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The Complete Stories of Truman Capote [Format Kindle]

Truman Capote , Reynolds Price
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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The Walls Are Cold


“. . . so Grant just said to them come on along to a wonderful party, and, well it was as easy as that. Really, I think it was just genius to pick them up, God only knows they might resurrect us from the grave.” The girl who was talking tapped her cigarette ash on the Persian throw rug and looked apologetically at her hostess.

The hostess straightened her trim, black dress and pursed her lips nervously. She was very young and small and perfect. Her face was pale and framed with sleek black hair, and her lipstick was a trifle too dark. It was after two and she was tired and wished they would all go, but it was no small task to rid yourself of some thirty people, particularly when the majority were full of her father’s scotch. The elevator man had been up twice to complain about the noise; so she gave him a highball, which is all he is after anyway. And now the sailors . . . oh, the hell with it.

“It’s all right, Mildred, really. What are a few sailors more or less? God, I hope they don’t break anything. Would you go back in the kitchen and see about ice, please? I’ll see what I can do with your new-found friends.”

“Really, darling, I don’t think it’s at all necessary. From what I understand, they acclimate themselves very easily.”

The hostess went toward her sudden guests. They were knotted together in one corner of the drawing-room, just staring and not looking very much at home.

The best looking of the sextet turned his cap nervously and said, “We didn’t know it was any kind of party like this, Miss. I mean, you don’t want us, do you?”

“Of course you’re welcome. What on earth would you be doing here if I didn’t want you?”

The sailor was embarrassed.

“That girl, that Mildred and her friend just picked us up in some bar or other and we didn’t have any idea we was comin’ to no house like this.”

“How ridiculous, how utterly ridiculous,” the hostess said. “You are from the South, aren’t you?”

He tucked his cap under his arm and looked more at ease. “I’m from Mississippi. Don’t suppose you’ve ever been there, have you, Miss?”

She looked away toward the window and ran her tongue across her lips. She was tired of this, terribly tired of it. “Oh, yes,” she lied. “A beautiful state.”

He grinned. “You must be mixed up with some other place, Miss. There sure’s not a lot to catch the eye in Mississippi, ’cept maybe around Natchez way.”

“Of course, Natchez. I went to school with a girl from Natchez. Elizabeth Kimberly, do you know her?”

“No, can’t say as I do.”

Suddenly she realized that she and the sailor were alone; all of his mates had wandered over to the piano where Les was playing Porter. Mildred was right about the acclimation.

“Come on,” she said, “I’ll fix you a drink. They can shift for themselves. My name’s Louise, so please don’t call me Miss.”

“My sister’s name’s Louise, I’m Jake.”

“Really, isn’t that charming? I mean the coincidence.” She smoothed her hair and smiled with her too dark lips.

They went into the den and she knew the sailor was watching the way her dress swung around her hips. She stooped through the door behind the bar.

“Well,” she said, “what will it be? I forgot, we have scotch and rye and rum; how about a nice rum and coke?”

“If you say so,” he grinned, sliding his hand along the mirrored bar’s surface, “you know, I never saw a place like this before. It’s something right out of a movie.”

She whirled ice swiftly around in a glass with a swizzle stick. “I’ll take you on a forty-cent tour if you like. It’s quite large, for an apartment, that is. We have a country house that’s much, much bigger.”

That didn’t sound right. It was too supercilious. She turned and put the bottle of rum back in its niche. She could see in the mirror that he was staring at her, perhaps through her.

“How old are you?” he asked.

She had to think for a minute, really think. She lied so constantly about her age she sometimes forgot the truth herself. What difference did it make whether he knew her real age or not? So she told him.


“And never been kissed . . . ?”

She laughed, not at the cliché but her answer.

“Raped, you mean.”

She was facing him and saw that he was shocked and then amused and then something else.

“Oh, for God’s sake, don’t look at me that way, I’m not a bad girl.” He blushed and she climbed back through the door and took his hand. “Come on, I’ll show you around.”

She led him down a long corridor intermittently lined with mirrors, and showed him room after room. He admired the soft, pastel rugs and the smooth blend of modernistic with period furniture.

