the story through the career of a small-town boy, who struggles, really till the end, with his sexuality, although he thinks he's (always temporarily) enjoying himself on the journey. The adolescent fantasy about his boyhood friend continues throughout his life, until the whole thing comes crashing down in the encounter he must have, whatever the consequences. Wonderful.
And a narration completely sympathetic and sufficiently tongue-in-cheek to do justice to the work. A pleasure (and pain) to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lewis
  • 03-23-21

Best Read Of 2021.

The City And The Pillar is a book I should not care to have missed for the world. There is a strange, wholesome quality to the character of Jim.

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