I read "Palimpsest" many years ago and hardly recall a word.Vidal does not bore anyone.Love him or hate him, his books are always worthwhile.Here's a review:
Every society needs a gadfly, and Gore Vidal is ours. The grandson of a U.S. senator, related by marriage to Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Vidal has lived all his life near this country's seats of power, and what he has to say about those seats--and the people who occupy them--has curdled the cocktails of the Capitol Hill party crowd for half a century. His animadversions against the military-industrial complex are salutary reading, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum; and as for his denunciations of the "sky-godders"--well, let's just say I always admire his wit and erudition, even when I want to strangle him. I was hoping for more meat in "Palimpsest," his memoir of his early life, but too much of it is just a catty settling of scores, although it's always fun to read. Here are the people he loved (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Christopher Isherwood, Tennessee Williams, Paul Bowles, the Sitwells) and those, more vividly, whom he hated (Truman Capote, E.M. Forster, Anais Nin, and--most of all--his alcoholic, passive-aggressive mother, Nina Gore Vidal). There are fascinating anecdotes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the last living gasps of the ancien regime, and of the Kennedys, about whom he has a bracing ambivalence. The most poignant parts of the book deal with Jimmie Trimble, his prep-school classmate and the great love of Vidal's life, who was killed at Iwo Jima. But even this story line peters out in the constant flow of gossip, I only wonder when--or if--Vidal will publish a second volume of memoirs, dealing with the latter part of his life. Perhaps that will give us more depth.