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The Complete Stories of Truman Capote by…

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote (2004)

by Truman Capote

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8441916,981 (4.16)37
Most readers know Truman Capote as the author of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood; or they remember his notorious social life and wild and witty public appearances. But he was also the author of superb short tales that were as elegant as they were heartfelt, as grotesque as they were compassionate. Now, on the occasion of what would have been his eightieth birthday, the Modern Library presents the first collection that includes all of Capote's short fiction-a volume that confirms his status as one of the masters of this form. Among the selections are "A Tree of Night," in which an innocent student, sitting on a train beside a slatternly woman and her deaf-mute companion, enters a seductive nightmare that brings back the deepest fears of childhood ... "House of Flowers," the inspiration for a celebrated Broadway musical, which tells of a superstitious prostitute who learns to love in a way no one else can ever understand ... the holiday perennial "A Christmas Memory," famously adapted into a superb made-for-TV movie ... and "The Bargain," Capote's melancholy, never-before-published 1950 story about a suburban housewife's shifting fortunes. From the gothic South to the chic East Coast, from rural children to aging urban sophisticates, all the unforgettable places and people of Capote's oeuvre are captured in this first-ever compendium. The Collected Stories of Truman Capote should restore its author to a place above mere celebrity, to the highest levels of American letters.… (more)



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A collection of extraordinarily well written stories. Some make you think. Some end with you wondering what on earth had really been happening. I really enjoyed reading them. I recommend this book to anybody that likes a good story. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Jun 18, 2018 |
You forget how a great a write Truman Capote was until you pick up a piece of his writing and find you can't put it down. Although uneven, the stories in this collection overall are mesmerizing. He pulls you into an alternate universe where you actually care what happens to the characters, and he manages to do so in a few short pages. ( )
  DrApple | May 17, 2018 |
From this collection it becomes clear that Capote was not a true short story writer. There are some autobiographical stories in which the same elements reappear, there are some gothic fables which are rather artificial. The best stories are anecdotical and those where original and weird characters appear. Capote is very good in characterization and also succeeds in moving the reader in some cases. One of the wittiest stories ever is Among the Paths to Eden. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
It's Capote! ( )
  RealLifeReading | Jan 19, 2016 |
I figured I had better hurry up and read my copy of The Complete Stories of Truman Capote while it’s still what it claims to be. In less than a month Random House will be releasing The Early Stories of Truman Capote, a collection of 14 previously unpublished stories written during Truman’s teens and twenties. I’m looking forward to seeing how they compare to the collection I jut finished.

This was a great collection of stories, one of the best by a single author that I have read. Even the least impressive stories herein are better than what many authors can produce.

It goes without saying that a character with as quirky a personality as Truman Capote is going to write stories that do not conform to most people’s expectations. Every story is vibrant and full of characters as well developed as they are unusual. Many are what one would call a slice-of-life sketch and even the ones that lack much plot are intriguing to read as one gets an almost voyeuristic sense that they are snooping into someone else’s life. Other stories read like something out of Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock. Three stories that do an especially good job of showing of the wickedly twisted side of Capote are Miriam, A Tree of Night and Children on their Birthdays.

My favorites, though, were the stories that border on autobiographical. A Christmas Memory was particularly touching. I don’t consider myself unemotional but I never in a million years would expect to find myself wiping my eyes after finishing a story about fruitcakes. Like I said, he’s good. Two other stories dealing with the holidays, The Thanksgiving Visitor and One Christmas offer even more insight into the life of young Truman.

Bottom line: If I was to assign school grades to each story, one or two would be a high C, four would get Bs and the remaining stories would all get A’s or A plus. If you have never read Truman Capote, or know him only from In Cold Blood, you really should treat yourself and read these stories.

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
• 5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
• 4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
• 3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered good or memorable.
• 2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
• 1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire. ( )
  Unkletom | Sep 28, 2015 |
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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