I've not read Vidal's novels--I have several on docket, including one of his pseudonymous mystery novels--but I recently devoured a good chunk of The Selected Essays. Like him or loathe him, the man had a wicked way with words. His interviews are pretty entertaining, too...and his confrontation with William Buckley is the kind of thing legends are made of:
Unfortunately, not many of his essays seem to be available online. "Tarzan Revisited" (1963) is a good sampling, though. Better examples,I think--certainly more provocative--would be "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" (1981) or--especially--his take-down of the Kennedys in "The Holy Family" (1967)--neither of which are available online, afaik.
EDIT: Here's the official announcement at Vidal's website. Nothing more than a date, at this point.
EDIT EDIT: Here's an interview with Vidal from last year:
EDIT X3: LA Times has an obit. So does SeattlePI:
Along with such contemporaries as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, Vidal was among the last generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities — fixtures on talk shows and in gossip columns, personalities of such size and appeal that even those who hadn't read their books knew who they were.
[I found both of these via BoingBoing, which also links to a Gore Vidal fansite]
Here's our thread on Ben Hur, a movie for which Vidal was one of the screenwriters.
Edited by NBooth, 31 July 2012 - 11:47 PM.