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The Early Stories of Truman Capote

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,466 ratings  ·  202 reviews
The early fiction of one of the nation s most celebrated writers, Truman Capote, as he takes his first bold steps into the canon of American literature
Recently rediscovered in the archives of the New York Public Library, these short stories provide an unparalleled look at Truman Capote writing in his teens and early twenties, before he penned such classics as" Other Voice
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Modern Library (first published October 27th 2015)
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Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I suppose it's a bit odd for me to make my first read of Truman Capote a book of his early short stories. These were written in his late teens and early 20s. His talent shines through, but overall the stories do feel like early works, albeit of a promising writer. All stories are very short -- almost vignettes really. There are clever twists, strong emotions, and writerly phrases and metaphors. But overall, I found the experience of reading these stories a bit dull. None of them stood out and so ...more
Tom Mathews
Truman Capote’s collection of newly discovered stories provides a fascination insight into the early career of one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic writers. Oxymoronic as it may appear, none of these stories is included in previously published The Complete Stories of Truman Capote.

The stories in The Early Stories of Truman Capote are:
1. Parting of the Way – A young hobo heads home after years on the road
2. Mill Story
3. Hilda
4. Miss Belle Rankin
5. If I Forget You
6. Swamp Terror
7. The Moth in
Doug H
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advance-copy

2.5 stars, rounded up.

A couple of months ago, I rated The Complete Stories of Truman Capote five stars. Capote was a master of the short story form and it's a brilliant collection. When I heard that writings from his adolescence were discovered in the archives of the NYC Public Library and would be published as The Early Stories of Truman Capote, I was sure I'd be equally amazed by it and got ready to start using the phrase "child prodigy".

What I learned from The Early Stories of Truman Capote
This was worth the read, but I was expecting short depictions rather like abbreviated Grass Harp- and that wasn't what I got. It's best not to anticipate, perhaps.

But these are short to extremely short pictures of a hour or setting or intersect outside or some such exercise to "eyes" of the writer. What he sees, and how it seems to be perhaps. They are mixed for skill, and I got the feeling to one or two characters at the most in each piece. There's more dialect than in his later and much more p
Josh Caporale
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and it was a great win in my mind, given that I thoroughly enjoy the works of Truman Capote.

This collection can be viewed in two ways: as a collection of stories or as a chronicle of what Capote wrote in his early days. I see this as being a chronicle of his early writing, which is pretty good, but is reflective of something and someone that left their mark on American literature of the 20th century. The quality of the stories would probably get a 3-3.5 st
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several reviews of this collection of short stories by Truman Capote treat it as if these stories are subpar because he wrote them when he was in his teens and early 20s. They don't feel like stories written by a teenager or early-20s adult. A couple do seem to stop suddenly without any sort of punch at the end, but there's nothing wrong with that. When a story is over, it's over.

I find it very interesting that, even though Capote only lived in rural Alabama from about age 5-10, he sets almost
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories had a lovely simplicity about them, and mostly they focus on adolescence, outsiders and the American south. I especially loved The Mill Store and the one about the girl walking to say goodbye to her sweetheart. That Capote wrote this well so young, is pretty extraordinary.
Laurie Notaro
Pretty awful. Predictable, good basis for several stories, but went entirely undeveloped. Typical work from an early writer.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december-2018
I spotted a gorgeous US edition of The Early Stories of Truman Capote in Fopp, and could not resist picking it up.  As one of my favourite authors, I have been wanting this collection since I first learnt of its publication, which followed the rediscovery of a lot of Capote's juvenilia in the New York Public Library's archives.  It collects together 'the early fiction of one of the nation's most celebrated writers... as he takes his first bold steps into the canon of American literature.'  They ...more
Jordan  H
the afterword of this book notes that many of these stories were written when capote was as young as 16 ... i dont even want to think about what i was doing at 16. most of them are short and youthful, strongly coated with an american southern regionalism, and they read less like complete stories and more like brief, vibrant scenes. they do, however, evidence the fact that while the rest of us are trying our best some people are just born to become writers

favorites: if i forget you, louise, miss
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though Capote's early short stories lack the polish that stories written by a more experienced Capote have, they are incredibly imaginative and vary greatly from story to story. Capote wrote about everything from a sixteen year old girl in love with a boy about to leave their hometown, to a convicted woman escaping from jail. Some of his characters are upper class teens and others are homeless stragglers.

Right from the first story, titled "Parting of the Way", the reader is lost in Capote's ima
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
I would not recommend this book to anyone who is not already a fan of Truman Capote's writing. However, it is an intriguing book if you are interested in the development of a great writer. Written when he was an adolescent, these stories are a glimpse into a young writer who worked endlessly from the time he was a child to perfect his skill. His accomplishments were not just the result of his natural talent. He started writing when he was 8 years old, and writing seriously from the age of 11.

