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Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

Other Voices, Other Rooms (original 1948; edition 1994)

by Truman Capote (Author)

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2,170405,002 (3.85)81
Published when Truman Capote was only twenty-three years old, Other Voices, Other Rooms is a literary touchstone of the mid-twentieth century. In this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to live with the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at Skully's Landing, the decaying mansion in rural Alabama, his father is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his morose stepmother, Amy, eccentric Cousin Randolph, and a defiant little girl named Idabel, who soon offers Joel the love and approval he seeks. Fueled by a world-weariness that belied Capote's tender age, this novel tempers its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence with an appreciation for small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place. This new edition, featuring an enlightening Introduction by John Berendt, offers readers a fresh look at Capote's emerging brilliance as a writer of protean power and effortless grace. Book jacket.… (more)
Title:Other Voices, Other Rooms
Authors:Truman Capote (Author)
Info:Vintage (1994), Edition: 5th or later Edition, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:xy, southerngothic, southernregionalist, queer, bildungsroman, thepast

Work details

Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (Author) (1948)

  1. 51
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Othemts)
    Othemts: These books are two sides of the same coin of life in a small Alabama town. Where there's dignity and hope in Mockingbird, Other Voices is decadence and demoralization
  2. 00
    A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel by Randall Kenan (sturlington)
    sturlington: Gay teenagers coming of age in the South.
  3. 01
    The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (weener)
    weener: Both books with a srong sense of setting, with a sense of foreboding and decay.

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» See also 81 mentions

English (36)  Spanish (2)  Bulgarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Ho letto più volte che la traduzione di quest'edizione non è impeccabile, mi auguro non al punto da non riconoscere lo stesso romanzo se letto in lingua originale. Comunque si tratta di un romanzo particolare, non ne ho letti molti così, di solito non mi sono congeniali, preferisco le trame più comprensibili, le scritture più fluide e i finali meno nebbiosi. Ho apprezzato però la poesia di questo testo e vorrei quindi citare alcuni espressioni che ho trovato molto belle: "l'istante di pietrificata violenza" "l'ombra triangolare di uno stormo di corvi tagliò il cielo" "Come al solito, lontana a cogliere i fiorellini azzurri dell'oblio." "In alto, una luna impallidiva come una pietra che affonda nell'acqua." "Quella notte il sonno fu come un nemico." "Il mattino era come una lavagna pulita pronta per qualsiasi futuro." Mi sono piaciuti anche alcuni pensieri e il modo in cui sono resi, entrambi quelli che riporto nelle note sono presi da discorsi di Randolph. Ricorderò questo romanzo come qualcosa di indefinito, sfuggevole e duro. Perché anche in questo romanzo, come in Colazione da Tiffany, io sento una grande sofferenza, sento dolore, sento la fatica di vivere, la paura, il non avere un posto dove stare, la ricerca di un'oasi, di un appoggio, d'amore. Il personaggio di Zoo mi ha fatto quasi piangere. Ma c'è in questo romanzo qualcuno che sta bene?
  GianninaAlchemilla | Jan 5, 2020 |
Capote's first published book, a southern gothic tale. The writing is very descriptive - every element from the weather to the plants in the garden, and, of course the characters - evoke something sinister in the world in which young Joel Knox finds himself. There are many symbols, too, that contribute to the darkness - dreams and mirrors. While racial differences certainly play a role in the story, it is a minor one. The dominant themes are courage and trust. ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
I was on the final and 11th chapter of Truman Capote's short debut novel when it occurred to me, wait, this is the same story as the movie, Call Me by Your Name. A coming of age story of a younger boy discovering his (homo)sexuality through his love for an older man. The same lush, lyrical, poetic atmosphere, though the novel is set in the American south in the early 20th century and the movie in Italy in the late 20th century. If the movie was adapted most immediately from the Andre Aciman novel of the same name, it certainly pays a debt to the book, and director Luca Guadagnino acknowledges as much saying the movie's characters "are entangled in the beautiful confusion of what once Truman Capote described when he said that ‘love, having no geography, knows no boundaries.'” That said, neither the movie nor the book were entirely, to borrow a southern phrase, "my cup of tea." Too lush, too atmospheric, too light on plot. Faithfully reading the New Yorker's poems for several years better prepared me for the book's lyricism. Capote wrote this book in his early 20s and it is precocious and evocative, a brave and pioneering work of gay fiction. Capote would leave some of this flowery work behind in his most famous book, In Cold Blood. But Other Voices, Other Rooms was a bold debut for a write who would prove himself one of the century's finest American writers. ( )
  OccassionalRead | May 27, 2019 |

Capote’s debut novel is a semiautobiographical coming-of-age story. After the death of his mother, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox leaves New Orleans to travel to rural Alabama, and the home of the father who abandoned him at birth. Skully’s Landing is his stepmother Amy’s dilapidated mansion, set far in the woods, and without electricity or indoor plumbing. Among the residents of the estate are a centenarian Negro, Jesus Fever, his granddaughter Missouri (known as Zoo), who keeps house for the family, and the mysterious cousin Randolph. The person who is obviously missing is Joel’s father. Nearby live two sisters, Florabel and Idabel, the latter a tomboy who provides a glimmer of love and approval to the lonely Joel.

This is a classic Southern Gothic novel, full of ghosts, haints, superstitions, secrets and closed off rooms. There are real dangers aplenty as well: poisonous snakes, quicksand, and people with guns. Joel is isolated not only by the remote location, but by the lack of connection with these people. He is confused and cautious, and his loneliness and despair are palpable.

Capote’s writing is wonderfully atmospheric. Here is what Joel sees on his journey to his new home:
Two roads pass over the hinterlands into Noon City; one from the north, another from the south; the latter, known as the Paradise Chapel Highway, is the better of the pair, though both are much the same: desolate miles of swamp and field and forest stretch along either route unbroken except for scattered signs advertising Red Dot 5c Cigars, Dr. Pepper, NEHI, Grove’s Chill Tonic, and 666. Wooden bridges spanning brackish creeks named for long-gone Indian tribes rumble like far-off thunder under a passing wheel; herds of hogs and cows roam the roads at will; now and then a farm-family pauses from work to wave as an auto whizzes by, and watch sadly till it disappears in red dust.

Like Joel, I felt somewhat lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Was Capote trying too hard to be atmospheric? Was he forced by the standards of the day to be so circumspect regarding his message of awakening homosexuality? It makes Cousin Randolph’s statement all the more poignant: ”The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries; ... any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell. ” ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 9, 2019 |
A good freind of mine recommended this to me as his favorite book. The writing was beautiful, but I found the pacing rather slow for my taste, and this really isn't the sort of book I'd naturally gravitate to. This one's just not for me. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
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The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9
For Newton Arvin
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Now a traveler must make his way to Noon City by the best means he can, for there are no buses or trains heading in that direction, though six days a week a truck from the Chuberry Turpentine Company collects mail and supplies in the next-door town of Paradise Chapel: occasionally a person bound for Noon City can catch a ride with the driver of the truck, Same Radclif.
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