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Music for Chameleons

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At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ inc At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ including a touching one of Marilyn Monroe, the ‘beautiful child’ and a hilarious one of a dope-smoking cleaning lady doing her rounds in New York.


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At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ inc At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ including a touching one of Marilyn Monroe, the ‘beautiful child’ and a hilarious one of a dope-smoking cleaning lady doing her rounds in New York.

30 review for Music for Chameleons

  1. 5 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    L’UOMO CHE VOLEVA ESSERE FRED ASTAIRE Truman Capote balla con Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker Monroe (Los Angeles, 1º giugno 1926 – Los Angeles, 5 agosto 1962) meglio nota come Marilyn Monroe. E probabilmente anche Jacko, i due ballerini più leggeri di sempre. Sin da bambino, Capote sognava di diventare un ballerino di tip tap, da sempre attratto dalla leggerezza (non posso non pensare alla prima lezione americana di Calvino). Chiaramente è lui, Truman, il camaleonte del titolo - molto più lui che i v L’UOMO CHE VOLEVA ESSERE FRED ASTAIRE Truman Capote balla con Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker Monroe (Los Angeles, 1º giugno 1926 – Los Angeles, 5 agosto 1962) meglio nota come Marilyn Monroe. E probabilmente anche Jacko, i due ballerini più leggeri di sempre. Sin da bambino, Capote sognava di diventare un ballerino di tip tap, da sempre attratto dalla leggerezza (non posso non pensare alla prima lezione americana di Calvino). Chiaramente è lui, Truman, il camaleonte del titolo - molto più lui che i veri animaletti affascinati dalla musica che compaiono nel primo splendido racconto. Truman e la maschera. È lui il camaleonte capace di essere scrittore di racconti e romanzi, giornalista di reportage e inchiesta, viaggiatore, sceneggiatore, attore, conversatore, personaggio a 360°, trasformista e illusionista, di essere un alcolizzato, un tossicomane, un omosessuale, un genio, ma non un santo. Sono sei racconti, un romanzo breve che speravo non finisse mai, e sette ritratti (incontri?) dialogati. Affreschi brevi. Volevo presentare un romanzo giornalistico, di ampio respiro e che avesse la credibilità del fatto reale. Si tratta di una raccolta che avrei voglia di citare per intero, dove dalla meraviglia si passa allo stupore attraverso la bellezza. Capote è una voce altra, che conduce in altre stanze, apre porte. È un compendio della sua arte, della sua grandezza: il fascino magico dei racconti autobiografici accanto a un nuovo romanzo-verità che finisce troppo presto, l’occhio penetrante dell’osservatore mondano e una serie stupenda di ritratti dialogati in cui spicca il più tenero e intenso omaggio di sempre all’indimenticabile bellissima bambina Norma Jeane. La sua impareggiabile capacità di rendere letterario il gossip sarebbe stata apprezzata da Proust. E nonostante il costante ricorso ad alcol e droghe, lo scrittore Capote era per un controllo completo della scrittura, e quindi dell’opera, diffidando dell’ispirazione “under the influence” o anche solo febbrile che limitava la padronanza dell’atto creativo, e, in sostanza, precludeva la ricerca della giusta distanza. Il più famoso ritratto fotografico di Truman Capote è questo di Henri Cartier-Bresson scattato a New Orleans nel 1947. Ecco il maggiore desiderio di Capote, così semplice e condivisibile: Svegliarmi una mattina e sentirmi finalmente una persona adulta, svuotata di risentimenti, di idee di vendetta e di altre emozioni infantili, distruttrici. In altre parole, sentirmi maturo. Questa ‘musica’ è la parte più oscura dell’oscurità, più folle della follia. Truman Capote tra Peter Falk e David Niven in “Murder By Death – Invito a cena con delitto” di Robert Moore, 1976. PS Come dimenticare questo cammeo! In mezzo a un cast da brivido, Capote si improvvisò eccellente attore rubando la scena ai ben più esperti colleghi (Alec Guiness, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, David Niven, Peter Falk…!). La scena dove Lionel Twain, il padrone di casa, corregge l’inglese di Sellers-Wang mi si è impressa nella memoria da quando il film uscì nelle sale e io lo vidi quattro o cinque volte in una sola stagione. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znS3g... Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker Monroe (Marilyn Monroe) insieme a Karen Christentze Dinesen baronessa von Blixen-Finecke (Karen Blixen) fotografate da Cecil Beaton. L'occasione fu l'ultimo viaggio della Blixen in US.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maria Clara

    Sencillamente magnífico!

  3. 5 out of 5

    KamRun

    دوست دارم تناسخ بعد از مرگم یه پرنده باشه، ترجیحا کرکس! کرکس مجبور نیست بابت ظاهرش یا تواناییش تو دلبری و جلب رضایت بقیه خودش رو ناراحت کنه. به هرحال که کسی قرار نیست دوستش داشته باشه، زشته، زیادیه، هیچ جا نمی خوانش. در مورد آزادیای که این موقعیت پیش میآره کلی میشه حرف زد. از طرف دیگه مخالفتی با لاکپشت دریایی شدن هم ندارم. میتونن رو زمین ول بچرخن و از رمز و راز اعماق اقیانوس هم با خبرن. عمرشون هم زیاده و چشمهای خمارشون کلی حکمت و معرف جمع میکنه. - برداشت آزاد از غَلتهای شبانه، مصاحبه با خود داستا دوست دارم تناسخ بعد از مرگم یه پرنده باشه، ترجیحا کرکس! کرکس مجبور نیست بابت ظاهرش یا تواناییش تو دلبری و جلب رضایت بقیه خودش رو ناراحت کنه. به هرحال که کسی قرار نیست دوستش داشته باشه، زشته، زیادیه، هیچ جا نمی خوانش. در مورد آزادی‌ای که این موقعیت پیش می‌آره کلی می‌شه حرف زد. از طرف دیگه مخالفتی با لاک‌پشت دریایی شدن هم ندارم. می‌تونن رو زمین ول بچرخن و از رمز و راز اعماق اقیانوس هم با خبرن. عمرشون هم زیاده و چشم‌های خمارشون کلی حکمت و معرف جمع می‌کنه. - برداشت آزاد از غَلت‌های شبانه، مصاحبه با خود داستان‌های کتاب صرفا گزارش‌های مستندگونه‌ی نویسنده از اتفاقات و ملاقات‌های روزمره‌ست، پس نباید توقع فرم معمول داستان کوتاه رو از این کتاب داشت. با این آگاهی به سراغ کتاب رفتم و لذت زیادی هم بردم. تصور نمی‌کردم گزارش‌هایی معمولی از موقعیت‌های پیش پا افتاده تا این حد جذاب و خواندنی از آب در بیاد، برای همین کتاب رو در وقت‌های مرده و در موقعیت‌های مختلف و نسبتا ناجوری خوندم، اما واقعا تجربه‌ی لذت‌بخشی بود. بخش زیادی از این لذت رو مدیون طنز گزنده و صراحت کلام نویسنده هستم مثلا این یک مورد: (view spoiler)[ جیمی داشت به زور پاهایش را توی شلوار من می‌کرد، شلواری که ناجور برایش تنگ بود و من داشتم بادگیر سفید او را تن می‌کردم که صدای در زدن سراسیمه‌ای آمد - صدای مرد: هی! اونجا چه‌خبره؟ - جیمی: شما کی باشین؟ دِ بگو - صدای مرد: من مسئول اینجام، برام هم پررو بازی در نیارین. چه خلاف قانونی دارین می‌کنین؟ - جیمی: ریدن ممنوعه؟ - صدای مسئول: من اون‌جا چهارتا پا می‌بینم. می‌بینم یه لباس‌هایی داره درمیاد. فکر کردین اونقدر احمقم که نفهمم چه خبره؟ دو تا مرد، چهارتا پا، این خلاف قانونه - جیمی: اه برو درتو بذار - صدای مسئول: من پلیس خبر می‌کنم بابت ع و ع بگیرنتون - جیمی: ع و ع دیگه چه کوفتیه؟ - صدای مسئول: عشق و عیاشی، بعله یارو. من پلیس خبر می‌کنم - ترومن کاپوتی: یا عیسی، یا یوسف، یا مریم (hide spoiler)] خب، حالا بعد از خوندن دومین کتاب از کاپوتی می تونم بگم من عاشق این نابغه‌ی معتاد الکلی‌ام!