“This is my room,” she said, holding the door open for him, “you mustn’t mind the mess, it isn’t all mine, most of the girls have been fixing in here.”

There was nothing for him to mind, the room was in perfect order. The bed, the tables, the lamp were all white but the walls and the rug were a dark, cold green.

“Well, Jake . . . what do you think, suit me?”

“I never saw anything like it, my sister wouldn’t believe me if I told her . . . but I don’t like the walls, if you’ll pardon me for saying so . . . that green . . . they look so cold.”

She looked puzzled and not knowing quite why, she reached out her hand and touched the wall beside her dressing-table.

“You’re right, the walls I mean, they are cold.” She looked up at him and for a moment her face was molded in such an expression he was not quite sure whether she was going to laugh or cry.

“I didn’t mean it that way. Hell, I don’t rightly know what I mean!”

“Don’t you, or are we just being euphemistic?” It drew a blank so she sat down on the side of her white bed.

“Here,” she said, “sit down and have a cigarette, what ever happened to your drink?”

He sat down beside her. “I left it out in the bar. It sure seems quiet back here after all that racket in front.”

“How long have you been in the navy?”

“Eight months.”

“Like it?”

“It isn’t much concern whether you like it or not. . . . I’ve seen a lot of places that I wouldn’t otherwise.”

“Why did you enlist then?”

“Oh, I was going to be drafted and the navy seemed more to my likin’.”

“Is it?”

“Well, I tell you, I don’t take to this kind of life, I don’t like other men bossin’ me around. Would you?”

She didn’t answer but put a cigarette in her mouth instead. He held the match for her and she let her hand brush against his. His hand was trembling and the light was not very steady. She inhaled and said, “You want to kiss me, don’t you?”

She watched him intently and saw the slow, red spread over his face.

“Why don’t you?”

“You’re not that kind of girl. I’d be scared to kiss a girl like you, ’sides, you’re only making fun out of me.”

She laughed and blew the smoke in a cloud toward the ceiling. “Stop it, you sound like something out of a gaslight melodrama. What is ‘that kind of girl,’ anyway? Just an idea. Whether you kiss me or not isn’t of the slightest importance. I could explain, but why bother? You’d probably end up thinking I’m a nymphomaniac.”

“I don’t even know what that is.”

“Hell, that’s what I mean. You’re a man, a real man and I’m so sick of these weak, effeminate boys like Les. I just wanted to know what it would be like, that’s all.”

He bent over her. “You’re a funny kid,” he said, and she was in his arms. He kissed her and his hand slid down along her shoulder and pressed against her breast.

She twisted and gave him a violent shove and he went sprawling across the cold, green rug.

She got up and stood over him and they stared at each other. “You dirt,” she said. Then she slapped his bewildered face.

She opened the door, paused, and straightened her dress and went back to the party. He sat on the floor for a moment, then he got up and found his way to the foyer and then remembered that he had left his cap in the white room, but he didn’t care, all he wanted was to get out of here.

The hostess looked inside the drawing-room and motioned for Mildred to come out.

“For God’s sake, Mildred, get these people out of here; those sailors, what do they think this is . . . the USO?”

“What’s the matter, was that guy bothering you?”

“No, no, he’s just a small town moron who’s never seen anything like this before and it’s gone to his head in a funny kind of way. It’s just one awful bore and I have a headache. Will you get them out for me please . . . everybody?”

She nodded and the hostess turned back down the corridor and went into her mother’s room. She lay down on the velvet chaise lounge and stared at the Picasso abstract. She picked up a tiny lace pillow and pushed it against her face as ...

