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A Capote Reader

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  456 ratings  ·  31 reviews
'The only four things that interested me were: reading books, going to the movies, tap-dancing and drawing pictures. Then one day I started writing . . .' Truman Capote began writing at the age of eight, and never looked back. A Capote Reader contains much of the author's published work: his brilliant and prolific oeuvre of fiction, travel sketches, portraits, reportage an ...more
Paperback, 722 pages
Published February 28th 2002 by Penguin Classics (first published 1987)
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Michael Finocchiaro
A Capote Reader is a long collection of short stories, novellas, travel sketches, reporting, portraits and essays by Truman Capote. I separately reviewed his classic Breakfast at Tiffanys which is her as one of two novellas and was a five star read. However, the other short stories and novella were ok, but I hardly remember any of their details and none were even close the the excellence of Breakfast. The reporting is quite dry as were the travel sketches. Things improve in the portraits - in pa ...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Truman Capote was a writer of unique genius, one who could cover so many genres, fiction and non-fiction, the creator of some brilliant literary cameos. I’ve loved his work ever since I read Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which introduced me to Holly Golightly, a free spirit, the one figure in literature that I identify more with than any other, the delightful, effervescent, wonderful Holly, always travelling and never arriving.

A few years ago I saw Capote, an excellent biopic of the author, played wi
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: old-favorites
haha. My privileges to the Huntington Public Library were eventually revoked becuase I loved this book so much that I never returned it. It's been over ten years now. I am not sorry. ...more
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eg er fillen så dårleg til å setje meg ned berre for å lese, for eg las ingenting i denne på mange veker etter å ha lese dei første 150-ish sidene og så klarte eg fillen å lese heile resten av boka(om eg ikkje nødvendigvis fekk med meg absolutt alt) samtidig som eg høyrde gjennom scoret til Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Years ago I only managed to watch about five minutes of Breakfast At Tiffany’s before finding it unbearably affected and turning it off. What I read of this collection made me feel just about the same, and I did indeed close the book before reading all of the collection. Instead, I read a selection, including fiction and travel essays.

The fiction pieces all seemed to start with a girl in a raincoat – her and her environs painfully constructed to be enigmatic. The characters were mainly two-dimen
It's not often that an author has a personality, a presence that overshadows his work. Truman Capote is hilarious and eloquent and snobbish all at the same time, unabashedly gay during a time when it wasn't deemed an “acceptable” life choice, yet speaks honestly about his humble beginnings in the Deep South, shuttled between relatives (ahem, though he does manage to mention he grew up next door to Harper Lee and that she wrote him in to To Kill a Mockingbird). He writes witticisms that might not ...more
Des Lewis
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The last two statements are Holly’s. And there are many other indications of the polarities of her self: so many polarities that she spins in the mind of the reader. Good and bad, cruel and kind, honest and dishonest, disloyally promiscuous and generously loyal – an interbreeding within the single soul, a miscegenation of the birdcage mind.

The detailed review of this book posted elsewhere under my name is too long to post here.
Above is one of its observations at the time of the review.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superb compendium of Capote's work, contains the perfect classic, Breakfast At Tiffany's, and his early short stories and profiles of celebrities make this an essential read. A wide variety of Truman's work and writing styles are featured in one handy, if weighty, book. If only I could give it six stars. ...more
Dan Blackley
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book that does not include In Cold Blood, Other Voices other Rooms and the Christmas stories. It has everything else and a lot of his short stories. I enjoy his writings and only wished he had written more.
Palm Springs Daze
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I have read A Capote Reader, the almost complete works of Truman Capote, in 744 pages, four times; never finding it tiresome. As soon as I completed one reading I immediately began another reading. Truman’s use of commas, colons, semicolons, dashes and idiosyncratic sentence structures fascinate me. His observations and sui generis slant on life is piquant, outré and farcical, especially because of absurd or ridiculous aspects; all wrapped in fastidious prose. Very attentive to and concerned abo
Feb 04, 2008 rated it liked it
This volume includes several short stories, travel sketches, people sketches, novellas and other bits and pieces. As of writing I have read the short stories, which are mostly pretty reasonable. Will be putting it aside for some time, but would get to The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany's, both of which are included, soon enough.

A book to be dipped into once in a while, I don't think I'd want to read it all at once. More will follow when other segments are read.