  4. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    the biggest attraction to this collection is "Handcarved Coffins", an excellent account of serial killing in a small town. by turns mysterious, frustrating, tense, and bizarre, the accounting details Capote's relationship with the FBI agent assigned to the case, who has in turn romantically assigned himself to one of the potential victims. the modus operandi of the killer is original and very upsetting. the identity of the killer does not appear to be in question; what arises over the course of the biggest attraction to this collection is "Handcarved Coffins", an excellent account of serial killing in a small town. by turns mysterious, frustrating, tense, and bizarre, the accounting details Capote's relationship with the FBI agent assigned to the case, who has in turn romantically assigned himself to one of the potential victims. the modus operandi of the killer is original and very upsetting. the identity of the killer does not appear to be in question; what arises over the course of the piece is a dual portrait of a haunted agent and an arrogant, infuriatingly entitled potential serial killer. intriguing stuff, although the ambiguity of the ending may be problematic for some. and of course there is always the chance that this True Crime story, told in the style of In Cold Blood, isn't a true crime at all, and is instead a combined product of Capote's overactive imagination and his narcissism as well. eh, who cares. whatever it may be in the end, it is still a riveting and beautifully spun tale of longing, horror, the sadness of small towns and broken lives, and the toxic power of the very rich, the very greedy, and the very, very psychotic. the rest of the collection is an assortment of interviews, musings, and at least one very interesting narrative 'story'. at times very precise portraits and landscapes are drawn, at other times Capote's preciousness and tendencies towards navel-gazing and star-worship come across a bit much. the pieces "Dazzle" and "Nocturnal Turnings" are fascinating and uncomfortable: nakedly honest self-portraits of an author whose penchants for self-admiration and self-loathing seem to be drawn in equal measures.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    In this collection of fiction and non-fiction from late in Capote's life, he shows us that while his fiction may be depleting, his non-fiction is as sharp as ever. The stories at the beginning of the book didn't do anything for me. They were all very middling and detracted from this work in my opinion. "Handcarved Coffins" is a work in the style In Cold Blood but the recent discovery that most of it was probably made up does make it hard to suspend disbelief. However, the real jewel in this coll In this collection of fiction and non-fiction from late in Capote's life, he shows us that while his fiction may be depleting, his non-fiction is as sharp as ever. The stories at the beginning of the book didn't do anything for me. They were all very middling and detracted from this work in my opinion. "Handcarved Coffins" is a work in the style In Cold Blood but the recent discovery that most of it was probably made up does make it hard to suspend disbelief. However, the real jewel in this collection, the reason why it's getting three-stars, is A Beautiful Child. The transcript of the day Capote spent with Marilyn Monroe is absolutely fantastic. It portrays a side of Monroe that we never really got to see, we see her as a human being. It is utterly wonderful and strangely poetic. It's just a shame that the rest of this work doesn't live up to it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    If you want to know more about Truman Capote, this is a better entertaining option for you. Composed of 14 short stories, Capote made himself a character in each. In the last one, in fact, he appeared as 2 characters conversing with each other. I had a nice time reading most of them because he seemed like a very versatile writer who was not afraid to experiment. I understand that these small masterpieces appeared in various magazines (New Yorker, Esquire, etc) during his time. So, probably that' If you want to know more about Truman Capote, this is a better entertaining option for you. Composed of 14 short stories, Capote made himself a character in each. In the last one, in fact, he appeared as 2 characters conversing with each other. I had a nice time reading most of them because he seemed like a very versatile writer who was not afraid to experiment. I understand that these small masterpieces appeared in various magazines (New Yorker, Esquire, etc) during his time. So, probably that's the reason why each of them had to be fresh, engaging and interesting. You see, to keep the readers always looking forward to his piece in each issue of the magazine. I. MUSIC FOR CHAMELEONS Music for the Chameleons. 3 STARS The narrator is a guest in a lovely house in Martinique. There is an aristocratic lady in the house and she takes care of chameleons. She plays music for them to emit different colors. I am not sure what Capote's exact message is but I thought that the colors of the chameleons symbolize the ever-changing opinion of the aristocrats with regards to the aboriginals in the island. Mr. Jones. 2 STARS So, who was Mr. Jones and why did he disappear so suddenly? What was Capote's motive in telling his reader that the narrator saw him in the train again? I just did not get it. I know there is a point there somewhere but sorry. A Lamp in the Window. 4 STARS I liked the ending. It was unexpected. I like it when Capote shows his quirkiness, i.e., his fun side. We know he was gay and gays are fun people. So, this story comes off as sincere and fun too. But don't get me wrong, this is not funny. Know what I mean? Mojave. 3 STARS An old masseur who is left all alone in a desert by his prostitute wife while he is urinating. In their trailer is the wife's lover whose hair is full of smelly pomade. Despite what the wife did, the elderly man says that he still loves his wife. This reminded me of gay men who knew all along that they were being fooled by their lovers and yet they were blind. So pathetic yet we all know this happens, gay or straight. Hospitality. 3 STARS Seems like this one is a true-to-life experience of Capote while growing up during the Depression. I just wondered where they got all those food while many Americans go hungry like what I read in Out of the Dust and of course book:The Grapes of Wrath|4395]. Dazzle. 4 STARS Very funny childhood story of a gay boy Capote. He teased the reader on what he would ask the witch for. I thought I knew and then Capote made a twist but still I got it right. This is a breakthrough story because in here, Capote made known to the world that when he was young, (view spoiler)[he wanted to be a girl. (hide spoiler)] II. HANDCARVED COFFINS A Nonfiction Account of an American Crime. 4 STARS A well-loved politician in an small town in the South has been discovered to be the mastermind for the killing of members of the committee. The said committee denied his huge track of land the proper irrigation since the river was diverted. I liked the story telling and the playfulness of Capote's character (yes, he is in the story just like the other stories in this book) especially the references to Jane Austen and Edith Wharton's male characters. I should read a Wharton and resume my reading of Austen books. This comprises half of the book. I think he wrote this as a follow up to In Cold Blood. However, according to Wiki, this is basically fiction as there was no criminal case like this. However, Capote is one of the characters here and the events parallel those of In Cold Blood. In that said masterpiece of him, Capote did not appear as a character. III. CONVERSATIONAL PORTRAITS A Day's Work. 3 STARS Capote joins and observes a girl Friday cleaning the houses of the rich and famous in Italy. Not all of them are rich and famous but with juicy stories. There is a reality TV show like this, I think. Hello Stranger. 4 STARS "Shades of Humbert Humbert," says Capote but George Claxton doesn't read books because he hates literature. When they were young, Capote did all the book reports of George while the later did all his assignments in Algebra. Capote flunked first year Algebra thrice even with the help of a tutor! I think I can relate to this. Not in my case, but someone dear. Hidden Gardens. 2 STARS I got distracted by the shift in narratives. All I understood was a guy with a huge prick and he put it on the girl who inquired about it and the girl's hair turned white overnight (because of intense pressure). Maybe Capote meant this to be a joke and I took it seriously? Derring-do. 2 STARS Maybe I was just too tired while reading this part late last night. It seemed like another In Cold Blood criminal case this time with a serial killer facing execution soon. Other than that, this one did not leave anything in my mind. Then It All Came Down. 3 STARS This one also has similarities with some scenes in Capote's In Cold Blood. Well, this book was his follow up to that best-selling novel of him, right? In here, Capote is conversing with an inmate in the maximum-security cell block. The inmate, Robert Beausoleil, was charged of multiple murder. In the conversation, Capote or CP is namedropping; claiming to have met Lee Harvey Oswald, Priscilla Johnson, etc. Based on Wiki, party-boy Capote hobnobbed with the rich and famous. A Beautiful Child. 4 STARS Ha! This is the cutest story here. Marilyn Monroe, the sex goddess during Capote's time, appears as herself talking with our genius writer. It reminds me of beautiful girls in the campus with gay man as sidekick or bestfriend. This made me want to read a book about Marilyn Monroe. The way she expresses herself here is... cute! Nocturnal Turnings, or How Siamese Twins Have Sex. 5 STARS Don't be misled by the title. There is nothing obscene here. They slept in the end. "They" means Capote and Capote. Two personas in one body. They talk to each other and unlike the angel and the demon, the ying and yang, they are not completely opposites. So, you have to really take time to read their banters. Brilliant and funny. Very Capote. I think this collection of his works was entitled "Music for Chameleons" because like what was in the first story, we readers are like chameleons that change our colors depending on the music provided to us. In this case, the music is provided by Capote. He writes, we read. Then our reaction varies depending on his style. And he has a lot of those (styles) up his sleeves.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gypsy

