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review Capote A Biography 103 characters Capote A Biography Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the man who authored In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's as well as with nearly everyone who knew him this absorbing definitive biography follows Truman Capote from his eccentric c. Capote Gerald Clarke s Literary BiographyIt took me a hellishly long time to read this book Of course I was reading it in conjunction with a read of Capote s works at the same time So I would read a novel or a few short stories and I would take back up with Clarke s biographyBut that s rather an excuse Because Capote s life is often not a pleasant subject not from childhood up to his last days lost in a fog of Vodka and drugsAnd I ve taken a hellishly long time to absorb what I ve read and decide what to say about this book For my life and Capote s life have shared certain intersections though we certainly never met The closest I came to meeting Capote was meeting his father Arch Persons I was six years oldYes Capote s father lived in Tuscaloosa Alabama for some time Older goodreads members may remember a time when penny scales were in front of seemingly every business Persons had those scales in our town A friend told me he also raised Pekingese puppies In fact Persons gave his family one But my friend s dad was a County officialMy grandmother and I had been to the AP That used to be a grocery store chain Do any exist any As we drove toward the traffic light Persons backed into us My dear lady let me give you my card Why there s no need to call the police I ll be glad to take care of the damage Clearly I was carelessMy grandfather was rather perplexed that my grandmother had not called the police He grew perplexed when there was no answer at the telephone number and the address turned out to be an empty lot It took the District Attorney indicting Arch Persons for leaving the scene of an accident to achieve receiving restitution in the caseYears later as an Assistant District Attorney I went to the file storage on the unfinished seventh floor of our courthouse I kept that file with me until I retired from that office after twenty eight years of service It was a literary curiosity having Capote s file in my cabinetI began my career in juvenile court It was the prevailing thought that you started a green lawyer in Juvie where the least harm could be done and seen After all what happens in Juvie stays in Juvie It s confidential My work in juvenile court put me on the trail of child advocacy The conseuences of what happened in juvenile court were not lost on me As I rose through the ranks at the DA s office I had the ability to assign senior lawyers to that Court which remains the policy of the office I loved so muchSo it was my work that freuently made me wince as I read of Capote s childhood Persons was a con and a grifter His mother Lillie Mae Faulk was charmed by Persons Truman was their only child Persons traveled freuently attempting to hatch get rich schemes On the road staying in hotel after hotel Persons and his mother would leave young Truman locked in their room while they hit the night life of whatever location they happened to be in They told hotel staff not to let Truman out even if he screamed And he did screamPersons knew Lillie had men on the side He didn t seem to object He stopped counting at 29 affairs Of course a tryst with Jack Dempsey might have led to a great promotional event so maybe he didn t count that oneLillie moved North to attend business school She took Truman with her Persons continued rambling around the country to grub money however he could Persons was shocked when Lillie announced she wanted a divorce She had met Cuban business man Joe Capote The child they so willingly left locked alone in strange hotel rooms became the center of a fiercely fought custody suit The unwanted child was the prize in a contest neither wanted to lose But Persons did loseHaving won custody Lillie preferred spending her time with her new person rather than Truman It was convenient that the Faulk clan was available to take Truman in back in Monroeville Alabama His time there was most likely the most stable period in his life Of course we know of his beloved Cousin Sook And yes she called him BuddyPeriodically Lillie would return to Monroeville and take Truman back to New York He was a disappointment to her He was a sissy She told him soAnd back in Monroeville Arch would promise to pick up Truman and take him to the beach down at Gulf Shores Truman would have his bag packed with a new bathing suit Arch never showedJoe Capote adopted Truman It should come as no surprise that he would write his real father and tell him that he should address him as Truman Capote henceforthSensing that Capote was a sissy Lillie who had now changed her name to Nina decided military school was just what Truman needed And it was there that Truman experienced his first homosexual activities euphemistically known as belly rubbingThe Faulks lived next to the Lees Amasa was a lawyer Younger daughter Nelle Harper was Truman s best friend And their friendship lasted until Harper Lee won a Pulitzer and Capote did not Harper Lee was of immense help in gaining entry into the homes of the residents of Garden City Kansas as no one knew what to make of Truman Her work on In Cold Blood in my opinion should have granted her co author status But we will never know why that did not occur Nor does Clarke explain why Harper Lee disappears from the pages of Capote s biographyAs he matured Truman seemed to choose lovers most likely to promote his career as a writer Most influential was Newton Arvin who mentored Truman and provided him with a formal literary education It was Newton who promoted Capote to Random House However Newton s relationship with Capote was very controlled Capote scheduled his visits with Newton as Newton allowed Arvin did his best to hide his sexualityClarke s biography is a fine work emphasizing the significance of each of his works He charts Capote s rise to success and his climb through the social circles of New York and Europe And he charts Capote s decline with eual objectivityAfter a long relationship with fellow writer Jack Dunphy Capote became increasingly addicted to pills and alcohol He entered into sexual relationships with partners his social circle saw as inferior to themThe final years were spent in repeated attempts at rehabilitation and repeated hospitalizations Capote was emphatically told he would die if he continued to drink He drank essentially ostracized by all his friends because of his betrayal of them in segments of his unfinished novel Answered Prayers I have pondered whether Capote committed a long slow suicide in the only manner he could face To be continued