Have now read The Grass Harp a
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Kelly by: meredith andrews
I was given this book by a dear friend of mine perhaps 10 years ago. I read it cover to cover one summer and then gave it away, as I was in the habit of doing those days. Every few months, I remember a particular detail of that summer and fondly recall having spent it with this book. I feel compelled to buy it again, read it cover to cover again, and conjure up not only the people and places of that time in my life, but the people and places that staff the working parts of Capote's real and imag ...more
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: short stories, fiction lovers
I am a big fan of the short story, and think that crafting a good one is a great accomplishment for any writer. It's just nice to be able to sit down and digest a little literary nugget in 20 to 40 pages.

Capote does a great job with some of these, and others are a little less than fully stirring; still, he implants a certain gloom in to the day-to-day storylines of these dynamic and profoundly American characters that leaves you with an almost-complete knowing of who they are, while maintaining
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
2 stars for Breakfast at Tiffany's. Haven't read the rest yet. Extremely biased and unhelpful opinion - but Holly Golightly is a repulsive character. I loathe that naive socialite type. I don't like how she is celebrated and considered some kind of curious and mysterious gem. To like this you simply have to find her charming and love her style and feel for her inner loneliness and desperation and all that, but there's nothing appealing to me about some quirky moneygrabbing irritant. I'm probably ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The content of this reader is of varying quality. I loved the novella "A Grass Harp". Some of the portrait, especially of Marilyn Monroe. This is countered by his early short stories and the short non-fiction story "The Muses are Heard", which bore me, to be honest. The greatest work in this collection is, in my opinion, "Handcarved Coffins". It recounts bizar murders and it's even more bizar aftermath in a small American town. Truman Capote tells the story in a truly gripping way. I can still h ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A book that covers the full range of Capote's writing styles. I have already encountered much of the short fiction, and a novella, included here. Among the new (to me) material I liked were: the novella Breakfast At Tiffany's, the account of a trip to Communist Russia: The Muses Are Heard, prefaces to a couple of his books and accounts of time spent with Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando in The Duke And His Domain. Much more awaits for those coming to the book who are unfamiliar with the autho ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My librarian lent me this and I can' thank her enough. I'm enjoying every single minute. Capote is brilliant. I haven't quite finished it yet because I really don't want to. Having already read his novellas, I've treated myself to a short story a night. I am now left with the travel sketches and essays. I like him because he writes about big cities, small towns, childhood, drunken lushes,lonely souls and captures the sad beauty of them all. His portrait of Marilyn Munroe "the beautiful child" wa ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's pretty much all here. At least the short fiction and personality pieces. The vignettes are great. Capote's insights and pratical experiences with the likes of Bogart and Liz Taylor are enlightening. Pushing through Breakfast At Tiffany's, an hour or two of reading, is something I like to do once a decade. Holly Go Lightly isn't as adorable on paper as she is on film and is must reading for fans of the film who have never read the original story. ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love how Capote writes with such simultaneous glee and compassion about the declining lives of socialites. There is not one short story of that particular theme that I am not completely filled with pity for the protaqonist -as if the story was some kind of greek tragedy. Oh, and "The Headless Hawk" just might be my absolute favorite short story. ...more
William Durden
This was very liberatory reading for me as a young teenager. I haven't really returned to Capote much as an adult - but he is forever memorialized in my conscious for the worlds he opened me up to, homeschooled and holed up in my room. Thanks, Truman. ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Capote has some stunning and brilliant turns of phrase, capturing details but I find his work riddled through with a sly disturbing misogyny and even so, largely uncompelling.
Nov 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
A really good introduction to Truman Capote and it has evoked an interest in me to start exploring american writers.
Sep 04, 2013 added it
Shelves: abandoned
*sigh* Truman, why are you being like so many short story writers who disappoint me? But I do love your descriptions.
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
a true treasure of Capote's works. ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jessie
Capote is now one of my favorite writers. This book contains several genres and I enjoyed every one of them - short stories, travel logs, essays, bios - outstanding!
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm in the process of reading these short stories. I have to take a break every few or I find that I'm becoming a little paranoid. ...more
F.J. Commelin
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
this book i read by the several parts.
Today i finished his ''Travelsketches'' which are witty and give you the colours ans smells of the places he visited.
Mar 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's funny, but despite Capote's love for short stories, his aren't that great. He seems more suited to longer stuff and non-fiction. Breakfast at Tiffany's is perfect. ...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

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