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Music for Chameleons

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  6,906 Ratings  ·  398 Reviews
In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut householder wit ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published March 29th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1980)
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Jan 28, 2017 KamRun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
دوست دارم تناسخ بعد از مرگم یه پرنده باشه، ترجیحا کرکس! کرکس مجبور نیست بابت ظاهرش یا تواناییش تو دلبری و جلب رضایت بقیه خودش رو ناراحت کنه. به هرحال که کسی قرار نیست دوستش داشته باشه، زشته، زیادیه، هیچ جا نمی خوانش. در مورد آزادیای که این موقعیت پیش میآره کلی میشه حرف زد. از طرف دیگه مخالفتی با لاکپشت دریایی شدن هم ندارم. میتونن رو زمین ول بچرخن و از رمز و راز اعماق اقیانوس هم با خبرن. عمرشون هم زیاده و چشمهای خمارشون کلی حکمت و معرف جمع میکنه. - برداشت آزاد از غَلتهای شبانه، مصاحبه با خود

mark monday
the biggest attraction to this collection is "Handcarved Coffins", an excellent account of serial killing in a small town. by turns mysterious, frustrating, tense, and bizarre, the accounting details Capote's relationship with the FBI agent assigned to the case, who has in turn romantically assigned himself to one of the potential victims. the modus operandi of the killer is original and very upsetting. the identity of the killer does not appear to be in question; what arises over the course of ...more
Barry Pierce
In this collection of fiction and non-fiction from late in Capote's life, he shows us that while his fiction may be depleting, his non-fiction is as sharp as ever. The stories at the beginning of the book didn't do anything for me. They were all very middling and detracted from this work in my opinion. "Handcarved Coffins" is a work in the style In Cold Blood but the recent discovery that most of it was probably made up does make it hard to suspend disbelief. However, the real jewel in this coll ...more
K.D. Absolutely
If you want to know more about Truman Capote, this is a better entertaining option for you. Composed of 14 short stories, Capote made himself a character in each. In the last one, in fact, he appeared as 2 characters conversing with each other. I had a nice time reading most of them because he seemed like a very versatile writer who was not afraid to experiment. I understand that these small masterpieces appeared in various magazines (New Yorker, Esquire, etc) during his time. So, probably that' ...more
Review to follow. On a book buying trip. Whooopeeeee!

And after some nice finds, it's back to business.

Music for Chameleons: New Writing by Truman Capote Including Handcarved Coffins

Although Random House plugs Music for Chameleons as new writings by Truman Capote, when it was published in 1980, all of the pieces had appeared in the two preceding years in Capote's usual venues, "Esquire," "Interview," "McCall's," "New York Magazine," and "The New Yorker." Within four years, Capote would be dead.

Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Truman Capote had a way of making you feel as if he were whispering to you in a crowded room; "here is something I know and now I will tell you" as the rest of the crowd mulled about. It is this intimacy that makes his 'crime' stories so memorable.
Mar 06, 2008 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, essay, memoir
I'd been teaching In Cold Blood for two semesters and used the preface to this to introduce In Cold Blood, so I figured I might as well read the rest of the book. This is late-period Capote, mostly a mishmash of personal essays, anecdotes, and a novella-length true crime story.

First of all, the preface makes Capote seem like a self-involved jackass (which he by most accounts was - remember the postscript to the movie saying he never recovered from writing In Cold Blood?), but it also reveals his
Mar 16, 2016 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
E probabilmente anche Jacko, i due ballerini più leggeri di sempre.
Sin da bambino, Capote sognava di diventare un ballerino di tip tap, da sempre attratto dalla leggerezza (non posso non pensare alla prima lezione americana di Calvino).

Chiaramente è lui, Truman, il camaleonte del titolo - molto più lui che i veri animaletti affascinati dalla musica che compaiono nel primo splendido racconto.

È lui il camaleonte capace di essere scrittore di racconti e romanzi,
Mahshid D
Apr 18, 2017 Mahshid D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب فوقالعاده جذابی بود. ترجمهی نسبتا خوبی داشت که از شخصی مثل بهرنگ رجبی -اگر اشتباه نکنم قاتل نیمی از کارهای مارتین مک دنا در ایران- بعید به نظرم میرسید، اما خب نشون داد که غیر ممکن نیست. موقع خوندنش دائم احساس آشنایی شبیه به خوندن یک وبلاگ با نوشتههای استاندارد داشتم. همان جنس از ثبت روزمرهگیهای بلاگری بود. مشتاق شدم که صبحانه در تیفانی رو زودتر تمومش کنم. ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Vanita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apaixonei-me por esta edição de "Música para Camaleões" desde que lhe pus a vista em cima. As cores da capa, improváveis, fortes, quentes, a agarrar a vista para não mais largar. Sim, primeiro foi a capa. Seguiu-se o conselho de origem pouco plausível para o ler. Depois a prenda que me caiu no regaço no momento certo. Não sou a maior fã de livros de contos ou histórias curtas. Note-se a diferença: é das compilações de contos ou histórias curtas em livros que não gosto. Mas, ainda assim, foi-me i ...more
Rick Burin
Apr 04, 2017 Rick Burin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book of extraordinary grace, incisiveness and honesty which further bolsters my impression that Capote remains one of the most important, original and underestimated writers of his era. Fuck his artificial image as a catty, trivial, morbid starfucker, and study the work: dark, devastating, morally decent work shot through with his actual character, the shadows of an encroaching darkness creeping across the sun-dappled idyll of his New Orleans childhood. Even fans tend to lean on a popular narr ...more
Farnoosh Noroozi
Feb 25, 2017 Farnoosh Noroozi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
تصمیمگیری برای امتیاز دادن به این کتاب برام خیلی سخته. نمیدونم شاید به خاطر فرم و ساختار داستان کوتاهه که راضی به 5 دادن نمیشم. اما خب تا زمانی که گودریدز "نیم" رو به سیستم امتیازدهیش اضافه نکرده به همین 5 ستاره رضایت میدم. چرا که تا به حال به این اندازه کتابی رو دوست نداشتم و از خوندش لذت نبردم. خب چرا بردم ولی این یکی عجیب بهم چسبید. از یادداشت نویسنده بگیر که چطور از پشتکار روزافزونش برای تمرین نویسندگی گفته بود تا خود داستانها و چهرهنگاریها. یادداشت کاپوتی سند ای بود بر این حرف که چطور بعضی ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent anthology of short stories, essays and one short nonfiction piece. These stories show the full range of Capote's talent, ability with words and description as well as give insight to some of the famous people - via conversations - who Capote consorted with, entertained, interacted with and had as intimates and friends. Though all of these 'events' happened thirty years ago or more, they feel fresh and new. Sometimes I am surprised that 'we' used 'that expression' back in the 70's? Or 6 ...more
Правя важното уточнение, че имам сборното издание, излязло през далечната 1984 година. Цензурирано и преминало през ситото на онова време, то е орязано и не в пълния вид, на който "Колибри" залага и който, надявам се, аз също ще си купя в близкото бъдеще.
Безспорно, "Ковчежета ръчноделки" е онази история, която заковава вниманието. Поставил себе си сред вихрушката от събития, превърнал се във важен герой, притежаващ ключова роля за повествованието, Капоти бавно, майсторски, в подробности проучва
Dec 01, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good book of short true stories by Capote. If you have never read anything of his, this would be a good place to try on his style.
Jan 14, 2013 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2013
Semi-ritratto di Truman Capote

(ovvero, cosa si deduce sulla sua persona dalla letture di Musica per camaleonti, ci saranno riprese letterali di fatti ben chiariti da lui stesso e mie deduzioni, tutto insieme a mo' di calderone)

Di sicuro quest'uomo ha un amor proprio decisamente maggiore del mio.

Lo stesso Capote recita a proposito del suo libro "E' un distillato su tutto quello che so sulla scrittura: scrittura di racconti, di sceneggiatura cinematografica, giornalismo..tutto." Non è esattamente
Alan Chen
Apr 11, 2016 Alan Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Capote can write. This is one of his later volumes, and per his intro, he's trying some new things. He has pared down his writing to its essential and is creating the new journalism that he gets known for. The volume begins with a few of his short stories which are beautiful and touches upon his roots in New Orleans/the South. They are short and beautiful but I'm not completely sure I get the point but I do think there is a point. The largest portion is reportage that spans multiple years where ...more
Rick Rowland
Mar 27, 2015 Rick Rowland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I just discovered my new favorite book.
Mar 08, 2017 Íris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Música Para Camaleões foi o primeiro livro que li de Truman Capote. Definitivamente não é a melhor escolha para débutant de um autor, mas fica-se sabendo se é o estilo de narrativa e escrita que nós apreciamos.

Num sentido de humor único, por vezes sarcástico, por vezes um pouco cruel e sagaz, Capote conta vários episódios da sua vida atribulada de escritor e viajante.

O prefácio é, provavelmente, o que mais gosto no livro. Explica o fervor que Capote sempre sentiu pelas palavras e como a escrita
Roozbeh Estifaee
Feb 03, 2010 Roozbeh Estifaee rated it really liked it
I had heared of Truman Capote as a creator of what is called "non-fiction novel". Though not sure about what it meant, I was absorbed by the idea this expression suggested. So I read Music for Chameleons and boy! That was something!
The book is conducted in three parts: Music for Chameleons, Handcarved Coffins, and Conversational Portraits. The first is a set of six "non-fiction" short stories, which are, to say, perfect stories from which the "tale" is taken. The second part is a short novel, wr
Halley Sutton
Jun 28, 2014 Halley Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hmm. Hmm. Lots of thoughts here.

