Amusing read, with so much wisdom delivered, that I, not the least, repress the urge to despise Jefferson.
The book is constructed with two parallel timelines - Burr's past and (Charlie's) present- fundamental for historical events and plot development. Even though its crux Charlie S (his amour Helen's murder seems to be a setup in order to publish a right version of his book, along with his birth identity, a contrived creation to appeal) is fictional, the book is mostly convincing.
I don't flip to glorify Burr, but I doubt he could have accomplished less than Hamilton had both not been killed (politically for Burr). He was a noble and intelligent man, failed politician, taking life in a less serious philosophical manner than what a statesman were required.
I waited months for this book but couldn't get through the whole thing. Similar to Julian, Gore Vidal's other biographical novel, it is written through both the subject and one of the characters in the book who is supposed to be writing the subject's biography. It jumps between the "current" life of an elderly Aaron Burr and the young biographer and the younger Burr found in the manuscripts. Again, this is similar to the template in Julian. Maybe that was why I found it less interesting - same structure, just different time and characters. These characters seemed less interesting and more angry/faulty than in Julian...all our "founding fathers" seemed to have had their warts revealed in this book.
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