Other Voices, Other Rooms
By Truman Capote
(Penguin Books, Limited (UK), Paperback, 9780141187655)
The Short of It:
I have a thing for stories set in dusty little towns and this story is full of flawed characters and crazy happenings.
The Rest of It:
At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the decaying mansion in Skully’s Landing, his father is nowhere in sight. What he finds instead is a sullen stepmother who delights in killing birds; an uncle with the face–and heart–of a debauched child; and a fearsome little girl named Idabel who may offer him the closest thing he has ever known to love.
I’ve read Capote before (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood and a few of his short stories) so when the book club I belong to selected it for June, I was glad. So far, everything he’s written I’ve enjoyed and I’m happy to say that the same can be said for Other Voices, Other Rooms.
This is a satisfying read and gives you plenty to think about. A perfect book to discuss with a group. Its collection of odd characters and the feverish hallucinations of Joel made me question many times if some of the strange happenings actually happened at all.
Joel’s future in this town seems bleak. Skully’s Landing is a dusty, dreary, dead-end town. It’s not so much a destination as a place where people just end up but its inhabitants lend it a certain charm. I use the term loosely because the characters are not charming but in fact, a product of their surroundings.
One of my favorite characters is Idabel, supposedly modeled after Capote’s real-life friend, Harper Lee. She’s a tomboy, pegged as trouble by the townspeople but full of personality.
This novel is many things. It could be called a coming-of-age novel or a book about self-acceptance or perhaps an exploration into gender identity. Whatever it is, it’s rich and atmospheric and yes, a little strange but in a good way.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
16 thoughts on “Review: Other Voices, Other Rooms”
I enjoyed Breakfast and In Cold Blood too so I have a feeling I’d like this one as well. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I really enjoy Truman Capote. I’ve read Breakfast at Tiffany’s and some of his other short fiction.
Well, I knew nothing about it, but strange and atmospheric works just fine for me. I’ll check this one out, Ti, thank you. Hope you’re enjoying the summer and have not melted yet… ❤
You know. my hair is a mess from the weird humidity we’ve been having but it’s been nice… about 85 or so. Hope you are staying cool. I shop for back to school backpacks tonight so I am already thinking of the school year, apparently.
I’ve enjoyed both Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, so am adding this to my list. Thanks!
I have this one on my shelf, but never got around to reading it. The only Capote I’ve read is In Cold Blood – which I LOVED!! Looks, like I need to read this one sooner, rather than later 🙂
This one has some strange stuff going on but I sort of wish there was more of it. LOL.
Would you believe I have never read Capote??? What is wrong with this picture!
You would love In Cold Blood.
Love those quirky irksome characters!
I thought In Cold Blood was very good, so I would probably like to try this one sometime,
I read this one a year or two ago, and I really enjoyed it. I lost interest a little bit at the end (ALL the hallucinations), but still a great, quirky book overall. I want to read more Capote!
Once the hallucinations hit, I was really paying attention.
I read this one too, decades ago but did not recall the story — so I’m glad you reminded me. He was one quirky master
Capote’s writing has this haunting quality to it. I’ve enjoyed everything he’s written.
This sounds good. I haven’t read Truman Capote before, but he’s on my list of “authors to read”. I’ll probably start with Breakfast at Tiffany’s or In Cold Blood first, though.