    من اول اصلاح کنم که این دقیقاً داستانکوتاه نیست. خاطرات خود ترومن کاپوتیه. بعضاً جذابن، بعضاً حوصلهسربر. توی بعضیاشون چیزهای ناب و درخور تأملی هست و خیلی داستانیه. ولی بعضیای دیگهشون بیشتر برای کسایی که به خود ترومن کاپوتی علاقه دارن، جذابه. من اول اصلاح کنم که این دقیقاً داستان‌کوتاه نیست. خاطرات خود ترومن کاپوتیه. بعضاً جذابن، بعضاً حوصله‌سربر. توی بعضیاشون چیزهای ناب و درخور تأملی هست و خیلی داستانیه. ولی بعضیای دیگه‌شون بیشتر برای کسایی که به خود ترومن کاپوتی علاقه دارن، جذابه.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    Truman Capote had a way of making you feel as if he were whispering to you in a crowded room; "here is something I know and now I will tell you" as the rest of the crowd mulled about. It is this intimacy that makes his 'crime' stories so memorable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lawyer

    Review to follow. On a book buying trip. Whooopeeeee! And after some nice finds, it's back to business. Music for Chameleons: New Writing by Truman Capote Including Handcarved Coffins Although Random House plugs Music for Chameleons as new writings by Truman Capote, when it was published in 1980, all of the pieces had appeared in the two preceding years in Capote's usual venues, "Esquire," "Interview," "McCall's," "New York Magazine," and "The New Yorker." Within four years, Capote would be dead. Th Review to follow. On a book buying trip. Whooopeeeee! And after some nice finds, it's back to business. Music for Chameleons: New Writing by Truman Capote Including Handcarved Coffins Although Random House plugs Music for Chameleons as new writings by Truman Capote, when it was published in 1980, all of the pieces had appeared in the two preceding years in Capote's usual venues, "Esquire," "Interview," "McCall's," "New York Magazine," and "The New Yorker." Within four years, Capote would be dead. The jacket photo revealed an older, perhaps more contemplative writer. There is no cigarette in his hand. As he indicated in one segment, he had quit smoking years ago. In the final segment of the book, "Nocturnal Turnings," Capote interviews himself, looking back at his life--his fears, his faith, his faults. "TC: What frightens you?" "TC: Real toads in imaginary gardens. "TC: No, but in real life--" "TC: I'm talking about real life." "TC: Let me put it another way. What, of your own experiences, hae been the most frightening?" "TC: Betrayals. Abandonments."... "And that's when I began to believe in God again, and understand that Sook was right, that everything was His design, the old moon and the new moon, the hard rain falling, and if only I would ask Him to help me, He would." "TC: And has He?" "TC: Yes. More and more. But I'm not a saint yet. I'm an aloholic. I'm a drug addict. I'm homosexual. I'm a genius. Of course, I could be all four of these dubious things and still be a saint. But I shonuf ain't no saint yet, nawsuh." And while Capote seems to have begun to contemplate his mortality, the range and depth of the writing in this anthology is breathtaking. All but one of the fourteen segments of the book are claimed to be non-fiction, or perhaps as Capote invented the form, non-fiction fiction, in these examples, short vignettes, portraits of people he knew and met, killers he interviewed in addition to Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Only one story, "Mojave," Capote claimed as fiction, or in his own coy fashion as he said he wrote it as if it were. Capote ranges from the mysterious, where chameleons dance to piano music played by an old woman on Martinique. Is it real or is it the influence of Absinthe laced in his tea? Fiction or non-fiction? He reveals his humor while evading a subpoena to testify in the retrial of Bobby Beausoleil for the murder of Gary Hinman, the first of what came to be known as the Manson Family murders. He had promised what Beausoleil had told him would remain confidential. When Beausoleil was granted a new trial, Capote was served with a subpoena. His sneaking on a plane, dressed as one of Pearl Bailey's musician's, his head pressed to her bosom as she wrapped her arm around his shoulder will leave you howling. His meanness emerges in his portrait of Marilyn Monroe, whom he portrays her as "A Beautiful Child" who calls her competition cunts, pops pills and drinks way too much. "A Beautiful Child?" perhaps so, perhaps not. But it is in "Handcarved Coffins" that Capote reveals his mastery in the depiction of true crime. An unknown killer has targeted nine different victims. Each has received a handcarved coffin in which the killer has placed a candid black and white photo of his intended victim. Capote is referred to investigator Jake Pepper to render his opinion of the killings and the evidence that is too scant to make an arrest. The killings are diabolical. A couple enters a car filled with rattlesnakes pumped up on amphetamines to make them even more aggressive than they are in nature. A wire stretched across the road decapitates another. Will Pepper get his man, or not? Capote stretches out the tension at a nerve wracking pace, plummeting the reader to despair with each successful killing. This is a masterpiece. Pure and simple. Pepper and Capote put the pieces together, discovering the killer has a darkroom and prefers German cameras. Capote's interview skills are intuitive and directly on point. However, subsequent research by London Sunday Times reporters Peter and Leni Gillman shows that no case containing the details in this short piece exist in any law enforcement file. In all probability it was based on an unsolved case of Kansas Bureau of Investigation Agent Alvin Dewy whom Capote met during his work on "In Cold Blood." Capote was growing tired. There were no other novels. "Answered Prayers" remained unfinished. One Christmas appeared as a short story in "The Ladies' Home Journal" in December, 1982. Then a short article "Remembering Tennessee" appeared in "Playboy Magazine." There was nothing more. Once more I think of "Nocturnal Turnings." Capote knew he was slowing down. He knew he was tired. "TC:...Now let's knock it off and try for some shut-eye." TC: But first let's say a prayer. Let's say our old prayer. The one we used to say when we were real little and slept in the same bed with Sook and Queenie, with the quilts piled on top of us because the house was so big and cold. TC: Our old prayer? Okay. TC and TC: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen. TC: Goodnight. TC: Goodnight.... TC and TC: Zzzzzzzzzzzz." For a final look at Truman Capote's last burst of creativity, this is the book to read, fiction or non-fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    I'd been teaching In Cold Blood for two semesters and used the preface to this to introduce In Cold Blood, so I figured I might as well read the rest of the book. This is late-period Capote, mostly a mishmash of personal essays, anecdotes, and a novella-length true crime story. First of all, the preface makes Capote seem like a self-involved jackass (which he by most accounts was - remember the postscript to the movie saying he never recovered from writing In Cold Blood?), but it also reveals his I'd been teaching In Cold Blood for two semesters and used the preface to this to introduce In Cold Blood, so I figured I might as well read the rest of the book. This is late-period Capote, mostly a mishmash of personal essays, anecdotes, and a novella-length true crime story. First of all, the preface makes Capote seem like a self-involved jackass (which he by most accounts was - remember the postscript to the movie saying he never recovered from writing In Cold Blood?), but it also reveals his dislike for his own work, including In Cold Blood; he even says he went back and rewrote much of the novel, Unanswered Prayers, that ironically was never finished. About the work included in this book, he says basically two things: 1. He wants to "combine within a single form - say the short story - all he knows about every other form of writing" 2. Instead of consciously leaving himself out of his writing, "I set myself center stage, and reconstructed, in a severe, minimal manner, commonplace conversations with everyday people: the superintendent of my building, a masseur at the gym, an old school friend, [Marilyn Monroe, Robert Beausoleil, the two sides of himself - you know, everyday people]…" So the book is divided into 3 parts, the first and third being mostly brief snapshots and anecdotes that seem kind of retrogressive to me, harking back to his early days writing about Brooklyn Heights, only now he's moved to the Upper East Side. The Marilyn Monroe piece is mostly trifling and I'm sure did no favors to her reputation, but has a clever, moderately powerful turn-of-phrase ending it. "Mojave," the only pure fiction included in the collection, is easily the worst apple in the bunch; it says a lot about the scarcity of good writing Capote was doing by this time, and really should have been relegated to post-mortem collections. The Beausoleil piece, like a few others in the collection, is pretty much just an interview transcript from his conversations with Charles Manson's cohort, but has some interesting, fairly astute comments from Beausoleil about Perry Smith and Capote's relationship with him. "Hello, Stranger" is also emblematic of other pieces here, as it reveals a growing, unsettling antipathy Capote has developed for the inhabitants of the world and his writing - an alcoholic old friend of Capote's comes to him for advice about an sexual encounter with a minor that never happened and his ensuing nervous breakdown, and Capote's foremost observations are that the guy is now thirty pounds overweight and used to have Capote write his English papers in prep school (he in turn did Capote's math problems). The one piece that I would say could have been published by anyone outside a decrepit Truman Capote was the true-crime novella, "Handcarved Coffins." Most of it annoyingly also follows the interview/stage directions format (I guess that's what Capote was referring to when he said he wanted to transcend genre), but the plot itself is engrossing from the start. More than In Cold Blood it seems almost too implausible to happen, and unlike ICB Capote consciously makes himself a central character of this story of a renegade ranch owner-turned-serial-killer. Overall, Music for Chameleons falls directly into the Read-It-If-You-Like-Capote category. It probably reveals more about his own (late-life) personality than any of his other work and has flashes of good stuff, but is almost laughably self-referential and self-congratulatory, especially the last piece, a silly dialogue between Capote (TC) and himself (also TC). (At this point, John pats himself on the back profusely with one hand while typing with the other): John Proctor: That was an excellent review, John. Plenty of pithy witticisms sprinkled over specific references make this perhaps your best yet. JP (sighing): I dunno. Sometimes I think nobody even reads these things anyway. JP (with a chuckle): Well of course they don't. That's the nature of book reviews, and why you haven't published anything of substance yourself yet. JP: So why do I even write then? JP: The more important question is: Why don't you stop writing? (At this, JP instinctively reaches for the mouse and clicks on "Preview," then "Save")

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Hanifeh

    این کتاب رو چند ماه پیش همراه تابوتهای دستساز خریدم. اونیکی رو همون موقع خوندم و دوستش داشتم؛ اما نه زیاد! موقعِ خرید، نمیدونستم «موسیقی برای آفتابپرستها« مجموعه داستانه؛ وگرنه احتمالاً نمیخریدمش. اما وقتی کتاب رو خوندم، خیلی خوشحال شدم از خوندنش. شاید چون این کتاب با فرضی که از داستان کوتاه داشتم، کمی فرق داره. یه جورایی توصیف یکسری اتفاقاتیه که برای خودِ نویسنده افتاده یا قصۀ ملاقاتش با بعضی آدماس. یعنی خیلی شخصیه و منم عموماً از نوشتههای اینطور شخصی خوشم میاد. این کتاب رو به مراتب از «تابوتهای این کتاب رو چند ماه پیش همراه تابوت‌های دست‌ساز خریدم. اون‌یکی رو همون موقع خوندم و دوستش داشتم؛ اما نه زیاد! موقعِ خرید، نمی‌دونستم «موسیقی برای آفتاب‌پرست‌ها« مجموعه داستانه؛ وگرنه احتمالاً نمی‌خریدمش. اما وقتی کتاب رو خوندم، خیلی خوشحال شدم از خوندنش. شاید چون این کتاب با فرضی که از داستان کوتاه داشتم، کمی فرق داره. یه جورایی توصیف یک‌سری اتفاقاتیه که برای خودِ نویسنده افتاده یا قصۀ ملاقاتش با بعضی آدماس. یعنی خیلی شخصیه و منم عموماً از نوشته‌های این‌طور شخصی خوشم میاد. این کتاب رو به مراتب از «تابوت‌های دست‌ساز» بیشتر دوست داشتم؛ خصوصاً بخش آخر که یه‌جور مکالمه و مصاحبه‌س بین خودش و خودش! پی‌نوشت: اگر من یک روز نویسنده شدم یا یه چیزی _هر چند مختصر_ نوشتم، مطمئناً ترومن کاپوتی در اون تأثیر داشته!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mahshid D

    کتاب فوقالعاده جذابی بود. ترجمهی نسبتا خوبی داشت که از شخصی مثل بهرنگ رجبی -اگر اشتباه نکنم قاتل نیمی از کارهای مارتین مک دنا در ایران- بعید به نظرم میرسید، اما خب نشون داد که غیر ممکن نیست. موقع خوندنش دائم احساس آشنایی شبیه به خوندن یک وبلاگ با نوشتههای استاندارد داشتم. همان جنس از ثبت روزمرهگیهای بلاگری بود. مشتاق شدم که صبحانه در تیفانی رو زودتر تمومش کنم. کتاب فوق‌العاده جذابی بود. ترجمه‌ی نسبتا خوبی داشت که از شخصی مثل بهرنگ رجبی -اگر اشتباه نکنم قاتل نیمی از کارهای مارتین مک دنا در ایران- بعید به نظرم می‌رسید، اما خب نشون داد که غیر ممکن نیست. موقع خوندنش دائم احساس آشنایی شبیه به خوندن یک وبلاگ با نوشته‌های استاندارد داشتم. همان جنس از ثبت روزمره‌گی‌های بلاگری بود. مشتاق شدم که صبحانه در تیفانی رو زودتر تمومش کنم.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Farnoosh Noroozi

    تصمیمگیری برای امتیاز دادن به این کتاب برام خیلی سخته. نمیدونم شاید به خاطر فرم و ساختار داستان کوتاهه که راضی به 5 دادن نمیشم. اما خب تا زمانی که گودریدز "نیم" رو به سیستم امتیازدهیش اضافه نکرده به همین 5 ستاره رضایت میدم. چرا که تا به حال به این اندازه کتابی رو دوست نداشتم و از خوندش لذت نبردم. خب چرا بردم ولی این یکی عجیب بهم چسبید. از یادداشت نویسنده بگیر که چطور از پشتکار روزافزونش برای تمرین نویسندگی گفته بود تا خود داستانها و چهرهنگاریها. یادداشت کاپوتی سند ای بود بر این حرف که چطور بعضی تصمیم‌گیری برای امتیاز دادن به این کتاب برام خیلی سخته. نمی‌دونم شاید به خاطر فرم و ساختار داستان کوتاهه که راضی به 5 دادن نمی‌شم. اما خب تا زمانی که گودریدز "نیم" رو به سیستم امتیازدهیش اضافه نکرده به همین 5 ستاره رضایت می‌دم. چرا که تا به حال به این اندازه کتابی رو دوست نداشتم و از خوندش لذت نبردم. خب چرا بردم ولی این یکی عجیب بهم چسبید. از یادداشت نویسنده بگیر که چطور از پشتکار روزافزونش برای تمرین نویسندگی گفته بود تا خود داستان‌ها و چهره‌نگاری‌ها. یادداشت کاپوتی سند ای بود بر این حرف که چطور بعضی افراد "نابغه" رو به غلط معنی می‌کنند و فکر می‌کنند بدون تمرین دادنِ ذهن، باید پیور گُلد (طلای ناب) روی کاغذ بیارند و به خیال خودشون هنر، خام و پخته نداره و شاید حتی برای خام بودنش ارزش بیشتری قائل بشن. آخ که چقدر در اشتباهند. از ترومن کاپوتی هنوز کتابی به غیر از این نخوندم ولی مطمئنم رمانش هم به همین اندازه روون و خوش‌خوان خواهد بود، اما قطعا متفاوت‌تر؛ چرا که تلاشش برای تعریف نشدن فقط در یک قالب و ساختار رو عمیقا درک می‌کنم و می‌ستایم. در این کتاب که معرکه کار کرده بود. باعث شد من دوباره به این موضوع توجه کنم که اگر واقعا توجه کنیم، شاهد جذاب‌ترین تئاتر‌ها، سناریوها و داستان‌هایی می‌شیم که توسط همین شخصیت‌های معمولی و گاها عجیب زندگی واقعی اجرا می‌شن؛ داستان‌هایی از زندگی که با تمام احساس و شور و تأثیرات مقابلش روایت می‌شن و تنها منتظر کشف و ثبت شدن هستند. هنوز دقیق نمی‌دونم که آیا داستان‌های این کتاب فیکشن بودن یا نان-فیکشن؟ اما فکر می‌کنم با توجه به توضیح خود کاپوتی به نان‌-فیکشن نزدیک‌تر بودن. هر چه که بودن عالی بودن؛ خلاصه و کامل؛ بدون تفصیل‌های طولانی و خسته‌کننده اما نه آنقدر هم متراکم که بگیم از اون ور بوم افتاده باشه. همه‌چیز به اندازه، به جا و درست سر جای خودش بود. نه با همه داستان‌ها اما با بیشترشون ارتباط زیادی برقرار کردم و به اصطلاحی خرکیف شدم:)) و می‌تونم بگم که عاشق این نابغه معتاد الکی شدم.

  14. 5 out of 5

    A m i r

    همون مقدمهی طولانی اول کتاب کاپوتی راجع نویسندگیش منو گرفت. بعد یه داستانهایی بود که یه چیز مرموزی داشت انگار. بخش دوم کتاب اما با اسم «چهرهنگاریها؛ چند معاشرت» حسابیتر چسبید. به خاطر حضور خود کاپوتی. فک کن خود کاپوتی پریده توی داستان، مثلن یه روز با کسی که خونهش رو تمیز میکنه میره خونه بقیه، یکی از دوستهای نچسبش میاد یه چیزی تعریف میکنه، میشینه با یه زندانی توی سلولش حرف میزنه، یا اون مراسمه با مونرو، یا که اصلنتر بخش آخر که میشینه با خودش حرف میزنه. کتاب تمیز و دقیق و پر تصویره. همینگویطور. همون مقدمه‌ی طولانی اول کتاب کاپوتی راجع نویسندگیش منو گرفت. بعد یه داستان‌هایی بود که یه چیز مرموزی داشت انگار. بخش دوم کتاب اما با اسم «چهره‌نگاری‌ها؛ چند معاشرت» حسابی‌تر چسبید. به خاطر حضور خود کاپوتی. فک کن خود کاپوتی پریده توی داستان، مثلن یه روز با کسی که خونه‌ش رو تمیز می‌کنه می‌ره خونه بقیه، یکی از دوست‌های نچسبش میاد یه چیزی تعریف می‌کنه، می‌شینه با یه زندانی توی سلولش حرف می‌زنه، یا اون مراسمه با مونرو، یا که اصلن‌تر بخش آخر که می‌شینه با خودش حرف می‌زنه. کتاب تمیز و دقیق و پر تصویره. همینگ‌وی‌طور.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amirsaman

    کتاب، تشکیل شده از یک سری روایت اول شخص بدون داستان پرفراز و نشیب. خود کاپوتی فکر میکرد این سبکِ تازهاش چکیدهتر است و بهتر، اما بنظر من این داستانهای کوتاه (اگر حتا بشود چنین خطابشان کرد) بیسر و ته هستند؛ ولی ارزشمند. از این جهت که دقت کردن و محتوا بیرون کشیدن از صحبتهای روزمره را یادت میدهند. به گفتهی مقدمهی مترجم، کاپوتی زندگی پرماجرایی داشته و همین خمیرمایهی آثارش شده. ولی برای همهی انسانها اتفاقات زیادی میافتد، این ماییم که با نوع نگاهمان آنها را «حادثه» تلقی میکنیم یا نمیکنیم. کاپوتی چنین نگ کتاب، تشکیل شده از یک سری روایت اول شخص بدون داستان پرفراز و نشیب. خود کاپوتی فکر می‌کرد این سبکِ تازه‌اش چکیده‌تر است و بهتر، اما بنظر من این داستان‌های کوتاه (اگر حتا بشود چنین خطابشان کرد) بی‌سر و ته هستند؛ ولی ارزشمند. از این جهت که دقت کردن و محتوا بیرون کشیدن از صحبت‌های روزمره را یادت می‌دهند. به گفته‌ی مقدمه‌ی مترجم، کاپوتی زندگی پرماجرایی داشته و همین خمیرمایه‌ی آثارش شده. ولی برای همه‌ی انسان‌ها اتفاقات زیادی می‌افتد، این ماییم که با نوع نگاهمان آن‌ها را «حادثه» تلقی می‌کنیم یا نمی‌کنیم. کاپوتی چنین نگاهی را آموزش می‌دهد. ت.ک.: دوستت دارم. ت.ک.: من هم دوستت دارم. ت.ک.: بهتره داشته باشی. چون دقیق که نگاه کنی، تنها چیزی که ما داریم همدیگه‌ست. فقط. تا پای گور. فاجعه‌ست، نیست؟ سال 2005 بنِت میلر فیلمی ساخت به نام «کاپوتی». تصویری که من از کاپوتیِ روای داشتم تماما متاثر از آن فیلم بود. فیلمی به شدت خوب، درباره‌ی نوشته شدن رمان معروف کاپوتی -در کمال خونسردی- .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rick Burin

