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The Complete Stories (Modern Library (Paperback))

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Complete Stories (Modern Library (Paperback)).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Truman Capote(Author)

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From the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Truman Capote—also available are Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Other Voices, Other Rooms (in one volume), In Cold Blood, and Portraits and Observations

Most readers know Truman Capote as the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, or they remember his notorious social life and wild and witty public appearances. But he was also the author of superb short tales that were as elegant as they were heartfelt, as compassionate as they were grotesque. This volume is the first to assemble all of Capote’s short fiction—a collection that indeed confirms his status as one of the masters of this form. From the Gothic South to the chic East Coast, from rural children to aging urban sophisticates, all the unforgettable places and people of Capote’s oeuvre are captured in this compendium. The Complete Stories of Truman Capote restores its author to a place not only above mere celebrity but to the highest levels of American letters.

*Starred Review* The common perception of Capote (who died in 1984) is that he had a brilliant early beginning to a career that eventually fizzled out in drug use and soured celebrity. His "new nonfiction" book, In Cold Blood (1966), the true story of a Kansas murder told with great fictional technique and elan, is generally regarded as his finest achievement. But now, for the first time, all of Capote's short stories are being published together, an event that signifies a renewed appreciation of his overall contribution to literature, for evidence is presented in this one volume that he should be ranked as a major American short story writer. By instinct, he produced the amalgam of fact and fiction that became In Cold Blood; similarly but contrarily, by instinct he wrote short stories always intent on maintaining the form's integrity as distinct from the novel. Most of Capote's short story work was concentrated in the early years of his career, the 1940s, but his capacity for writing deeply thought-out, deeply felt stories continued into the 1980s, from the first story in the collection, "The Walls Are Cold," a short, entertaining piece about a young, flirtatious socialite, to the last story, "One Christmas," set in the Alabama and New Orleans of his boyhood, a story conjured from the heart--but free of overripe sentiment--about learning the differences in how people love. Both a broadening of theme and deepening in treatment are observable when the stories in the collection are read in order; all of them are linked by a shimmering, but never showy, eloquence and sensitive observation of the personal environments his characters inhabit, both psychological and physical. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.  “An abundance of riches. . . . It is not hard at all to open to any page . . . and be amused, moved, intrigued.” —Newsday “To best experience Capote the stylist, one must go back to his short fiction. . . . One experiences as strongly as ever his gift for concrete abstraction and his spectacular observancy.” —The New Yorker“It is a stunning experience to reread this fiction . . . and to realize how very golden this boy was. . . . We are in the presence of a tremendous talent, and a fully mature technique as well. Norman Mailer’s judgment that Capote was the most perfect writer of their generation—‘he writes the best sentences word for word, rhythm upon rhythm’—seems true and just.” —The New Criterion“Capote does some things perfectly than many writers can’t do at all. . . . He summons the sensory world in its bewildering, inexhaustible richness.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Truman Capote(Author)
  • Modern Library; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)
  • English
  • 6
  • Literature & Fiction

Read online or download a free book: The Complete Stories (Modern Library (Paperback))

 

Review Text

  • By Charles Scott on July 16, 2016

    The big bird went berzerk, absolutely bonkers. While great flapping crow wings beat furiously, mercilessly, ruthlessly and repeatedly against the tinted glass side window of the neighbors' new white Japanese import parked in their drive-way one hot, humid sunny summer day, a second crow which had been perched precariously on the edge of the garage roof peak observing every detail, swooped lazily, gracefully, effortlessly down, landed on the automobile roof to investigate the matter, and hopped around, wide-eyed and frantic in anticipation. R. Royce, who had just then walked outside his house to check his mail noticed, and immediately ran across the street and over to the vehicle to frighten them both away, thinking that they might scratch and damage it in their efforts to gain access to food or shelter. Within minutes after they had both flown away, he realized that the larger, over-protective male crow must have become inexplicably insanely jealous of his mate and had actually believed he spied another crow much like himself, a most formidable, territorial adversary, in the mirror of the car window. He flew into a rage. Essentially, he had been cock-fighting his own glass reflection. Later that very afternoon, while tending the roses in his own backyard, Royce saw the female crow perched quietly on the electric wire suspended between two telephone poles, high above, pondering him in awe, watching him in wonder: how quickly and completely the man had resolved their conflict, making their terrible problem vanish into thin air. "When fools rush in," she must have thought. Undoubtedly, they are highly intelligent, observant creatures and have very keen vision. On this particular day he would not have to "eat crow" for his sometimes callous actions and indiscrete, unprofessional behavior. After all, he was no bird-brain or idiot. Which curiously and fondly reminded him of his childhood at Grandma Lea's: You're a little kid at Grandma's house and you want to play in the muddy ditch filled with fresh rain-water and look for crayfish. She lets you explore these majestic surroundings to your heart's content. After a while, you want to go indoors for corn-bread, chili beans, and fried potatoes she's prepared especially for you--and a buttered dinner roll with strawberry jam and milk for desert. She lets you enter the house through the screen-door porch and glide across the linoleum-tiled kitchen, but only after spraying you down with water from a garden hose until you are squeaky clean. The tiny water-spray droplets sparkle and glisten, in contrast to the glorious blue sky. You are bathed in sunshine. You are barefoot, shirtless, wearing cut-off jeans. You feel overjoyed and comforted. You've seen the baby fawn, the pet racoon, and incredible swimming crustaceans. A few days later, July 6, the story was different. He had made a serious error in judgement: he should have worn gardening gloves. Royce had been stung five times simultaneously, reaching into the dense foliage of an ornamental bush planted in his backyard, as he attempted to grasp a clump of tall marsh grass and pull the blades of grass up, roots and all. The waxy-leaf bush had grown and thrived near the veranda, but so had the tall grass. Instead, he stirred up a nest of angry red wasps. Several of them flew out from the bush unexpectedly, and he ran toward the house to avoid further retaliation, agitation, and complications. His hand stung with sharp pain and it swelled up tremendously for a few days. He put ice on the hand, and was very fortunate that he did not exhibit dangerous symptoms of allergic reaction. A week later he was basically back to normal, with some slight visible scarring. The selections in The Complete Stories of Truman Capote, published in 2004 and written from 1943 to 1983, all exceptionally well-written, may be placed in four main categories: the family at home for the holidays; art and dreams; mid-life crises; and appeals to healers. In the first category, I would put my all-time favorite, "A Christmas Memory," then the other fine gems, "Jug of Silver," "Children on their Birthdays," "Thanksgiving Visitor," "One Christmas," and "My Side of the Matter." In the second category, I would place "Headless Hawk," "Master Misery," and "House of Flowers." In the third category, goes "Among the Paths to Eden," "A Mink of One's Own," "Shut a Final Door," "Preacher's Legend," and "The Bargain." In the final category you might discover "A Tree of Night," "Diamond Guitar," "Mojave," "Miriam," "The Walls are Cold," and "The Shape of Things." You should be forewarned, however, substance abuse and alcoholism; pervasive, extreme poverty; and pockets of ignorance are common threads that run throughout the stories as a whole. On a positive note, you have been gifted with the southern sun-belt version of a loving, caring, god-fearing family not too unlike the ones depicted in "the Waltons" of mountainous west Virginia and the "Little House on the Prairie" of corn-fed Iowa, seen in television re-runs.