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Capote A Biography

review Capote A Biography 103 characters Capote A Biography G spirit and staggering talent but not before he'd hobnob with the likes of Grace Paley and Lee Radziwill feud outrageously with Gore Vidal and Jacueline Susann and stage at New York's Plaza Hotel the sensational Black and White Ba. A very well written and extensive biography of the celebrated American author Truman Capote was a very gregarious person and was always the life of any gathering or party except towards the end of his life When he traveled whether to New York or Europe it was not to take in museums or sites but to meet the inhabitants particularly if they were famous wealthy andor notoriousAs Mr Clarke points out Truman Capote had a neglected upbringing he was abandoned by both his parents and to some extent this could account for his later undoing At a young age he was pre determined to be a writerDue to Truman Capote s ebullient personality the book makes for an interesting read as we encounter the wide range of individuals who accompanied Truman throughout his lifeHe did favour the rich and famous and to some extent this makes for some redundancy in the book It would also seem that these rich and famous were also lonely and latched onto Truman Capote in their uest for real friendship or maybe he just provided admirable entertainment Capote did exude warmth and laughter and liked to gossip so no secrets should have been confided to him but he was expert at extracting all these hidden parts of their lives Marlon Brando threatened to kill him after one such session was publishedBut these relationships took a toll on Capote and that toll was his writing output He wrote several short stories and a few novelettes His only major and lengthy book was In Cold Blood which is not a novel but a significant work nonetheless Therefore I feel that Truman Capote compared to Ernest Hemingway or John Steinbeck is not the most important American novelist of the last century Truman Capote was also predisposed to inflate his own greatness comparing himself to the French writer Marcel Proust whose literary output far exceeds that of Capote After reading this biography I consider Truman Capote a second rate writerHe also branched into play writing scripts for films and acting none of these of any lasting significance His career is a reflection of the American centuryThe author does focus on his literary works and the obsession of In Cold Blood To uote from Nietzsche if you gaze for long into an abyss the abyss gazes also into you This is what happened to Truman after his great investigation of the gruesome murders of the Clutter family His literary art reached the pinnacle but after publication there was a long slow decline leaving him at the end of his life a drunken pill popping maniacOn the subject of In Cold Blood I seem to remember reading elsewhere that Truman Capote played down Herb Clutter s domineering personality in order to sustain a sympathetic portrayal of the family Also there were two older sisters who I believe inherited by default the estate I can no longer remember if this was recounted in the bookThe end of Truman s life from the 1970 to 1984 is a dreadful tale and makes for painful reading considering all of his potential He could have been criminally convicted on a few occasions as he was actually hiring detectives to murder his on again off again partner John O Shea Such is the demise of a once celebrated figureAll in all a wonderful biography

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review Capote A Biography 103 characters Capote A Biography Hildhood in Alabama to the heights of New York society Featuring many photographs this book also candidly recounts a gifted and celebrated writer's descent into the life of alcohol and drugs that would ultimately consume his bulldo. Truman Capote was an absurd little troll He was self absorbed self pitying envious and prone to alcohol abuseHe was a nosy little gossip skilled at prying secrets out of friends and acuaintances He would then immediately dash out and dish the dirt about things he had been told in confidence As we used to say Telephone telegraph tell a Truman He hurt a lot of people with his wagging tongue and then drowned his sorrows in alcohol when people started excluding him from the social circles whose affection he craved One could never accuse Capote of being boring He was always creating or inserting himself into debacles and brouhahas large and small He wanted to be known as someone who was interesting and exciting and the life of every party When he achieved that adulation and acclaim it was never enough for him He had to keep coming up with bigger stunts and insults to keep the social spotlight focused on himself In the end he pushed people too far and died a lonely manI read this book during my long hiatus from Goo Dreads The notes I made upon finishing it say Ten stars Absolutely top notch So if you re interested in Capote that s about as good an endorsement as you can get from me

  • Paperback
  • 636
  • Capote A Biography
  • Gerald Clarke
  • English
  • 21 May 2018
  • 9780786716616