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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 20s, before he penned such classics as Other Voices, Other Rooms, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and In Cold Blood. This collection of more than a dozen pieces showcases the young Capote developing the unique voice and sensibility that would make him one of the 20th century's most original writers.
Spare yet heartfelt, these stories summon our compassion and feeling at every turn. Capote was always drawn to outsiders - women, children, African Americans, the poor - because he felt like one himself from a very early age. Here we see Capote's powers of empathy developing as he depicts his characters struggling at the margins of their known worlds. A boy experiences the violence of adulthood when he pursues an escaped convict into the woods. Petty jealousies lead to a life-altering event for a popular girl at Miss Burke's Academy for Young Ladies. In a time of extraordinary loss, a woman fights to save the life of a child who has her lover's eyes.
In these stories, we see early signs of Capote's genius for creating unforgettable characters built of complexity and yearning. Young women experience the joys and pains of new love. Urbane sophisticates are worn down by cynicism. Children and adults alike seek understanding in a treacherous world. There are tales of crime and violence, of racism and injustice, of poverty and despair. And there are tales of generosity and tenderness, compassion and connection, wit and wonder. Above all there is the developing voice of a writer born in the Deep South who will use and eventually break from that tradition to become a literary figure like no other.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sara on 04-29-16
Stories From A Young Capote
This collection is a fascinating look at a well known writer in the early days. There is an inkling or hinting at the writer Capote would become in this collection--so it is worth it from that perspective alone. A spare, deeply southern voice and style rings through. Some of the stories are subtly scary--foreshadowing future terrifying books Capote came to write--In Cold Blood comes particularly to mind while listening.
The narration is good. However, some of the stories seem rough and unfinished and even the best narrator can't fix that.
In the end, listening made me appreciate the writer Capote became all the more. Recommended if you are a fan and interested in seeing an artist as a work in progress. Fascinating.
27 of 32 people found this review helpful
By Lauren on 12-28-15
Capote is still The Best
Where does The Early Stories of Truman Capote rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It's Capote, so it's gets high billing to start, overall, I'd say top 5 book of 2015
What other book might you compare The Early Stories of Truman Capote to and why?
I'm a Capote snob, I cannot and will not compare Capote's voice to anyone but Capote.
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
I enjoyed the suspense from the narrators.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, and I almost did! It took 2 sittings and some parts I needed to rewind because the story was that good.
Any additional comments?
Do not be put off by the very boring and long winded introduction, trust me, it's worth it. These stories were written by a young, smart, and adventurous boy who strung together words so well that each story can be turned into a novel.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful