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Summer Crossing: A Novel

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  3,846 ratings  ·  330 reviews
In late 2004, a trove of Truman Capote's abandoned papers went up for auction at Sotheby's. Included in the lot was the handwritten manuscript of Summer Crossing, a novel Capote began writing in 1943, and continued to tinker with on and off for a decade. Since the time of his death in 1984, Capote scholars and biographers had long believed this manuscript lost, never to be ...more
142 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Random House, Inc., New York (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Somehow, I guess Scarlett Johansson intends to make a movie out of this tiny novel about rich people sitting around thinking about rich people things, and the poor people who sit around thinking about those rich people sitting around thinking about rich people things. Seriously, the amount of "stuff happening" here makes Lost in Translation look like a Michael Bay production in comparison. It has plenty of hints of the greatness found in Other Voices, Other Rooms, the novel Capote rightly abando ...more
Mike
Summer Crossing: Truman Capote's True First Novel


Summer Crossing appears to be Capote's true first novel which he abandoned. In fact, the manuscript was among papers left in an apartment in the care of a house sitter. Capote instructed the house sitter to put all papers on the street to be picked up as garbage. The anonymous house sitter recognized the value of what Capote considered trash, holding on to the caches of papers, including this novel for more than fifty years until his death.

A rela
...more
Jason Koivu
"You published that mess?! Oh darling no..." is probably what Capote said from his grave about Summer Crossing, a posthumously published early work. This sketch about a confused young girl's misguided love, needs polish, a whole lotta polish. There are lines within a generally beautifully written Summer Crossing that stick out for their clunky dullness. Thus it reads like the first draft that it is, a first draft written by a master wordsmith, mind you! But as Hemingway said, "The first draft of ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Shocking ending for seemingly like a romantic comedy. This has more verve and is more direct than his Breakfast at Tiffany's (4 stars). The slow build worked for me. While reading, I was taking this book lightly because I almost always doubt this manuscript-of-a-dead-famous-writer-found-in-the-cellar/attic-of-his-house thing. It is either there really is a manuscript but it is unfinished, e.g., Suite Française (1 star) or maybe the author did not really want his book to be published. In either c ...more
Liam
I can easily say this is definitely the best book I've ever read that was rescued from a trash can (Confederacy of Dunces was under his bed, right?). This was a novel Truman abandoned in 1943 to write his debut Other Voices, Other Rooms. After his success with In Cold Blood he moved out of his Brooklyn apartment for Manhattan instructing the remaining contents of his apartment be put out on the curb for collection. The Super salvaged a box full of papers that included this manuscript. Nobody kne ...more
Amy McGuire
I adored this book. It may not be as polished as many of his later works, and some of the characters not half as developed, but it's a nice little novella to read on a warm, sunny afternoon, and there are some moments within it that are simply magical, written so beautifully that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Although some may argue that there are not nearly enough of these moments to make reading the book worthwhile, I would argue that its rough and ready nature is what makes it so
...more
MJ Nicholls
Oct 07, 2013 MJ Nicholls marked it as half-read  ·  review of another edition
Capote’s buried first novel. I couldn’t make it into the second half since there doesn’t appear to be a story here, an interesting character, or any particular reason to keep reading another long comma-infested, mid-clause-POV-shifting sentence of upper-class Manhattanite banality. Authors suppress books for a reason. When will publishers learn?
Oceana2602
Jul 08, 2007 Oceana2602 rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people of Capote's age, Capote-Fans
Mr. Truman will probably throw a fit in his grave if I tell him that his first novel wasn't nearly as entertaining as Ms. Novik's. So he is a great writer, I don't doubt that. And for a first novel, Summer Crossing is probably better than most.

Doesn't mean I have to like it, and I didn't. It didn't make sense to me, which is probably more a question of age than of writing. But the book did nothing to me: I wasn't particularly interested in what was happening, I didn't seem to like the characters
...more
Stephanie
What a beautifully imperfect book. This is Capote's first novel written sometime in the 1940s and not published until 2004. Why the big gap? He left his apartment and told his landlord to throw it away.

Thankfully the landlord kept it. Eventually it landed in the hands of Sotheby's for auction. They notified the lawyer in charge of Capote's Trust. He gave the transcript to the New York Public Library, and he also had the book published.

Summer Crossing tells the story of Grady McNeil, a debutante
...more
Roberto
"Non si lasciano le persone, si lascia solo se stessi"

Grady McNeil, diciassettenne, è la bella figlia di un facoltoso newyorkese. Clyde è un ventitreenne un po’ frivolo di famiglia modesta, veterano di guerra senza un soldo che lavora in un parcheggio. I due si incontrano, si scoprono e quasi per gioco si innamorano. E quando Grady riesce a rimanere a New York da sola tutta l'estate i due si godono, senza più i limiti imposti dai genitori perbenisti, la loro storia d’amore. Mentre Clyde si ritro
...more
Katerina Sapunova
Роман служит прекрасной иллюстрацией к тому, что, раз автор не хотел публиковаться, значит, у него были причины.