Lolly K Dandeneau
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this collection of early stories, we can see raw talent on the rise. While he was still a bit green with his characters, he was ahead of many other writers. Some people are born to their gift and hone it because they have to, it's like breathing for them- but with blood and sweat involved. I am more inclined to read Capote, not sure why I haven't, after reading his early stories. I was truly impressed with his observations, because he certainly was a watcher- of people, of nature, of the enti ...more
I love Truman Capote: Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories, of course, Other Voices, Other Rooms, and definitely, definitely In Cold Blood. I just really like his work. I was looking forward to reading this collection of his early stories--though I was also slightly nervous about exposing myself to possibly unfinished, undeveloped stories.

Well, unfortunately, even though there are a couple of good stories in here (Miss Belle Rankin is great), most are...meh. The stories do show his remarkabl
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who loves Capote, this is an amazing collection of his teen and early 20s writing. It shows his immense capacity to see through the eyes of the outsider which eventually leads to his stellar "In Cold Blood." Amazing read! ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read this after reading a book about Murakami, it was interesting to come across some similar themes: forests, outsiders, and metaphysical encounters/scene changers.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can never get enough of Truman Capote. He's like some amazing food that is as delicious as it is nourishing--as easy to consume as Doritos but with the nutritional value of kale. This book focuses on some of his earliest work--literally published in school papers etc. It's really amazing to see his development. The stories are quite short, but incredibly rich. No genius is usually a genius at first go round and you can see some of the immaturity here--though frankly, not much. It's also lovely ...more
Alan Teder
Impressive Juvenilia

I don't usually read juvenilia, but finding a copy of these early short stories by Truman Capote (1924-1984) at a remaindered price in an attractively packaged hardcover with an extensive foreword and afterword was just too tempting to pass up. And I'm trying to read more short stories as part of my overall reading goals. So this fit the bill nicely. Heck, they even put a dog on the cover as a further enticement (I like dog books)! The wire-haired terrier features in a story
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Randomly picked this up and didn't expect to love it as much as I did. It's more of a 4.5-stars read for me.

The stories are short and don't waste any words, but Capote shows so much understanding of human nature, what distinguishes us from each other, but also what makes us the same at the core.

Also, his writing style just worked for me, I fell in love with it. These early stories were my first experiences with Capote and I will definitely be getting to his other work soon!
Spats and Hats
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: truman-capote
Wonderful, Questionable, Moving, and a Surprise

Bit difficult to rate an anthological work, but I rate The Early Stories of Truman Capote about 4.3/5.

I wonder if it was a mistake for me to read Capote's magnum opus, In Cold Blood, first because now I'm semiconsciously comparing his other works to it.

There were some very moving stories in this book, but the one that stood out to me the most was the penultimate Kindred Spirits, which is a dark comedy story that completely surprised me. It's about t
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was wonderful! I loved the crispness but also the stark endings, as if you were still in the middle of the story. When I finished I wanted to read it all over. These are his writings from when he was 14. Brilliant!
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable, easy read, mainly for Truman Capote enthusiasts. These very short stories were written in his late teens and early 20s. The sentences are precise and direct. The characters are quickly sketched and Capote is already showing an empathy for his characters that we evidence strongly in the brilliant "In Cold Blood". I particularly enjoyed 'Miss Belle Rankin'. It's about an elderly black woman who has nice Japonica trees in her garden. ...more
Ron Johnson
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truman Capote is high on my list of favorite writers. These early short stories were written when the author was in his teens and twenties; Capote easily writes in the voice of a girl or woman which is probably because he was raised by his aunts and cousins. Capote shows great compassion and empathy for the poor and those that are troubled in life. The book is a quick read and I recommend this book for anyone that enjoys short stories.
Moshe Mikanovsky
Pretty nice to read Capote’s early shorts. You do feel they are written by a less experienced writer but there are some great passages in them.
R.K. Cowles
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 3/4 stars
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Always the outsider, Capote emphasized with other outsiders, and we can hear the beginnings of his mature voice in these stories.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not think I have ever read a book of short stories, where all of them were equally good.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the stories were great and showed Capotes strange side of writing. Some were boring at times but still were good.
Mobeme53 Branson
Interesting start

I don't have any idea how to review this. It is a sometimes fascinating, sometimes mystifying collection of very early works by a icon of American literature. You can catch glimpses of the writer he would become, although the allegories seem a stretch sometimes. It was certainly worth a read.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Truman Capote. He's one of my all-time, favorite authors. I own everything he's ever written (some in first editions, courtesy of my awesome man), and have read all of them. So, when this book came out early last year, I requested and received it from my daughter for Mother's Day.

This is a book of short stories that Capote wrote when he was very young and still finding his voice. The writing isn't the elegant, beautiful prose that marks his later works, but it still has that same compell
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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

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