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Other Voices, Other Rooms

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  11,496 ratings  ·  776 reviews
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 deca ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Vintage (first published 1948)
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Johanna Jaworski If tackling racism, means ripping the guts of America and exposing the ugliest parts of our diseased culture and leaving it lying there to rot with no…moreIf tackling racism, means ripping the guts of America and exposing the ugliest parts of our diseased culture and leaving it lying there to rot with no hope of cure, then yes. For all of characters, but especially the black people, this is a brutal story and beyond Capote's beautiful language, there is nothing pretty about it.
Most of the African Americans we meet are old men who accepted their status in life and are looking toward the next life with joy. Zoo is young, strong and beautiful. She longs for adventure and having survived her husband's attempt to kill her, she believes herself to be prepared to face the world. She is a very real, lovable person and her fate is tragically foreseeable. I loved her and I loved this book but I found myself wanting to burn it. (less)

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Michael
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, favorites
As perplexing as it is captivating, Other Voices, Other Rooms is Capote's hallucinatory literary début, a Southern Gothic bildungsroman based partially on its writer's experience of growing up gay in rural Alabama. The novel wavers between the surreal and the familiar, the obvious and the mystifying; all the while, Capote's ornate language and labyrinthine syntax entrance his reader, inviting them to dwell in a consistently disturbing setting. The plot concerns thirteen-year-old Joel Knox's move ...more
Vit Babenco
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes childhood can be seen in a Gothic light.
The windows of the house are cracked and shattered, hollow as eyeless sockets; a rotted balcony leans perilously forward, and yellow sunflower birds hide their nests in its secret places; the scaling outer walls are ragged with torn, weather-faded posters that flutter when there is a wind. Among the town kids it is a sign of great valor to enter these black rooms after dark and signal with a match-flame from a window on the topmost floor.

Although
...more
K.D. Absolutely
In 1935, at an early age of 11, Capote began writing. The first novel that he attempted to write was Summer Crossing but one day, while he and a fellow southerner and writer Carlson McCullers, the author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940), were walking in the woods, he got inspired to write something about the rural life in the South. So, he set Summer Crossing aside and wrote this book. This then became his first published book (1948) when Capote was 24 years old. The style is Southern Goth ...more
lori mitchell
Mar 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myfavorites
my favorite quotes:

"...all his prayers of the past had been simple concrete requests: God, give me a bicycle, a knife with seven blades, a box of oil paints. Only how, how, could you say something so indefinite, so meaningless as this: God, let me be loved."

"...so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportion suspect, pity; and still fewer know that happiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has always to love a good many
...more
Lawyer
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: O.B. Emerson, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of English, University of Alabama
Other Voices, Other Rooms: Capote's Swamp Baroque Concerto in Three Movements

Other Voices, Other Rooms was an attempt to exorcise demons, an unconscious, altogether intuitive attempt, for I was not aware, except for a few incidents and descriptions, of its being in any serious degree autobiographical. Rereading it now, I find such self-deception unpardonable.--Truman Capote, The Dogs Bark, New York, Random House, 1973

Photobucket

First Edition

Having just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I retur
...more
Doug H
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Southern Gothic on steroids and/or mushrooms.

During a recent re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird I learned that Harper Lee and Truman Capote were childhood friends and that each of them had based a character in their novels on each other.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Ms. Lee based Dill Harris on Mr. Capote and in Other Voices, Other Rooms Mr. Capote based Idabel Thompkins on Ms. Lee. They both describe these quirky characters so affectionately that the affection became contagious for me. Maybe it isn
...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent
Truman Capote is currently my favorite writer. The poetic fashion in which he brings a novel to life is extraordinary and I hope he can continue to impress me. He introduces his characters in a perfect order, and they are people you want to know more about. The only drawback to this book, his first novel, is that he assumed I understood where he was going at every turn, and I didn’t. I wanted a big ending that made we want to start the book over from the beginning. I didn’t get it.
Diane Barnes
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reads
I read this many years ago, and remember liking it, but not much else. I suppose I considered it well written, and wanted to read everything Capote had done, as I really loved IN COLD BLOOD, and was fascinated by the little man with the squeaky voice that I saw on television. In interviews, he was fearless, and said the most shocking things he could think of, because he loved the attention.

This time around though, I think it's one of the saddest things I've ever read. Semi-autobiographical, it's
...more
Brian
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Other Voices Other Rooms" is at times massively confusing, intensely beautiful, and mystical. Often, all at the same time. Capote's command and use of language and style is unquestionably brilliant, and many times the text reads like poetry. Capote is simply a masterful composer of language. Every word in its rightful place.
Capote also has the gift that many writers lack and that is a descriptive prowess that completely surrounds the reader and engulfs them in the world of the text. The first t
...more
Jay
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“Other Voices, Other Rooms”
by Truman Capote

