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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide "The Top Ten Best-Sellers" (1973) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal perceives a sneaky familiarity in all the books on the top 10 best seller list of the New York Times of Sunday, Jan. 7, 1973: their stories, characters, language and even scenes are recycled from Hollywood. For example, taking the books in reverse chronology, he asserts that Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes ("a love story starring the Mother and Stepfather of Our Lord") blatantly and obviously borrows descriptions from the screenplay that Vidal worked on for Ben-Hur. Although the author's style is "beyond clichy," her scene-making ability relies on familiar biblical banalities.

The Eiger Sanction by (one name only) Trevanian, "an Ian Fleming by-blow," is sometimes well-written but completely derivative of the on-screen adventures of hyper-masculine James Bond. Just when the author begins to ascend to the level of belles...

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This section contains 1,170 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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