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Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948)

by Truman Capote

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,270445,118 (3.85)88
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)
  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 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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English (40)  Spanish (2)  Bulgarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
I generally love Capote's use of language, but in this one it was not as enjoyable as in his later works. There were some paragraphs that were breathtaking. The bigger problem for me was that I felt the story and the characters were not capturing my attention. I have noticed this is often the case with these gothic style novels; maybe because they focus so much in creating the atmosphere? And, to be honest, atmosphere is rarely enough to make a book interesting for me. I was left with a quite empty feeling after finishing this. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Jun 11, 2021 |
This books, written in 1948 by famed author Truman Capote, has long passages of beautifully descriptive prose. It also has long passages where I have no idea what the author is trying to say, and I’m not quite sure he knew, either. I believe that the author purposely skewed the intended meaning as a form of art, a way in which to create atmosphere and a better sense of the world in which the character lives.

What it lacks in realism and clarity, it almost makes up for in the poetry and symbolism. The story is a combination of coming of age and longing for a sense of belonging. It explores complex themes which today still balance on the borderline of taboo. Not my favorite book, but being so short, it’s worth picking up to form your own opinion. Four stars.
  ShannonHollinger | Feb 15, 2021 |
Prose as thick and tangled as a kudzu vine and Gothic to the point of being grotesque – this is one of the most complex and evocative novels I’ve ever read. ( )
  wandaly | Feb 1, 2021 |
As a seminal coming-of-age story...meh. Capote clearly has a knack for description, and some of his paragraphs are downright breathtaking. But in this story I found myself caring less and less about Joel as he discovers himself. Which probably wasn't the intent of the author. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9
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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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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.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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