Music for Chameleons

Music for Chameleons

4.3 6
by Truman Capote
     
 

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In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut

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Overview

In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut householder with a ruinous obsession for a twelve-year-old he has never met. And we meet Capote himself, who, whether he is smoking with his cleaning lady or trading sexual gossip with Marilyn Monroe, remains one of the most elegant, malicious, yet compassionate writers to train his eye on the social fauna of his time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 “Electrifying . . . a knockout. Capote’s alacrity and cunning makes this his most enjoyable book.” —Newsweek

 “An incomparable stylist and entertainer . . . clean and cool . . . [with a] superb, near-perfect pitch with dialogue.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Everything is displayed in this book: insights and recollections of the famous and the obscure; old jokes and fresh wit. . . . These stories and vignettes will endure.” —The New Republic

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679745662
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
1st Vintage international ed
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
283,783
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author

Truman Capote was a native of New Orleans, where he was born on September 30, 1924. His first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was an international literary success when first published in 1948, and accorded the author a prominent place among the writers of America's postwar generation. He sustained this position subsequently with short-story collections (A Tree of Night, among others), novels and novellas (The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany's), some of the best travel writing of our time (Local Color), profiles and reportage that appeared originally in The New Yorker (The Duke in His Domain and The Muses Are Heard), a true-crime masterpiece (In Cold Blood), several short memiors about his childhood in the South (A Christmas Memory, The Thanksgiving Visitor, and One Christmas), two plays (The Grass Harp and House of Flowers and two films (Beat the devil and The Innocents).

Mr. Capote twice won the O.Henry Memorial Short Story Prize and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in August 1984, shortly before his sixtieth birthday.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 30, 1924
Date of Death:
August 25, 1984
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Place of Death:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
Trinity School and St. John's Academy in New York City and Greenwich High School in Connecticut

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Music for Chameleons 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TomBarnes39 More than 1 year ago
Music for Chameleons and Hand Carved Coffins is a diverse collection of short stories written by Truman Capote.
Music sets the mood in Fort de France on the island of Martinique as a silver haired aristocrat plays a Mozart sonata on a piano to the delight of the skittering chameleons.
Then there¿s Mr. Jones the blind wheelchair bound Brooklyn rooming house resident that turns out, in the end, to be nothing short of a human chameleon.
On a cold winter¿s night TC was fortunate to seek shelter and a phone in the house with the `Lamp in the Window¿ and a homeowner that was nocturnal, lonely and trusting.
`Hand Carved Coffins¿ is billed as a nonfiction account of an American crime set in an unsophisticated farm and ranch community. However, the string of murders apparently perpetrated by one person was anything but unsophisticated.
Truman Capote is as comfortable walking down Second Avenue with Mary Sanchez, the cleaning lady in `A Day¿s Work¿ as he was with friends at a posh reception in Turtle Bay.
The preface to the book gives an insight to the writing discipline TC exacted upon himself.
Keep a copy of `Music¿ as reference to a writing style you¿re not likely to see again.
Tom Barnes author of `The Goring Collection.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Capote, before Phillip Seymour Hoffman bore witness to the author's resurrection, was no stranger to notoriety. His famous intimations with Marily Monroe coupled with the adaption of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' left Capote a celebrity he was only thrilled to accept. While this was a legacy he was indelibly glad to leave behind, it is the young, distinctly southern stories found in 'Music For Chameleons' that first enchanted readers. With a coy and collected style riddled with shrewd wit and black humor, Capote hypnotizes his readers with gothic tales of a world seemingly next door, a dark and penetrating glance behind the surface. Cool and poetic, the machinations operate smoothly despite any reservations due to the author's incredibly young age.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like the variety in Mr.Capote's book. Yet, I am sorry that he had to used such large amounts of vulgar language. I did love the part where he visited the lady with the cat's in her freezer.