    A book of extraordinary grace, incisiveness and honesty which further bolsters my impression that Capote remains one of the most important, original and underestimated writers of his era. Fuck his artificial image as a catty, trivial, morbid starfucker, and study the work: dark, devastating, morally decent work shot through with his actual character, the shadows of an encroaching darkness creeping across the sun-dappled idyll of his New Orleans childhood. Even fans tend to lean on a popular narr A book of extraordinary grace, incisiveness and honesty which further bolsters my impression that Capote remains one of the most important, original and underestimated writers of his era. Fuck his artificial image as a catty, trivial, morbid starfucker, and study the work: dark, devastating, morally decent work shot through with his actual character, the shadows of an encroaching darkness creeping across the sun-dappled idyll of his New Orleans childhood. Even fans tend to lean on a popular narrative – pushed in last decade’s cinematic biopics – that sees him in terminal decline after the trial of In Cold Blood, but while it’s true that he degenerated into substance abuse (an affliction dealt with in breathtaking fashion in the last of these 14 pieces), and that with it his work-rate slowed, this book may well be his creative zenith. In Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, he explains (entirely preposterously) that in the late ‘80s he found a new way to sing: a mathematical formula that has enabled his voice to endure his Never Ending Tour (please post your punchlines below). Here, Capote does much the same, denigrating his entire back catalogue as he seeks to articulate exactly why, and how, he’s developed the new style premiered in this book. Unlike Dylan, who is talking through his silly cowboy hat, Capote is sincere. His style here is so clean, precise and economical, yet to formally inventive, that it takes the breath away. Every decision he makes, from delayed gratification, to leading with dialogue, to drifting into remembrance and reminiscence, seems right, and his evocation of emotion, of nature, and of character is remarkably specific and so uniquely powerful. There are six short stories and seven conversational portraits, alongside a non-fiction (?) centrepiece about a serial killer, and each is remarkable in one way or another. Perhaps my favourite piece is Dazzle, a multi-layered story with a time-shifting perspective that’s about love, fear and guilt, as Capote relives the story of his paternal grandfather, a fortune teller and two terrible secrets: one comic, the other tragic. It is flecked with wonder, touched by horror, and redolent with an unstudied compassion for his younger self, before a climactic sucker-punch that knocked me sideways. But it’s just one masterpiece among many. The other short stories are rich in irony, but unwaveringly sincere, as they deal with self-loathing, denial and the secrets (or unspoken truths) that dominate the book, while his egalitarian ‘portraits’ take in a weed-smoking cleaner, Marilyn Monroe, pastoral novelist Willa Cather and amoral Manson acolyte Bobby Beausoleil: though you could class the first of those as ‘hilarious’ and the last as ‘chilling’, that’s to reduce them from the multi-faceted, playful, probing, touching, humane and sad works that they are. The only piece that doesn't quite work for me, at least not unequivocally, is Handcarved Coffins, the lengthy true crime chapter at the book's centre. It has passages of great insight – on sexuality, obsession, delusion – but at times its language is oddly forced, and ultimately I'm not sure exactly what the point is that Capote is constantly circling and yet never quite landing upon. It makes sense, perhaps, that when the book does malfunction, it's in both style and content, for it's the balancing of form, viewpoint and revelation, both overt and within the reader, that is the book's great strength. Music for Chameleons is beautifully-written, but even Capote’s admirers often stop right there, and it’s much more than that. His swaggering, elegant, stylistic brilliance – even as a supposed has-been, with a pickled liver and a nose stuffed with coke – is really a way of packing as much wit, pathos and meaning into each line as possible. His style is not an end in itself, it's the way he carries truth to the reader.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vanita

    Apaixonei-me por esta edição de "Música para Camaleões" desde que lhe pus a vista em cima. As cores da capa, improváveis, fortes, quentes, a agarrar a vista para não mais largar. Sim, primeiro foi a capa. Seguiu-se o conselho de origem pouco plausível para o ler. Depois a prenda que me caiu no regaço no momento certo. Não sou a maior fã de livros de contos ou histórias curtas. Note-se a diferença: é das compilações de contos ou histórias curtas em livros que não gosto. Mas, ainda assim, foi-me i Apaixonei-me por esta edição de "Música para Camaleões" desde que lhe pus a vista em cima. As cores da capa, improváveis, fortes, quentes, a agarrar a vista para não mais largar. Sim, primeiro foi a capa. Seguiu-se o conselho de origem pouco plausível para o ler. Depois a prenda que me caiu no regaço no momento certo. Não sou a maior fã de livros de contos ou histórias curtas. Note-se a diferença: é das compilações de contos ou histórias curtas em livros que não gosto. Mas, ainda assim, foi-me impossível resistir à aura deste livro, e deste autor, confesso. Há qualquer coisa de magnético em Truman Capote, a que não consigo fugir. E foi com deleite que me deixei levar pelos relatos e devaneios de um homem que, além de brilhante, também não esconde a vaidade exuberante e um ego balofo que o fazem único. Um ser que tem tanto de detestável como de magnífico. Vê-lo discorrer sobre a vida de estrelas com quem tinha a sorte de lidar por questões profissionais, deixá-lo destilar ódio temperado com algum humor, enquanto expõe fraquezas e vícios de quem lhe abriu a porta de casa e, até do coração, é um exercício desgastante e, ao mesmo tempo, fascinante. Pouco antes de morrer, Truman Capote decidiu expor em "Música para Camaleões" histórias semi-privadas de figuras que conhecia bem, tornando, com isso, o resto dos seus dias num verdadeiro Inferno por se ter dado a tal atrevimento. Uma bomba datada que apenas podemos entender se a tentarmos trazer para os dias de hoje. De todos aqueles escândalos, só a relação próxima com Marilyn Monroe resiste ao passar do tempo e nos consegue realmente cativar. Tudo o resto são acertos de contas passadas que não nos tocam, servindo apenas para confirmar o imenso talento do autor para o registo de crónica social. Essa sim, uma experiência que fez escola e ainda podemos encontrar, um pouco por todo o lado. Basta estarmos atentos.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Galina

    Правя важното уточнение, че имам сборното издание, излязло през далечната 1984 година. Цензурирано и преминало през ситото на онова време, то е орязано и не в пълния вид, на който "Колибри" залага и който, надявам се, аз също ще си купя в близкото бъдеще. Безспорно, "Ковчежета ръчноделки" е онази история, която заковава вниманието. Поставил себе си сред вихрушката от събития, превърнал се във важен герой, притежаващ ключова роля за повествованието, Капоти бавно, майсторски, в подробности проучва Правя важното уточнение, че имам сборното издание, излязло през далечната 1984 година. Цензурирано и преминало през ситото на онова време, то е орязано и не в пълния вид, на който "Колибри" залага и който, надявам се, аз също ще си купя в близкото бъдеще. Безспорно, "Ковчежета ръчноделки" е онази история, която заковава вниманието. Поставил себе си сред вихрушката от събития, превърнал се във важен герой, притежаващ ключова роля за повествованието, Капоти бавно, майсторски, в подробности проучва проявленията на злото и най-мрачните му нюанси. Преди "Хладнокръвно" да се появи в съзнанието му (перфектен роман, няма да се уморя да го повтарям), той се концентрира не толкова върху мотивите, които принуждават едно човешко същество жестоко да погуби друго, а върху играта на котка и мишка. Неизменното правило - единият е ловец, а другият жертва, е врязано дълбоко в сюжета, като ролите неколкократно се променят. Загадъчни убийства, изпипани и в най-малките детайли, принуждават шепа хора да живеят в ужас. Онзи, който стои зад извършването им, не само не се страхува, но и предупреждава бъдещите си жертви, изпращайки им малки, почти сувенирни ковчежета. Сред концентрираното, мрачно, на моменти безнадеждно повествование, блесва следното: "Баба ми Мейсън никога не произнасяше думата "смърт". Умре ли някой, особено някой близък, тя ще каже "повикаха го". За нея не бяха погребани, завинаги загубени от нас, а по-скоро "някого са го повикали" обратно в щастливия свят на детството, свят от живи неща. Ето, така е за мен със сестра ми. Ади са я повикали да живее сред нещата, които обича. Деца. Деца и цветя. Птички. Самораслите цветчета, които береше в планината". ... Така е и за мен. Всичките суперлативи, които един автор може да провокира, вече съм написала по адрес на Капоти. Защото, струва ми се, той е единственият, който разказвайки зловеща и плашеща история, успява да ми донесе лично успокоение. И светлина.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Excellent anthology of short stories, essays and one short nonfiction piece. These stories show the full range of Capote's talent, ability with words and description as well as give insight to some of the famous people - via conversations - who Capote consorted with, entertained, interacted with and had as intimates and friends. Though all of these 'events' happened thirty years ago or more, they feel fresh and new. Sometimes I am surprised that 'we' used 'that expression' back in the 70's? Or 6 Excellent anthology of short stories, essays and one short nonfiction piece. These stories show the full range of Capote's talent, ability with words and description as well as give insight to some of the famous people - via conversations - who Capote consorted with, entertained, interacted with and had as intimates and friends. Though all of these 'events' happened thirty years ago or more, they feel fresh and new. Sometimes I am surprised that 'we' used 'that expression' back in the 70's? Or 60's? Often what feels new is very old. My favorite, the long nonfiction piece about a murderer who sends his victims hand-carved coffins with their photograph inside. A conversation with Marilyn Monroe is also great, revealing her insecurities as well as her talent. His day spent with a woman who cleaned houses was also fascinating, a snippet of time from over forty years ago and something that would have been lost had he not captured it so well. His was a life cut too short, for sure. A great read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    صان

