Thursday, March 18, 2010
Just finished the rather long biography on Truman Capote. It was written or finished I should say in 1988 by Gerald Clarke. I say finished because it reads like this guy Clarke spent the last few years of Capote's life listening to him talk. And talk and talk and talk. I get the idea that Capote was long winded and he was his own favorite subject. That is probably a good thing when it comes to a biography.
The book covers his life completely. From being born in New Orleans to being left in Monroeville, Alabama. with his aunts and uncle. The book follows him around the world, right up to the day he died.
I have never read much of Capote's work other than In Cold Blood, probably his most famous work, along with Breakfast at Tiffany's. In Cold Blood was also the work/book that drove him insane and really it is what killed him.
After reading this tome I plan on getting my hands on and reading a bunch of his stories. The Glass Harp, Other voices other rooms, Miriam are just some of his short stories from his early days of writing. Capote also wrote in just about every other genre there is. He wrote plays, movies, he wrote for t.v., fiction and nonfiction. Travel stories for magazines, he did it all.
To start out Capote is a force to be reckoned with and steam rolls his way into New York City. Right away he gets a job with the New Yorker and from there he he spends the next 20 years or so writing his way to the top of his profession. Early in the book I thought he was pure genius. In the end not so much. This seemed to be a really through study of Capote. Actually it seems as if this writer, Clarke, spent a few years listening to and reporting everything Capote had to say, about himself or anyone else, while laying on a couch eating pills and drinking himself to death.
In the end it's a really sad book about a sad, sad little man.
But, it's a great read about a true Southerner.