Book Review by Jay Gilbertson

This is maybe the eighth, could be the ninth time I’ve read this amazing little novel and I know for certain I’ll read it again one day. Billed as Capote’s first, and in my opinion his best work, Other Voices, Other Rooms is truly an amazing piece of literature and still haunts me today.
The author took a classic coming-of-age theme and carefully, subtly and with fascinatingly flawed characters—ripped it to smithereens! Th
...more
Mariel
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: You're such a Truuuuuuuu-man
Recommended to Mariel by: Oh capote-y! I love the books that you wrote-y
Truman Capote's Other Voices, Other Rooms is more of a raising yourself through experiences and colored glasses- green, red, rose, purple, the whole over the rainbow spectrum- world views than coming of age. The painful growth into what you think you are, and who you really are. I'm more and more irritated with "coming of age" tag these days, since I can't accept that there's this point where one comes to this point, and then you're done. It's more like stops and starts, backwards and forwards, ...more
Wyndy
'In Cold Blood' is my only previous experience with the writing of Truman Capote. I thought that book was superb, so I had high expectations for this first novel of his, published when he was only 23 years old. Initially, I was loving the descriptive prose, but after a while it started feeling overwritten, forced. And this story of young Joel Knox desperately seeking love and acceptance, and the disparity between his expectations of the reunion with his father and the reality of it, and the woe ...more
Dagio_maya
"Si sentiva escluso, privo di identità, un ragazzo di pietra su un piedistallo di legno fradicio"

INCIPIT

Chi deve recarsi a Noon City non può che servirsi di un mezzo di fortuna, poiché non vi sono né treni né corriere che vadano in quella direzione; c'è solo un camion della Chuberry Turpentine Company che sei giorni la settimana preleva merci e posta a Paradise Chapel, la città più vicina; e qualche volta chi è diretto a Neon City può ottenere un passaggio dal conducente del camion, Sam Radc
...more
Suvi
Why is it that when I find a book worthy of five stars I'm at a loss for words, and can't write anything sensible about it? Well, let's just say that I fell head over heels with Capote after this one. One hundred percent more skill than his friend Harper Lee. The way Capote uses words is simple yet it creates a strong sense of place. The lack of plot doesn't really matter for me personally, because there's everything I could ever need from a Southern Gothic novel. Eccentric characters, ambiguous ...more
Suzy
I loved this when I first read it in my early 20's, but I couldn't remember anything about it as I reread it. I really liked it this time around, primarily for the poetic and magical writing that placed me right there – sights, sounds, smells - in this dreamlike Southern Gothic story.

Thirteen-year-old Joel Knox recently lost his mother and is living with his Aunt Ellen in New Orleans. One day a letter from his father, who had not been heard from for twelve years, summons Joel to Skully’s Landin
...more
Rachel
Mar 19, 2008 rated it liked it
It wasn't until after seeing "Capote" (excellent film, by the by) that I got the itch to read something by the film's namesake. Thus far my first choice, "In Cold Blood," has been checked out every time I've gone to the library, so I settled instead for his first novel, "Other Voices, Other Rooms."

I was not surprised to see the young protagonist, Joel, as a reflection of Capote himself. What did interest me, however, was that in the twenty-fifth anniversary edition I was reading, Capote wrote a
...more
Andrei Tamaş
Pot afirma cu stupoare (peiorativ), că Truman Capote nu este unul din autorii moderni care impresionează. Cel puţin nu prin acest volum. Din punctul meu de vedere, nu-şi merită faima. Comparând opera lui cu cea a lui William Styron ori -mergând un strop înapoi- cu cea a lui Hemingway, Capote nu este o figura proeminentă a literaturii americane. Repet: nu prin acest roman.
Ginny_1807
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bellissimo romanzo di formazione, disseminato di riferimenti autobiografici, che l’autore riveste di una fitta rete di simboli di innegabile fascino.
Il viaggio del tredicenne Joel Harrison Knox verso un luogo sperduto nella campagna del profondo Sud degli Stati Uniti, per incontrare il padre che non conosce, è innanzi tutto la toccante vicenda di un adolescente assetato di affetti; insieme, però, è anche una rappresentazione paradigmatica del processo di crescita, ovvero dell’abbandono definiti
...more
Robbin
May 07, 2007 rated it liked it
You know Truman Capote's famous quote about how he felt that he and Perry Smith grew up in the same house, and then one day he got up and walked out through the front door, while Perry left out the back? Also, you know the unnecessary speculation that Capote actually wrote his friend Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? I really enjoyed this book with its odd, closely observed detail and gothic, Southern, open claustrophobia. Still, it kind of feels like this book and To Kill a Mockingbird incuba ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite. Beautiful. A masterpiece.
Camie
May 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
After his mother's death Joel Knox is summoned to the decaying Mississippi mansion Skully's Landing to meet the father who abandoned him and runs smack dab into a menagerie of odd characters namely an addled stepmother Amy, silk kimono dressed Uncle Randolph, barely alive bedridden father Mr. Samson, and the wild girl child Idabel who all exist in some kind of dreamlike narrative.
I've read ICB and BAT so Capote is not a new author for me. I understand this is supposed to be semi-autobiographica
...more
Pat

Un filo d’ambiguità serpeggia tra fantasmi da combattere e vincere, amore da trovare e vivere. A Skully's Landing, sospeso in un limbo, tra sogno e realtà, il giovane Joel inizia la sua ricerca, il suo percorso di crescita e rinascita. Pagine belle e intense. Intime e profonde. Però… Ho qualche perplessità sulla traduzione. Mi rendo conto che il romanzo uscito in America nel 1948 fu tradotto e pubblicato l’anno successivo in Italia. Probabilmente il traduttore lavorò sotto pressione e con tempi
...more
ALLEN
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Truman Capote's first published novel, under contract to Bennett Cerf at Random House, was this OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS (1948). Capote had already had some success as a short-story writer, and the novel is fairly accomplished for an otherwise young author.

