Set in Texas, The Gay Place consists of three interlocking novels, each with a different protagonist—a member of the state legislature, the state's junior senator, and the governor's press secretary. The governor himself, Arthur Fenstemaker, a master politician, infinitely canny and seductive, remains the dominant figure throughout.
Billy Lee Brammer—who served on Lyndon Johnson's staff—gives us here "the excitement of a political carnival: the sideshows, the freaks, and the ghoulish comedy atmosphere" (Saturday Review).
Originally published in 1961, The Gay Place is at once a cult classic and a major American novel.
"The best novel about American politics in our time."
"An American classic in which a Johnsonian figure named Arthur 'Goddam' Fenstemaker strides through the pages, large, earthy, intelligent, threatening, working it seemed more often on the side of the angels than against them."
"An acute portrait of the capitol city’s politics and social mores, circa the fifties."