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The Gay Place
     

The Gay Place

3.3 3
by Billy Lee Brammer, Don Graham (Introduction)
 

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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

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.

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.
Texas Monthly
"An acute portrait of the capitol city’s politics and social mores, circa the fifties."
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292708310
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
526
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 8.19(h) x 1.18(d)

What People are Saying About This

Willie Morris
The best novel about American Politics in our time.
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.
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."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Gay Place 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.