The Gay Place

( 3 )

Overview

Set in Texas, The Gay Place consists of three interlocking novels, each with a different protagonist—a member of the state legislature, the state's junior senator, and the governor's press secretary. The governor himself, Arthur Fenstemaker, a master politician, infinitely canny and seductive, remains the dominant figure throughout.

Billy Lee Brammer—who served on Lyndon Johnson's staff—gives us here "the excitement of a political carnival: the...

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Overview

Set in Texas, The Gay Place consists of three interlocking novels, each with a different protagonist—a member of the state legislature, the state's junior senator, and the governor's press secretary. The governor himself, Arthur Fenstemaker, a master politician, infinitely canny and seductive, remains the dominant figure throughout.

Billy Lee Brammer—who served on Lyndon Johnson's staff—gives us here "the excitement of a political carnival: the sideshows, the freaks, and the ghoulish comedy atmosphere" (Saturday Review).

Originally published in 1961, The Gay Place is at once a cult classic and a major American novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Willie Morris
The best novel about American politics in our time.
New York Times Book Review
There are two classic American political novels. One is All the King's Men. . . . the other is The Gay Place, a stunning , original, intensely human novel inspired by Lyndon Johnson. . . . It will be read a hundred years from now.
— David Halberstam
Gore Vidal
An American classic in which a Johnsonian figure named Arthur 'Goddam' Fenstemaker strides through the pages, large, earthy, intelligent, threatening, working it seemed more often on the side of the angels than against them.
New York Times Book Review - David Halberstam
There are two classic American political novels. One is All the King's Men. . . . the other is The Gay Place, a stunning , original, intensely human novel inspired by Lyndon Johnson. . . . It will be read a hundred years from now.
David Halberstam
There are two classic American political novels. One is All the King's Men….the other is The Gay Place, a stunning, original, intensely human novel inspired by Lyndon Johnson….It will be read a hundred years from now.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292708310
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 526
  • Sales rank: 593,762
  • Product dimensions: 5.33 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Flea Circus
Room Enough to Caper
Country Pleasures
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    A boring book about boring people

    A book about young people more interested in drinking and making out than in the constituents the men (it *is* the '50s) represent . Small in scale, there's not a trace of the uplifting or the epic to be found, just chronicles of cheap affairs and a political scandal or two. I read more then half of it to give Brammer every chance, then I quit wasting my time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2002

    Phenomenal

    The frequent comparison of Brammer to Fitzgerald is apt. Like Fitzgerald, Brammer writes beautifully, his stories are affecting and moving, and he was an alcoholic. The last similarity explains, unfortunately, why he never produced another book. Still, The Gay Place is an American political fiction classic. The second novella, Room Enough to Caper, about a young liberal U.S. Senator from Texas whose nascent political career is colliding with his collapsing marriage in 1950's Austin, is the best of the three. This is a book that will make all aspiring writers feel thoroughly inadequate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2000

    Classic American Political Novel

    This is the second best American political novel--or series of short novels, really--after All the Kind's Men. Like ATKM, it is based on a real political figure, LBJ. Brammer writes like Scott Fitzgerald transplanted to Austin, and no one has ever done better than his picture of a legislature in action.

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