Revue de presse

 “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

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3363 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 322 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage; Édition : Reprint (15 mai 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007OLYQ4Y
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°60.523 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Quelle merveille ! 4 mars 2010
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Truman Capote m'avait laissé le souvenir d'un provocateur assez peu sympathique.
Une émission à la radio m'a donné l'envie de me plonger dans son oeuvre.
Ce livre permet de rappeler ou découvrir à quel point il fut un très grand auteur, sensible, incisif, cruel parfois
dont l'écriture poétique et le style d'une très très grande élégance soulignent la poignante intensité.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  86 commentaires
272 internautes sur 276 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 First ever compendium of Capote's short stories 18 novembre 2004
Par Phillip O. - Publié sur Amazon.com
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 Cold

A Mink of One's Own

The Shape of Things

Jug of Silver


My Side of the Matter

Preacher's Legend

A Tree of Night

The Headless Hawk

Shut a Final Door

Children on Their Birthdays

Master Misery

The Bargain (never before published)

A Diamond Guitar

House of Flowers

A Christmas Memory

Among the Paths to Eden

The Thanksgiving Visitor


One Christmas
66 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An outstanding volume containing Capote's superb short tales 22 janvier 2005
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
It has been just over twenty years since Truman Capote --- the controversial and tiny, child-voiced man of a mega-writer who needs no introduction --- left this life, yet his work still resonates with the deadly Southern charm of making love to a sexy stranger during a sudden summer downpour.

A reader must make his or her own way in these lonely Alabama and Louisiana evenings, accompanied by diamond guitars, lost ladies, circus freaks, childhood bullies, soda shops, society types, emerging sexualities, bad parents, great Christmases, train rides, fearful hidings, fatal romances, poverty, big city scams, eccentric artists, identity issues, and the broken American dreams that populate the twenty eerie stories in this collection.

It is in the early autobiographical stories, published in ladies' magazines between 1943 and 1956, when Capote was first flexing his muscles as a fiction and journalistic talent, which offer an inspirational yet heartbreaking glance into the author's early years. From rural Mobile to spectacular New York, Capote repeatedly employs the devices of the weathered mink that must be sold, the beautiful guitar that calms the savages, the alluring yet dangerous stranger, and, most importantly, the creative prison every artist endures at the hands of a planet mismanaged by religion, accountants, gossip, brutes and thieves.

It is the realization of imprisonment without parole or escape --- a theme the author would lustfully follow until his greatest nonfiction success, IN COLD BLOOD, and his greatest failure, addiction to fame and drugs --- that Capote most poignantly explored in his pre-diva years. It was a hungry, optimistic young writer headed for New York who created "The Shape of Things," "Miriam," "My Side of the Matter," "Preacher's Legend," "The Headless Hawk," "Master Misery" and "A Diamond Guitar."

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.

In addition to the savagely bared souls of each character, it is the richness of the musical writing that seduces and even teaches: "In the country, spring is a time of small happenings happening quietly, hyacinth shoots thrusting in the garden, willows burning with a sudden frosty fire of green, lengthening afternoons of long flowing dusk, and midnight rain opening lilac; but in the city there is the fanfare of organ-grinders, and odors, undiluted by winter wind, clog the air; windows long closed go up, and conversation, drifting beyond a room, collides with the jangle of a peddler's bell."

Up to the final story from 1982, the invisible prison theme is carried through most tales in the collection, yet is untouched by Reynolds Price, the respected Southern author who provides an all-too-brief introduction (just six pages [with one that includes Price's half-page biography], which fail to mention several of the most important stories) to this volume. Price irresponsibly laments, "America has never been a land of readers," a trite complaint embraced by a publishing world that always forgets the country has more readers, libraries, bookstores, and Internet book sales than nearly any other on earth.

Also, much to the chagrin of any dedicated bibliophile, missing is a list of where these stories first appeared; instead there is a useless list of copyright dates. To remedy the problems, readers are advised to seek OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS, Capote's first novel, as well as CAPOTE by Gerald Clarke and TRUMAN CAPOTE by George Plimpton, both fine and revealing biographies of the writer.

While later editions of this startling and romantic must-have collection could be smartly pared of Price's seemingly dashed-off-at-the-last-minute introduction (he actually compares Hemingway's fame to Capote's), and enhanced by proper publishing credits, this book serves as, to today's literary marketplace, the unseen Capote --- a number of beautiful stories published decades before Capote was at his best, an exciting introduction to a career unmatched in talent and literary impact.

--- Reviewed by Brandon M. Stickney
42 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Some Great Short Stories 24 avril 2005
Par Mostly Mozart - Publié sur Amazon.com
This volume contains the nineteen stories that Truman Capote published, plus "The Bargain", a story never before published.

