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The Grass Harp by Truman Capote
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The Grass Harp

by Truman Capote

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I read “The Grass Harp” many years ago, directly after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” and to prepare myself for “In Cold Blood”. As it turns out, I still haven’t read “In Cold Blood” but found “The Grass Harp” a wonderfully lyrical paean to Capote’s childhood.

The story covers a young boy sent to live with his eccentric aunts in rural Southern America in the 1930s. The boy, one of his aunts and their servant decide to move into a tree house to avoid his other aunt and the plot moves from there. “The Grass Harp” is broadly based on Capote’s own childhood and he obviously considered this period of his life with great affection. The characters are warmly drawn and the ending, while sad, shows us that life indeed has its sad passages too.

I saw the film adaptation of “The Grass Harp” since reading the book and found that the film adds to the joy of the book, as the all-star cast do a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jan 5, 2016 |
Another Truman Capote ho-hummer but an interesting story about some grown-ups and kids running away and living in a tree house. Bubble gum for the brain. ( )
  BurlingtonReader | Jul 20, 2014 |
There is an article on this novel in Wikipedia. I read the book while I was on my way home from boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training station. I was not nearly as pleased with it as I was with his short stories in A Tree of Night. There was not the so arty brilliance of word, the subtlety. The story was Capoteish but childish, and I conclude the book is weak and not to be compared with his sensation-creating first book Other Voices, Other Rooms, which I want to read yet. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 21, 2013 |
From book cover: Set on the outskirts of a small Southern town, The Grass Harp tells the story of three endearing misfits...an orphaned boy and two whimsical old ladies...who one day take up residence in a tree house. As they pass sweet yet hazardous hours in a china tree, The Grass Harp manages to convey all the pleasures and responsibilities of freedom. But most of all it teaches the sacredness of love, "that love is a chain of love, as nature is a chain of life".

My first book in a Classics challenge I set for myself. I've seen the movie, and enjoyed it, as well as reading the book. I've always enjoyed Truman Capote's works. ( )
  Sandee5657 | Mar 10, 2011 |
This is an utterly charming novella with all the qualities of a good fairy tale. I've always thought that Truman Capote is the bastard child of Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams. This book is definitely on the Eudora Welty side of the equation, although it also reminds me in moments of We Have Always Lived at the Castle.

This is a tale of misfits, of the freedom of refusing to fit in, and of what it takes to make yourself and your family. The language is elegiac and the relationships are sweet, heartfelt, and complex. Everyone in this book is looking for love, for a place to be - the treehouse at the top of the china tree brings them all together and holds them peaceful in its arms.

There is, of course, the town and its folk who stand in opposition to the people of the tree and who, ultimately, bring the idyll to an end leaving only the shadows of voices on the wind.

What remains for me is the image of the kitchen with its smells of sweet and savory things baking, the sound of conversation on a hot day, and the bowl of goldfish swimming lazily in their bowl. ( )
  kraaivrouw | Mar 20, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679766707, Paperback)

Set in a small Southern town in the 1930s, this classic work tells the story of three endearing misfits--an orphaned boy and two whimsical old ladies--who one day take up residence in a tree house. Now a major motion picture from Fine Line Features, starring Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Piper Laurie, and Nell Carter.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:35 -0400)

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