Текст очень и очень слабый, вот прямо видно, что это черновик. Местами попадаются очень хорошие, ограненные абзацы, а за ними - опять мелодрама и скелет из клише. Герои не прописаны, а просто вбухнуты в текст кусками. Их поступки текстом романа не мотивированы никак. Симпатичная девочка из богатой семьи, которой мама предположительно везет из Парижа невиданной красоты платье дебютантки
...more
Lucrezia
"Arriva sempre un momento in cui ci si domanda, cosa ho fatto?,e per lei era arrivato quel mattino a colazione, quando Apple leggendo ad alta voce la lettera di Lucy, era giunta al punto in cui si parlava dell' abito; dimentica di non averlo voluto affatto, conscia che ormai non l' avrebbe più indossato, aveva scelto le scale di un nuovo e misterioso dolore: cos' ho mai fatto? Il mare le poneva la stessa domanda, e i gabbiani facevano eco al mare. La maggior parte della vita è talmente noiosa ch ...more
Sara
Jul 21, 2008 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Greg Draheim
After checking out this apparent prototype to the rest of Capote's work, I definitely wanted to move on into some Breakfast territory.

Grady, like Clyde, offers only the leanest peripheral insight into her inner life, causing the reader to view her uncomfortably atop a pedestal. Irony abounds in Grady's childlike insistence for acceptance from those she places beneath her. (To me, she is the complete embodiment of "svelte" :) ) More than a coming-of-age, class-conflict, or sultry beach read, Summ
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This is a quick and lovely read about a young rebellious woman who wants to spend the summer in New York with the man she loves.
Throughout the novel she has to face the challenges of their age, social and other differences.
Additionally to the wonderful presentation of the characters and their situation Capote also paints a very realistic and beautiful picture of New York in the summer.
I can recommend this to anyone who likes Capote's writing or who is interested to give him a try.
Myles
You likely know already the story behind Summer Crossing's rediscovery and posthumous publication, so I'll skip it, but this novella does show off the talent Capote possessed from a very young age.

I haven't read Breakfast at Tiffany's yet, but this is a very different style than the calm of In Cold Blood and the rich gothic Other Voices Other Rooms.

Summer Crossing begins with Grady O'Neill, a disconnected and privileged Manhattan teenager, on the verge of spending a summer by herself in the cit
...more
Larissa
This is one of those books where the back-story itself is almost good enough. Years after he originally wrote this novella (at age 19) in 4 Composition Notebooks (remember those black and white ones that you did all your Important Writing in in middle school?), Capote hastily moved out of his brownstone and asked his Super to throw away anything that he'd left behind in the rush. The detritus included a box containing this manuscript. A neighbor found the box and decided that such a thing should ...more
Olesya
''Veći dio života tako je dosadan da nije vrijedan spomena, i dosadan je u svakoj dobi. Kada promijenimo marku cigareta, preselimo se u drugu četvrt, pretplatimo na druge novine, zaljubimo i odljubimo, tada se bunimo protiv dosade svakog života koja se neda rastjerati. Nažalost, jedno zrcalo jednako je varljivo kao i drugo, i u jednom trenutku, u svakoj avanturi odražava isto prazno i nezadovoljno lice.''

''Ne bježi se od ljudi, bježi se od samog sebe''

''Gledati ljubljenu osobu kako spava jedno j
...more
Philip
I remember thinking the other day that I should read something by David Foster Wallace... that I'd never read him and everybody seems to love him, and where have I been?

But when I went to my book shelf, I saw that I had read him. I had just completely forgotten. Even upon seeing the book on my shelf, and reading the review, I couldn't tell you anything about the book.

I imagine this book will be the same way: completely forgettable. At least for me. Well, maybe I'll remember the end. Serious spoi
...more
Olga Kowalska
There is no other writer like Truman Capote. Simple, poetic phrases and characters that are hard to forget. 'Summer Crossing' is very unique among other Capote's works - it is his first and at the same time last novel, published years after his death, nearly ten years ago. It's different, fresh and mesmerizing. It will grab your heart and won't let go hours after the book is finished. Capote's story at its essence.
Hirondelle
Poor Capote, to get this published on his own name ( and with some awesome covers), when he must have considered it safely trashed. I am now afraid of The Original of Laura. Though perhaps not fair, I think the problem with Summer Crossing is not that it is narratively incomplete, but that it is a very young and immature story: imature in storytelling, we pass from scene to scene, from emotion to emotion abruptly, and imature psychologically. As it is, it is interesting for an occasional beautif ...more
Shannon
Summer Crossing is the first book I've read by Truman Capote, and I was captivated by it. In spite of its briefness, I fell in love with Grady and Clyde and even Peter. The texture and the richness of the characters were palpable, and the language of the book was beautiful.

