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Other Voices, Other Rooms
     

Other Voices, Other Rooms

3.9 27
by Truman Capote
 

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Truman Capote’s first novel is a story of almost supernatural intensity and inventiveness, an audacious foray into the mind of a sensitive boy as he seeks out the grown-up enigmas of love and death in the ghostly landscape of the deep South.

At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the

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Other Voices, Other Rooms 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only Capote can write in such a way that I feel I have left my chair and joined the character and his world. While reading this I reached a passage that stirred an emotion that I have only felt once before and that was while reading To Kill a Mockingbird. l wonder what really should determine who a work belongs to. Is it whose story it is or is it who tells the story.
Jose J. Ortiz More than 1 year ago
Capote was a gifted and brilliant writer. His imagery is out of this world; it grabs you and doesn't let go until it drowns you with vivid and colorful impressions of the world that surrounds you. By all means, treat yourself to this masterpiece. Books like this only bloom once in a century.
hms More than 1 year ago
Just read it, it's amazing.
Sarah_Geller More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books. I read it in high school, and again recently, and it was even better than I remembered.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote Joel Harrison Knox is a 13 y/o boy who lived in New Orleans, LA. Surrounded by a cast of characters like Mr. Mystery - an artist magician who played in vaudeville houses in New Orleans, Annie Rose Kupperman - another artist, and family - his mother, his aunt and friends. All this comes to an end after Joel's mother dies and his estranged father, Edw. R. Sanford, Esq sends a letter and money requesting Joel to come live at Skully's Landing, somewhere near Noon City. Mr. Sansom has married Amy Skully and the letter says she is also happy to have Joel live with them. It becomes clear early enough that there is something wrong. When Joel arrives to Noon City, there is no one waiting for him. After catching a ride to Skully's Landing, he is unable to see his father. His step mother, Amy, keeps telling Joel it's not time yet. Joel has to face life in a house without electricity or plumbing, filled with characters: Miss Amy, and his clever and cousin Randolph, their black "maid" Missouri (Zoo) Fever, and Zoo's ancient grandfather Jesus Fever. Joel's father is in the house too, but not in the form he anticipated. He's an invalid that must be taken care of 24/7. Little Sunshine, a hermit, and two local girls, Twin sisters Florabel and the wild tomboy Idabel Thompkins, round out the players and are Joel's allies in a threatening world of perversity, mental instability, and sexual ambiguity. The story is filled with ghosts, dreams and a series of comical events; at times it really feels like Capote is putting on a human freak show for the thrill-seeking reader. He leads us through a world of decaying old buildings and broken spirits. But Capote always respects the essential humanity of his troubled characters. Narrated from the third person universal point of view, the story is told in a beautifully lyric style. The main theme is sexuality, love, and gender identity. Capote establishes this theme early on in his description of the main character, Joel, who is described as not looking like a "'real' boy": "He was too pretty, too delicate and fair-skinned." Afterwards we find out that cousin Randolph was in love with Pepe Alvarez. "The brain may take the advice. but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries...any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves..." Raymond om pages 118-9. Time is another theme. Joel states: "Amy, Randolph, his father, they were all outside of time, all circling the present like spirits: was this why they seemed to him like a dream?" And Randolph adds: "Have you never heard what wise men say: all of the future exists in the past." Loneliness is a another theme. Randolph says to Joel: "But we are alone, darling child, terribly, isolated each from the other." p119 Physical beauty and identity is depicted as a reflection in mirrors: "They can romanticize us so, mirrors, and that is their secret: what a subtle torture it would be to destroy all the mirrors in the world: where then could we look for reassurance of our identities?" Randolph on page 113. A great read. Capote delivers a novel that will forever live with the reader as a voice in the rooms of the soul. It is an exquisitely sad voice but not one that should ever be silenced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found myself emerged in the story...great visual writing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Joel Knox is the main character in this riveting and compelling novel of the South. It¿s probably the most ¿true¿ of all of Capote¿s works¿based mostly on his life as a child in Alabama. This is, probably, one of the most perfect books, second only to IN COLD BLOOD which IS the most perfect. Some have likened OTHER VOICES to McCuller¿s THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, but I don¿t take to that comparison. This is much more Gothic and more completely formed than HUNTER. Published in January 1948 and Capote's second novel (but the first to reach print), this still engaging work was a sensation and best seller that year and has been in print ever since. Like Capote himself, it's one of a kind. A misfit young boy, Joel Knox, the product of a broken home (as was Capote), travels from New Orleans to the backwater town of Noon City, Mississippi in search of his unknown father. After twelve years of separation, his father has supposedly written to Joel's loving aunt in New Orleans and wants Joel back. But Joel, longing for his father's love, finds himself in the decaying hothouse home of his stepmother, Miss Amy, and his clever and perverse cousin Randolph, their black 'maid' Zoo, and Zoo's ancient father Jesus Fever. Joel's father is in the house too, but not in the form he anticipated. Two local girls, Florabel and the wild tomboy Idabel, round out the players and are Joel's allies in a threatening world of perversity, mental instability, and sexual ambiguity. Even though he was just 23 when he finished this work, Capote displays tremendous inventiveness, narrative talent, and over-the-top imagery. A coming-of-age story, this work gushes southern atmosphere and contains, in Capote's own words, 'a certain anguished, pleading intensity like the message stuffed in a bottle and thrown into the sea.' It also is semi-autobiographical, 'an attempt to exorcise demons,' although Capote claimed many years later that he was unconscious of this when he wrote it. On another level, this work is also about the elusive search for the father, and the discovery that one is all alone, seeking to feel that 'everything is going to be all right.' As a post-war novel, OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS found an audience longing for the same thing, seeking the safety of a benevolent father in a perverse world, and wanting to grow up and find itself. The only other novel that I enjoyed this much (though it is totally different, yet at the same time Capote-like) was Jackson McCrae¿s KATZENJAMMER (Soon to be a major motion picture) with its twists and turns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you only know Capote through his work in 'In Cold Blood,' then you've experienced only a part of his potential. Capote's first published novel (another unfinished prior novel was put aside and eventually discarded by him), reflects his own emotional journeys through the South, looking for comfort and place. 'Other Voices, Other Rooms' is cast with eccentric characters, atmospheric settings and an overall ethereal quality. At times it reads like a poem viewed through a hazy mist. The story is murky at times and the ending somewhat inconclusive. But readers who are up for a challenge and want to see another side of Capote's talent are bound to find rewarding and intriguing moments in this relatively short novel.