Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924 and was raised in various parts of the south, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first - and last - regular job. Following his spell with the New Yorker, Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.
Capote's account of brutal 1959 Kansas murders became a cause c?l?bre in 1965 because of his application of fictional techniques to reportage. Presenting dialog that the writer could not have heard and entering the minds of real-life characters, even important historical figures, have lost much of their novelty, but Capote's approach is still striking for its attention to detail and ability to delineate characters with a few strokes. Awareness of how the writer manipulated his subjects, thanks to the film Capote, adds a layer of irony not available to his original readers. While true-crime tales have become commonplace, In Cold Blood has not lost its power to shock through its portrait of the violent invasion of the small-town values of a vanished, innocent America. As always, Scott Brick gives a capable reading, though he makes the Kansans sound too folksy. Recommended for all collections. Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In the wake of the award-winning film Capote, interest in the author's 1965 true crime masterpiece has spiked. Capote's spellbinding narrative plumbs the psychological and emotional depths of a senseless quadruple murder in America's heartland. In the audio version, narrator Brick keeps up with the master storyteller every step of the way. In fact, Brick's surefooted performance is nothing short of stunning. He settles comfortably into every character on this huge stage-male and female, lawman and murderer, teen and spinster-and moves fluidly between them, generating the feel of a full-cast production. He assigns varying degrees of drawl to the citizens of Finney County, Kans., where the crimes take place, and supplements with an arsenal of tension-building cadences, hard and soft tones, regional and foreign accents, and subtle inflections, even embedding a quiver of grief in the voice of one character. This facile audio actor delivers an award-worthy performance, well-suited for a tale of such power that moves not only around the country but around the territory of the human psyche and heart. Available as a Vintage paperback. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.