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Hip and Well Read Summer Classic part 2: Myra Breckinridge

  • Sep 26, 2012 · 7:30 PM
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Hey Hipsters and Bibliophiles,

In light of the recent passing of Gore Vidal, it has been brought up that perhaps we should add one of his novels to our list for this summer's "classic" read. And so it goes...

" ... an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), outraged conservative critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality. He also ran for political office twice and was a longtime political critic... The third was the satirical transsexual comedy Myra Breckinridge (1968), a variation on Vidal's familiar themes of sex, gender, and popular culture. In the novel, Vidal showcased his love of the American films of the 30s and 40s, and he resurrected interest in the careers of the forgotten players of the time including, for example, that of the late Richard Cromwell, who, he wrote, "was so satisfyingly tortured in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer."" -wikipedia

It is a risky (and risque) business becoming 'Woman Triumphant' - exercising total power over men like Rusty Godowski. Rusty just wants to be a Hollywood star like everyone else at Buck Loner's academy, but now that Buck's niece, Myra Breckinridge, has arrived, the curriculum is taking a wildly strange turn. Willing to risk all to be superb and unique, Myra means to prove to her old friend Dr Montag that it is possible to work out in life all one's fantasies - and survive. 'From Myra's fist appearance on the page she was a megastar', explains her creator, Gore Vidal. Myra caused a second furore when she returned in Myron to battle it out with her eponymous alter ego, a drab little man fallen into marriage and a job in Chinese catering. Theirs is a contest of hormonal roulette, with glorious Myra off on time-travelling missions of mercy back to 1948 to try to change cinema history and to introduce her own radical theories of population control. Meanwhile Myron tries desperately to stay in the present as inconspicuously as Mrya will allow.


Myra Brekinridge is available on Amazon.com, however, I encourage you all to support your local independent book store or library:

City Paper's List of Independent Bookstores
Google Map/Listing of Independent Bookstores in Philly

PLEASE ONLY RSVP IF YOU INTEND TO SHOW UP, more than 3 no shows in a row will result in a temporary ban from RSVP-ing until you can assure me you will actually attend. We are having far too many people RSVP and then not showup and people changing their RSVP at the last possible minute preventing other members from being able to attend.

You will notice that that if you RSVP "Yes," you'll be charged to attend. This is to help me cover my costs as Organizer and reduce the number of no-shows we have at meetings. Please keep in mind I'm only giving refunds if the meeting is canceled or rescheduled, not if you change your mind about attending.

Thinking about coming when the Meetup is FULL? Read/click here.


Happy Reading!

Michelle

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  • Jessica

    I really enjoyed our conversation about this one.

    September 27, 2012

  • Michelle

    It was a great conversation. I'm so glad we read this book as I think it provided for great discussion. Thanks everyone for being so open and participating.

    September 27, 2012

  • Ryan

    Crisis averted! AbeBooks seller #4 came through surprisingly quickly and I am now the proud owner of a 1968 Bantam paperback copy. Thanks for the offers, everyone :)

    September 14, 2012

  • Ryan

    I'm still having some problems getting a copy- one order "lost" by an AbeBooks seller (or, I suspect, never shipped) followed by two cancelled sales :(

    September 12, 2012

    • Jessica

      Ryan, I have to confess I haven't started reading my copy yet (I'm trying to finish another book first) but I'll see if I can read it in a hurry this week and pass it along to you.

      1 · September 12, 2012

    • Michelle

      Christian also will not be able to make it and has a copy available. You can try contacting him on here or via me.

      September 12, 2012

  • Ryan

    Is anyone else having difficulty finding the book? I was more than a little surprised to find it's apparently out of print, and even the British edition I found at Amazon UK is now showing a 1-2 month wait before shipping...

    August 14, 2012

    • Jessica

      I put it on hold with the Free Library the same day that this meetup was posted, but in looking at the library website right now, there are no longer any copies actually listed as existing in the system anymore (even though it continues to say I'm second in the hold queue for it). Unless anyone has any tips for finding this book, it sounds like we may need to pick a different selection for September.

      August 14, 2012

    • Thomas C.

      Buy it from Abebooks.com/mine was $6 total

      August 28, 2012

  • Jesús

    No problem... (I can be paid in making an exclusion to the 20 person-limit for The Quiet American -I am on the waiting list-, kidding... kidding... rules are rules.)

    Glad I could help... enjoy the book!

    August 14, 2012

    • Michelle

      J- doubt you will have a problem getting in. People drop like flies right before the meetings, so keep your browser open!

      August 15, 2012

  • Michelle

    Same here, thanks J!

    August 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank You J I also ordered my book from Abebooks I think I will use them for my hard to finds from now on!

    August 14, 2012

  • Ryan

    Abebooks was perfect- thanks, J! Plenty of reasonably priced used copies.

    August 14, 2012

  • Christian V.

    I got my copy at the Book Trader on 2nd Street and they had a couple copies left last Thursday.

    August 14, 2012

  • Michelle

    Eek! Let's definitely see what we can do. I'll bet with his recent passing that availability changed quite a bit. When I originally decided to put this one up, there was no problem finding it! Let's keep an eye out these next couple of weeks.

    August 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    LOL from wikipedia "Like the novel, the picture was controversial for its sexual explicitness, but unlike the novel, Myra Breckinridge received little to no critical praise and has been cited as one of the worst films ever made."

    August 14, 2012

  • Ryan

    The movie's available on DVD, though! That's a faithful, competent, well-regarded adaptation, right?

    August 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I ordered my copy a while ago and still waiting for the copy to arrive through Amazon

    August 14, 2012

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