Tag Archives: Truman Capote

Review: Other Voices, Other Rooms

Other Voices, Other Rooms

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:

From Indiebound:

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.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Complete Stories of Truman Capote

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote
By Truman Capote
Random House
September 2004

The Short of It:

This is a wonderful collection of stories. Meaningful and thought-provoking. Perfect for this time of year.

The Rest of It:

I really enjoy Capote’s writing. A book group friend of mine brought this for a book exchange one year, and it ended up in my lucky hands. I’ve been reading bits of it here and there for over two years now. It’s the type of book that you can pick up and put down and not really lose anything from it. Open to any page and you will be swept away. Some of the stories included are:

  • A Tree of Night
  • A Christmas Memory (my fave)
  • The Thanksgiving Visitor

You can actually purchase A Christmas Memory on its own and it would make a wonderful gift for a loved one. It’s about the love shared between two friends and is largely autobiographical. It’s touching and sad but wonderful too. It’s a gentle reminder of what’s special about Christmas. It’s my favorite story. I love it.

If you aren’t sure what to get for that picky reader this year, pick up this collection. You can’t go wrong. There is something for everyone here.

Source: This little beauty was won in a book exchange.