The City and the Pillar - Gore Vidal Ballsy, groundbreaking, and oh-so-wonderfully gay, there were parts I adored and parts that completely missed the mark. When Vidal was honest, when he really put forth Jim's experience and stayed true to him, letting the narrative unfold naturally, the book was wonderful. But when the author went off on some of the more over-the-top adventures (such as the love affair with the famous Hollywood actor), things just started to feel like fantastic wish fulfillment. The writing style itself irked me occasionally, going from simple and clean (and thus effective) to overly simplistic, as if he forgot he wasn't speaking to a very stupid child at certain points. Very odd in places, and yet in others, there was so much truth there, so much emotion that it was painful. Overall rather uneven, as the early works of great novelists tend to be, but still brilliant, in spite of (and not because of) its time. Vidal went balls out for this, breaking new ground and doing so with great technique.