I wasn't going to write anything about Gore Vidal, but after some thought....well, what the hell. why not?
Gore Vidal was one of the more interesting second raters. I haven't read all his fiction, but I have read the historical novels and Myra Breckinridge. As Edward Abbey pointed out, it's the democracy of time that decides what is and isn't great writing. As much as I enjoyed some of Vidal's novels, I don't think any of them stand with the best of his age. Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Henry Roth, James Jones, and Jack Kerouac all wrote better novels than Gore Vidal. And as far as his political essays....Let's just say that they had a shelf life. Of course, I could be wrong about Vidal. Time will tell.