1. I'd read a grocery list if Truman Capote wrote it, so I am not unbiased in my review.
2. That said. Jesus, what a preface! I sure love to read him, but I can't imagine he was any picnic to know, particularly in later years. (Although who wouldn't have loved to split a bottle of champagne with him and Marilyn Monroe, seriously.) Particularly of interest was the line about discovering what is true and what is REALLY true. Where in Capote's psyche did "Handcarved
Jun 09, 2017 Leopoldo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: carrera, lo-breve
Capote en su etapa más confesional, más humana. Siempre deja al lector preguntándose cuánto de esto habrá vivido y cuánto se inventa. El recurso anecdótico le permite crear cuentos perfectamente redondos y conmovedores. Sobresaltan, deleitan e intrigan. No se puede pedir nada más.
I liked the first two thirds of this book quite a lot. Capote was just an amazingly skilled writer, and his clean, thoughtful prose really worked for me. However, I found the last third (Conversational Portraits) pretty irritating. In the first part of the book, even though Capote is a character in all stories, and is a strong narrative presence, it didn't overwhelm the work. The third part, though, is Capote in full-blown egomaniac, name-dropping mode. I could've done without the nearly minute- ...more
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
God dang Truman Capote is the gayest, funniest, most flamboyant author I know of. I read this book of short stories in just a little over an hour and laughed my butt off at some of them. Even though Truman Capote comes off as a bit of a bastard to most people (sometimes for good reasons), he is genuinely a very interesting and intelligent intellectual who, I swear to God, must be the biggest socialite in American History. Heck, one of the short stories is simply about a conversation between him ...more
Ryal Woods
Jul 02, 2012 Ryal Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that sparked my appreciation of metaphor. "She sounds the way bananas taste" "a lemony slice of new moon" - floridly simple, but it impressed the hell out of me as a kid. Capote is telling stories even as he relates his true encounters with famous and infamous people, and memories of his Southern childhood. This collection contains Handcarved Coffins, written in similar style to In Cold Blood. You can never tell when Capote is telling truths or lies - I suspect he didn't know th ...more
Elnaz Behbahani
Mar 29, 2017 Elnaz Behbahani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ترومن کاپوتی بی نظیر است. اینقدر بی نظیر که حتی داستانک های روزمره زندگیش هم به اندازه داستان هایی که از خودش می سازد گیرا و جذاب است. فضاسازی هایش همه به قاعده و دوست داشتنی و حتی-به لزوم- ترسناک!
دوست داشتنی ترین داستانش به نظر من «بچه جذاب» است حاصل یک بعدازظهر با مریلین مونرو.
Jun 24, 2017 Sofía rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norteamericana
Leer a Truman Capote siempre es algo delicioso. En mi lista figuran él y Lucía Berlin como los autores de mayor excelencia y gusto. Este libro en especial, sorprende por su artificio y, al mismo tiempo, por su sencillez temática, tan natural. La riqueza en metáforas y el sentido del humor hacen gala en toda su prosa. Por otra parte, es interesante conocer una que otra anécdota escandalosa o, simplemente, simpática. Es un acercamiento a la cultura norteamericana.
Jul 24, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
I think it is safe to say that Capote was haunted by his early success with Other Voices, Other Rooms, the popularity of Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the burden of writing what Ernest Hemingway called, "the Classic American Novel," In Cold Blood. By the time that he wrote Music for Chameleons, Capote was drinking heavily and deeply depressed. This book is an pastiche of bit and pieces of Capote's writing. His interview with Bobby Beausoleil from the Manson family is one of the more interesting pi ...more
Mar 27, 2017 Amir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hossein Smanai
Jul 14, 2017 Hossein Smanai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
کاپوتی ، کاپوتی ، کاپوتی دیوانه ؛ یک دیوانه نابغه الکلی حسادت برانگیز با یه قلم جادویی و رشک آور . کاپوتی هیچ داستان عجیبی تعریف نمیکنه . ساده ترین اتفاقات ممکن رو تعریف میکنه ، اما یه جور که حس میکنی داری عجیب ترین اتفاقات دنیا رو میخونی.
حتی جسورانه تر از خود به خونسردی نوشته کاپوتی ؛ اینجا حتی با اتفاقات واقعی عجیب هم رو به رو نیستیم، با خاطرات ساده ای رو به روییم که به بهترین شکل تعریف میشن
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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 about Truman Capote...

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“But I'm not a saint yet. I'm an alcoholic. I'm a drug addict. I'm homosexual. I'm a genius.” 267 likes
“We all, sometimes, leave each other there under the skies, and we never understand why.” 35 likes
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