  • By Phillip O. on November 18, 2004

    I believe a lot of people have forgotten or don't know that Truman Capote, in addition to being a brilliant novelist, was a gifted short story writer. I still remember when I read "Miriam" in my junior high school literature book. Later, I started reading all of Capote's stories and I eventually stumbled upon my all time favorite short story (of any writer) - "Children on Their Birthdays" ("Yesterday afternoon the six-o'clock bus ran over Miss Bobbit.") "A Christmas Memory" is another all time favorite and one of the most touching stories I've ever read. Capote was a master at using the English language - his words are simple, elegant, beautiful and most memorable.All of Capote's stories are collected here for the first time, the year that Capote would have turned 80. The stories are:The Walls Are ColdA Mink of One's OwnThe Shape of ThingsJug of SilverMiriamMy Side of the MatterPreacher's LegendA Tree of NightThe Headless HawkShut a Final DoorChildren on Their BirthdaysMaster MiseryThe Bargain (never before published)A Diamond GuitarHouse of FlowersA Christmas MemoryAmong the Paths to EdenThe Thanksgiving VisitorMojaveOne Christmas

  • By Andrew Barger on March 17, 2018

    There is Truman Capote looking impish and floral as he leans against a trellis of roses somewhere in the Deep South. He is best known for his character-driven novel "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and an embellished non-fiction book, "In Cold Blood." Having liked the former novel, I was excited to read Capote's short stories. The same attention to detail and character generation found in "Breakfast Tiffany's" was evident in the many tales he wrote before its publication.Southern Accents - Check!Flawed but Likable Characters - Check!A Horror Story - Che . . . hey, just one second. What's the big idea, Mr. Capote? How could you? You were supposed to give us Alabama love stories set in the 1940s and 1950s. How dare you? Writing good horror is not easy, but there you go, standing up a scary short story among the tales of love and poverty in the Deep South."Miriam" is the name of the fiendishly little horror story Capote unleashed on me like a ghost springing out from behind the curtains. Miriam is a little girl he describes as: "Her hair was the longest and strangest Mrs. Miller had ever seen: absolutely silver-white, like an albino's." I won't say much more other than she goes to stay with Mrs. Miller who has lived alone in an apartment for several years. Yikes.There are many great stories in Capote's fantastic collection. "Master Misery," "A Diamond Guitar," and "The Thanksgiving Visitor" are written at high levels and worth your time. And "Miriam" is certainly worth your time if you are a horror story lover.AndrewBarger.com#CapoteShortStories #CapoteHorrorStory

  • By Jamie Dedes on July 27, 2017

    Fabulous. Wonderful rereading. Love.

  • By Sam on January 3, 2015

    In "The Shape of Things," from 1944, two women and a soldier on a train are the polite captives of a second, disheveled, drunk-appearing soldier who is headed home after wartime experience and the unmentionable shellshock. Meanwhile, the title character of Miriam enters a widow's house and mind, and refuses to leave. In "My Side of the Matter," from 1945, a narrator resembling Capote himself becomes a prisoner to a wife and her family. "Master Misery" steals and imprisons the dreams of fragile New York émigrés. Preacher, an old Southern black man, becomes a prisoner in his own home at the mercy of two hunters appearing as saints. The diamond guitar is the showpiece of a man in prison.


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