Reynolds Price, in his introduction, states that Hemingway and Capote are the ". . . only two writers of distinguished fiction . . . to become American household names." The comparisons with Hemingway go further, I think, than that. Both writers produced their best work by age forty or so, and both, at that point, exhibited increasingly bizarre and self-destructive behavior, becoming celebrities more than writers. Capote was forty when he published In Cold Blood in 1965, and he produced very little work at all after that. Only three of the stories here were written after 1960.

So we have seventeen stories dated from 1943, when Capote was eighteen or nineteen, to 1960, plus three later stories. As Price notes, several of the earlier stories betray the influence of his earlier contemporaries and fellow southerners Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers. Yet even in many of these, Capote's voice is his own. "Children on Their Birthdays", for example, is a marvelous story.

Taken as a whole, this collection is a reminder of what a great writer Capote was and what a tragedy it was that his muse abandoned him so early.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 extraordinary small jewels 20 juillet 2007
Par Aleksandra Nita-Lazar - Publié sur Amazon.com
Truman Capote was a brilliant, eccentric novelist and author of a shocking at the time of its publication, documentary fiction book "In Cold Blood". And although he is famous for these works, his short stories are equally captivating and original. They are small masterpieces, weird and magnetizing.

The protagonists are usually strange children (in his other works, Capote did not pay much attention to children), fascinating and different than adults, with their own world, dreams and agendas, or alienated, nerdish, unhappy adults, losers, who also have much of a child in them. Some of the protagonists are said to be modeled on the real people the author met during the course of his life, but some can be only attributed to his imagination...

The world in the stories is only semi-realistic, like a dream, everything is wrapped in a fog of uncertainty. My favorite stories are " Children On Their Birthdays" (the longest of the stories, I think, and very well structured) where the life of a certain Miss Bobbitt, a girl of extraordinary discipline and set life goals, is abruptly ended by the afternoon bus; "Miriam" (which won The O'Henry Prize), where an elderly lady enters into a nightmare, after meeting at the cinema an angelic-looking little girl-demon, not to be able to get rid of her again (actually cost me some sleepless nights...); "Master Misery" about a mysterious New York City man, who buys people's dreams and a girl who gets addicted to dream-selling; and "A Tree of Night", about a dreary encounter on the train. The stories are spooky, but if analyzed, the events recalled may not have anything strange in them to the outside observer; yet the interpretation and way in which they are told suggest otherwise.

These short stories show the other side of Capote's fiction and are a great round-up for anyone who wants to know his works thoroughly.
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This Is A Winner 7 décembre 2004
Par John Sollami - Publié sur Amazon.com
Let's face it: Truman Capote was his own worst enemy. He started out in the dumps, with a mother who didn't love him and a huckster father who wound up in jail. Nice role models. Abandoned, raised by various cousins in the South, fought over by his two repugnant parents, he ultimately found himself in Greenwich, Connecticut with his "loving" mother and stepfather. His mother apparently was horrified by Truman's runtlike appearance and effeminate manners and never missed a chance to abuse the hell out of him. With that template of self-hatred embedded in his soul, he was headed on a path of compensating self-aggrandisement and inevitable self-destruction.

All that said, the man could tell a tale, and exquisitely. He was full of talent, and it comes storming out in some of these wonderful early stories such as "Jug of Silver," "My Side of the Matter," "A Tree of Night," "House of Flowers," and "A Christmas Memory." The wonderful "The Grass Harp" is also a miracle in brilliant writing, which he completed at age 26 and is foreshadowed in some of this early work, as is "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I would mislead you if I didn't mention that some of the stories here are obviously not so great imitations of Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. You'd miss out on some wonderful stuff if you did.

Too much has been written about Capote's "wasted" life and early promise not being fulfilled. I don't know about that. He wrote quite a bit. I say let's celebrate what he gave us, through his masked suffering and pain, and let's dwell on the fineness of his artistry and his superb entertainments, in plain view in this collection. Of course, Random House succeeds again in producing a lovely book, the type highly readable and the look and feel inviting. This is a winner.
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