Essentially it's a mixture of allegory, message and Southern Gothick. (Spoilers will follow): The allegory is most easily seen in following young Joel Knox from the unnamed big city (which could be nothing but New Orleans) to the hinterland,
...more
Kate Tolokolnikova
Моя осінь почалася з цієї книжки Трумена Капоте. І це був чудовий початок улюбленої пори. "Інші голоси, інші кімнати" - четверта прочитана мною книжка автора. І найкраща. Мене вона вразила і зачепила навіть більше за легендарну "З холодним серцем" - розслідування, з якого бере початок сучасна нон-фікшн література як така. "Сніданок у Тіффані" та "Літній круїз" сподобались лиш стилем. А тут... Тут так само талановитий стиль, сповнений метафор та поезії. Але й значно більше. Сильний і тонкий психо ...more
Janel
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Other Voices, Other Rooms is a coming-of-age novel but I felt there was no real plot or point; I struggled to understand what was happening for half the novel. I’d finally feel I got to grips with it and understood what was happening, only to turn the page and feel lost all over again. I feel like this novel was meant to be a profound piece of literature but it felt a bit like Capote tried too hard, tried to be too poetic and mysterious and totally lost me, as a reader, along the way.

My favourit
...more
Joseph Sciuto
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms" is a beautiful, creative, delectable novel. In short, it is like a magnificent and diverse banquet that overwhelms all your senses. This is the book, his first book at the age of 24, that immediately shot him to literary and international fame.

It is lyrical, enchanting, spiritual, haunting, and at times it hinges on the supernatural. The writing at times is so effortless that it reminded me of Byron (a super high compliment), at other times so painstak
...more
Aric Cushing
Before the drinking, the fame, the chaos, and the loss, Capote wrote this amazing novel about a boy's journey into manhood. This work ranks as one of the best with some amazing peripheral images. A strange classic not designed for the fandom crowd.
Bettielee
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
People under the impression the discussion of gender and sexuality is a new thing are so wrong. And this book wasn’t some underground gem that’s simmered on the back burner, like so much LGBTQ fiction. It makes you wonder if we’ve gone backward, because this was a huge hit when it was published in 1948, vaulting Truman Capote into the stratosphere. I have loved Truman Capote since the 90’s, when I finally read In Cold Blood and The Grass Harp, but I didn’t re-read this (which I read in high scho ...more
George K.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-century
Πέρυσι τον Αύγουστο ήταν που διάβασα για πρώτη φορά βιβλίο του Τρούμαν Καπότε: Το κλασικό "Εν ψυχρώ", που τόσο πολύ μου άρεσε. Εδώ έχουμε να κάνουμε με κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό, όμως: Όχι με ένα μυθιστορηματικό χρονικό μιας αληθινής υπόθεσης, αλλά με μια γλυκόπικρη ιστορία ενηλικίωσης, που διαδραματίζεται στον μαγευτικό και συνάμα εφιαλτικό αμερικάνικο Νότο.

Πρωταγωνιστής της ιστορίας είναι ο δωδεκάχρονος Τζόελ Νοξ, που μετά τον θάνατο της μητέρας του, ταξιδεύει από την Νέα Ορλεάνη όπου γεννήθηκ
...more
Wayne Barrett
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok

2.5

Once again, Capotes writing is masterful. Unfortunately, the quality of writing wasn't enough to merit a high rating.

This story of a young man going home to meet his father among a group of eclectic characters had a lot of potential, but ultimately, the story went nowhere. I had the sense that Truman was leaning too hard on an artsy-fartsy style and the result was a book that failed to entertain me.
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  • Reflections in a Golden Eye
  • Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career
  • Selected Stories of Eudora Welty: A Curtain of Green And Other Stories / The Wide Net and Other Stories
  • The Beautiful Room Is Empty
  • Was
  • Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall
  • In a Shallow Grave
  • Conversations With Capote
  • Collected Stories
  • Dancer from the Dance
  • The City and the Pillar
  • Christopher and His Kind
  • Love in a Dry Season
  • City of Night
  • Capote
  • Pulp Friction: Uncovering the Golden Age of Gay Male Pulps
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4,167 followers
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
“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? 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. ” 234 likes
“But we are alone, darling child, terribly, isolated each from the other; so fierce is the world's ridicule we cannot speak or show our tenderness; for us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.” 154 likes
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