Liam's Reviews > Summer Crossing

Summer Crossing by Truman Capote
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Nov 28, 07

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 knew about this until it came up for auction in 2004 and was subsequently published. It's a quick six chapters about a small but intense cast of mentally unstable characters set during a New York summer ("as the heat closed in like a hand over a murder victim's mouth, the city thrashed and twisted but, with its outcry muffled, it...sank into a coma"). I think this qualifies as a genre that I'm slowly becoming aware I've constructed for myself and deeply enjoy (Franny & Zooey, Leon The Professional, etc.). If you already love Truman Capote you've probably already read this and so forget it...

I immediately had a sense of recognition while reading these two passages:

"What infinite energies are wasted steeling oneself against crisis that seldom comes: the strength to move mountains; and yet it is perhaps this very waste, this torturous wait for things that never happen, which prepares the way and allows one to accept with sinister sincerity the beast at last in view..."

"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. Unfortunately, one mirror is as treacherous as another, reflecting at some point in every adventure the same vain unsatisfied face, and so when she asks what have I done? she means really what am I doing? as one usually does."
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message 1: by gaby (new)

gaby i wonder if kafka's work counts as rescued out of a trash can?

oh man i totally recognize the frenzied/dizzy-turned-comatose new york summerscape. and i LOVE this: "What infinite energies are wasted steeling oneself against crisis that seldom comes" - sick sad truth!

i'm glad you gave F&Z a shout-out. i've always considered it a mid-sized tragedy that catcher in the rye was/is salinger's legacy, since it was by far his worst (collected/published) work. raise high the roofbeams, carpenters & seymour an introduction are wonderful too. i'll forever be haunted by bessie glass and her jangling pockets full of keys and coins walking down the halls.

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