Interestingly, I didn't know the book was unfinished when I read it. I thought that it ended exactly where it ought to have ended. To me, the climax was the conclusion. In a way, the ending reminded me of the ending in Edith
...more
Shirley
The back story of this book is (to be honest) more interesting than the book itself. Capote had written this before he published his first book, but when he moved out of his NY apartment after the success of In Cold Blood, he left the manuscript for this book behind, intending that it be destroyed along with other papers. However, the papers were never destroyed and came to light in 2004, when Sotheby's tried to auction them. Capote's lawyer (who was managing his trust) struggled with the decisi ...more
Dartsya
Красивая и немного печальная история.
Её сложно назвать свежей или удивительной, и всё-таки есть что-то манящее в таких книгах. Как и в "Завтраке у Тиффани", мы имеем дело со сложной и загадочной женской душой, которую никто не может понять. Даже она сама.

" - Мне восемнадцать.
Вообще-то нет, пока ещё нет, до него оставалось ещё несколько недель, до её дня рождения, почти два месяца ещё не прожитых дней, похожих на ещё не разрезанный вишневый пирог, на не поблекшие ещё цветы - и Грейди вдруг захо
...more
Anna
At first glance Capote's Summer Crossing appears a formulaic coming-of-age story. The plot centers around a rebellious young deb left to her own devices for a summer. The adventure turns cautionary tale, eliciting an extreme series of (clichéd) repercussions. However, within the broad strokes of meandering story-line, Capote develops astute (and at times even surprising) psychological sketches. Marrying these sketches through the third-person omniscient point-of-view, he explores the limits of h ...more
Ali
Truman Capote' s first lost novel discovered in 2004 is compelling little coming of age novel set in the summer of 1945.

full review:
http://heavenali.wordpress.com/2014/0...
Susie
This is like the American version of Bonjour tristesse. Writing that doesn't sound like Capote, but captures that certain high-drama/carefree/selfish-but-obsessed-with-love duality of manic teens. Engaging but just a little bit hard to follow at times when suddenly you find yourself in a different time and place with no plot transition whatsoever; you're just supposed to keep up somehow.
Fun fact: Google reveals this is going to be made into a film directed by ScarJo in 2014. So I guess the rest
...more
Vicki Roberts
Seeing a lot of online as to whether this novel should have been published after Capote's death, but I have to say I'm very glad it was.

If your concern is exploitation, I don't believe there is any. If you read the Afterward, you realize the care that went into the decision, as well as the complete urgency that those involved acted upon to make sure the manuscript itself ended up with Capote's other papers (at the NYPL). And all publishing rights belonged to the Estate, which has always provided
...more
jenn
Bizarre love(?)* triangle that crosses class boundaries and is occasionally hard to understand. It's comforting that Capote wasn't born a total genius. But even the most mundane shit about his life is endlessly fascinating. The terse, dry mini-bio at the front of this edition (Random House 2006) claims, "The young Capote got a job as a copyboy at the New Yorker in the early forties, but was fired for inadvertently offending Robert Frost." More on that, please?

*Who else thinks Peter is gay?
Ollie
This is my first Truman Capote book, and although it's considered to be unfinished or a book that Capote never wanted published, it's also understandable that 20 years after his death, when the manuscript was discovered, there would be an urge to publish it.

I'm glad they did, because Summer Crossing is a pretty good book. It's about this young girl Grady who comes from a wealthy family in Manhattan, and when the family leaves for vacation they leave Grady home by herself for the first time. We f
...more
Cliodhna Ni Ghadhra
Absolutely breezed through it. It was the classiest page turner I've read in a while. I quite liked Grady, especially for her enjoyment in lighting men's cigarettes (it's a refined art, I've learned). She was irritating, as post-War heroines tend to be (she could be Daisy Buchanan's daughter), but the novel wasn't long enough for her to be painful. Capote was very precocious in his youth, but it nonetheless boils over with energy (kudos for the Walt Whitman debacle). Awarding four stars is a lit ...more
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Truman Capote was an American writer whose non-fiction, stories, novels and plays are recognised literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a "non-fiction novel." At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

He was born as Truman Streckfus Persons to a salesman Archulus Persons
...more
More about Truman Capote...
In Cold Blood Breakfast at Tiffany's Other Voices, Other Rooms A Christmas Memory Music for Chameleons

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“He loved her, he loved her, and until he'd loved her she had never minded being alone....” 264 likes
“Most of life is so dull it is not worth discussing, and it is dull at all ages. When we change our brand of cigarette, move to a new neighborhood, subscribe to a different newspaper, fall in and out of love, we are protesting in ways both frivolous and deep against the not to be diluted dullness of day-to-day living.” 83 likes
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