Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Norman Mailer books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.
Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since become part of the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially for the occasion by Norman Mailer.Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the…
Fifty years after the March on the Pentagon, Norman Mailer’s seminal tour de force remains as urgent and incisive as ever. Winner of America’s two highest literary awards, The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties’ tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak. The time is October 21, 1967. The place is Washington, D.C. Depending on the paper you read, 20,000 to 200,000 protestors are marching to end the war in Vietnam, while helicopters hover overhead and federal marshals and soldiers with fixed bayonets await them on…
3. The Fight (2013)
In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible “professor of boxing.” The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters’ moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer’s grasp of the titanic…
4. The Executioner’s Song (2012)
Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and unforgettable classic about convicted killer Gary Gilmore now in a brand-new edition.Arguably the greatest book from America’s most heroically ambitious writer, THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG follows the short, blighted life of Gary Gilmore who became famous after he robbed two men in 1976 and killed them in cold blood. After being tried and convicted, he immediately insisted on being executed for his crime. To do so, he fought a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death. And that fight for the right to die…
5. An American Dream: A Novel (2015)
In this wild battering ram of a novel, which was originally published to vast controversy in 1965, Norman Mailer creates a character who might be a fictional precursor of the philosopher-killer he would later profile in The Executioner’s Song. As Stephen Rojack, a decorated war hero and former congressman who murders his wife in a fashionable New York City high-rise, runs amok through the city in which he was once a privileged citizen, Mailer peels away the layers of our social norms to reveal a world of pure appetite and relentless cruelty. One part Nietzsche,…
‘Genius’ The New York Times In 1973, Norman Mailer published Marilyn, his celebrated in-depth account of the life of Marilyn Monroe, as a glossy, fully illustrated coffee-table tome. His work was immediately acclaimed – and an enduring bestseller, rumoured to have sold more copies than any of his other works except The Naked and the Dead. Yet, until now, it has never been made available in paperback edition. This is one of America’s greatest writers taking on the legend of one of Hollywood’s greatest stars….
7. Ancient Evenings: A Novel (2014)
Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era: the eighteenth-dynasty Pharaoh Rameses and his wife, Queen Nefertiti; Menenhetet, their creature, lover, and victim; and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion. Mailer’s reincarnated protagonist is carried through the exquisite gardens of the royal harem, along the majestic flow of the Nile, and into the terrifying clash of battle. An extraordinary work of inventiveness, Ancient Evenings lives on in the mind long after the last page has been turned. …
8. The Deer Park: A Novel (2015)
Amid the cactus wilds some two hundred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D’Or. It is a place for starlets, directors, studio execs, and the well-groomed lowlifes who cater to them. And, as imagined by Norman Mailer in this blistering classic, Desert D’Or is a moral proving ground, where men and women discover what they really want—and how far they are willing to go to get it. As Mailer traces their couplings and uncouplings, their uneasy flirtation with success and self-extinction, he creates a legendary portrait of America’s machinery of desire. …
9. In Cold Blood (1994)
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence….
10. Harlot’s Ghost: A Novel (1992)
With unprecedented scope and consummate skill, Norman Mailer unfolds a rich and riveting epic of an American spy. Harry Hubbard is the son and godson of CIA legends. His journey to learn the secrets of his society—and his own past—takes him through the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the “momentous catastrophe” of the Kennedy assassination. All the while, Hubbard is haunted by women who were loved by both his godfather and President Kennedy. Featuring a tapestry of unforgettable characters both real and imagined, Harlot’s Ghost is a panoramic achievement…
11. Vidal vs. Mailer (2035)
Commencing at about the point where they’d become the two most famous writers in the world, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal engaged in a vicious and oh-so-public feud that went on for decades. Their 1971 confrontation on the Dick Cavett show is probably the most famous literary encounter ever captured by television. The on-air badinage between the two was shockinglynasty, but some reports say it was even worse backstage, where Mailer reportedly “headbutted” Vidal in Cavett’s greenroom.The feud, from a time when writers really mattered in American public life, is the stuff of literary legend, and Vidal vs. Mailer…
12. The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing (2004)
“Writing is spooky,” according to Norman Mailer. “There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words.” In The Spooky Art, Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it. Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of more than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer’s craft….
Best Norman Mailer Books Worth Your Attention
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Jack and Norman: A State-Raised Convict and the Legacy of Norman Mailer’s "The Executioner’s Song"
Author(s): Jerome Loving
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books, Year: 2017, Size: 8 Mb, Download: epub
The Cinema of Norman Mailer: Film is Like Death
Author(s): Justin Bozung (ed); Norman Mailer
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, Year: 2017, Size: 13 Mb, Download: pdf
Of a fire on the moon
Author(s): Mailer, Norman
Publisher: Random House, Year: 2014, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
The Naked and the Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition, With a New Introduction by the Author
Author(s): Norman Mailer
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., Year: 2013, Size: 742 Kb, Download: epub
Author(s): Ali, Muhammad; Foreman, George; Mailer, Norman
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Year: 2013, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
Norman Mailer’s Later Fictions: Ancient Evenings through Castle in the Forest
Author(s): John Whalen-Bridge (eds.)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US, Year: 2010, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
The Executioner's Song
Author(s): Norman Mailer
Publisher: Warner Books, Year: 2009, Size: 1 Mb, Download: mobi
Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are really record-breakers according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.