    اولش که شروع میکنی به خوندن، ممکنه با خودت بگی خب چی داشت؟ اما هرچی جلوتر میری با لحن صمیمی و ساده نویسنده بیشتر هماهنگ میشی و از ماجراهاش لذت بیشتری میبری. داستانهاش پیچیده نیستن اما جذابن و نمیتونی بفهمی که مستند بوده یا فقط ایدههای اولیه از ماجراهای واقعی اومده و نویسنده توش تغییراتی داده تا جذابتر بشن. اولش که شروع می‌کنی به خوندن، ممکنه با خودت بگی خب چی داشت؟ اما هرچی جلوتر می‌ری با لحن صمیمی و ساده نویسنده بیشتر هماهنگ می‌شی و از ماجراهاش لذت بیشتری می‌بری. داستان‌هاش پیچیده نیستن اما جذابن و نمی‌تونی بفهمی که مستند بوده یا فقط ایده‌های اولیه از ماجراهای واقعی اومده و نویسنده توش تغییراتی داده تا جذاب‌تر بشن.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elnaz Bhb

    ترومن کاپوتی بی نظیر است. اینقدر بی نظیر که حتی داستانک های روزمره زندگیش هم به اندازه داستان هایی که از خودش می سازد گیرا و جذاب است. فضاسازی هایش همه به قاعده و دوست داشتنی و حتی-به لزوم- ترسناک! دوست داشتنی ترین داستانش به نظر من «بچه جذاب» است حاصل یک بعدازظهر با مریلین مونرو.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Really good book of short true stories by Capote. If you have never read anything of his, this would be a good place to try on his style.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roozbeh Estifaee

    I had heared of Truman Capote as a creator of what is called "non-fiction novel". Though not sure about what it meant, I was absorbed by the idea this expression suggested. So I read Music for Chameleons and boy! That was something! The book is conducted in three parts: Music for Chameleons, Handcarved Coffins, and Conversational Portraits. The first is a set of six "non-fiction" short stories, which are, to say, perfect stories from which the "tale" is taken. The second part is a short novel, wr I had heared of Truman Capote as a creator of what is called "non-fiction novel". Though not sure about what it meant, I was absorbed by the idea this expression suggested. So I read Music for Chameleons and boy! That was something! The book is conducted in three parts: Music for Chameleons, Handcarved Coffins, and Conversational Portraits. The first is a set of six "non-fiction" short stories, which are, to say, perfect stories from which the "tale" is taken. The second part is a short novel, written in the same manner. It is a crime story based on the murders of a serial killer. But the third, and I think the best, part of the book includes seven conversations between Capote and some people in his life, like a cleaning lady, Marilyn Monroe, and even a talk between him and himself! In a very enlightening preface to the book, Capote talks about writing and expresses his reasons for coming up with non-fiction novel. One of his main goals is, as he mentions, to take use of all he knows about writing in a single form. That's what you can easily see in this book. From journalic essays to film-scripts and fiction, there is a bit every kind of prose writing in his work. And the point is, he shows great skills in writing them all! Capote's style and ability to write, along with the continuous presence of his charming character throughout the book, made this a joy for me to read; and I'm confident enough to suggest it to all those who love reading as a serious business, which is not solely intended to fill up their free time and let them rest.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leopoldo

    Capote en su etapa más confesional, más humana. Siempre deja al lector preguntándose cuánto de esto habrá vivido y cuánto se inventa. El recurso anecdótico le permite crear cuentos perfectamente redondos y conmovedores. Sobresaltan, deleitan e intrigan. No se puede pedir nada más.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ΠανωςΚ

    edit - είμαι πολύ εντυπωσιασμένος για να γράψω οτιδήποτε, και πολύ χαρούμενος που διάβασα αυτό το βιβλίο.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rick Rowland

    I think I just discovered my new favorite book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sciuto

    Going back and re-reading the works of Truman Capote is like visiting an old and trusted and extremely wise friend. Mr Capote as much as any writer I have read, knew the difference between good writing and very good writing and between very good writing and brilliant writing. And for most of his career, his writing was brilliant. He could write as descriptively and beautifully as F. Scott Fitzgerald or as descriptively and brutally realistic as Joseph Conrad, but as much as any writer he knew the Going back and re-reading the works of Truman Capote is like visiting an old and trusted and extremely wise friend. Mr Capote as much as any writer I have read, knew the difference between good writing and very good writing and between very good writing and brilliant writing. And for most of his career, his writing was brilliant. He could write as descriptively and beautifully as F. Scott Fitzgerald or as descriptively and brutally realistic as Joseph Conrad, but as much as any writer he knew the correct balance when it came to his writing, his subjects, and his characters. "Music For Chameleons" includes a wonderful collection of short stories and a brilliant and gripping short, non-fiction, novel called "Handcarved Coffins." The stories are quite a diversified collection of Americana and the locations include New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, the Midwest, and Alabama...and a little bit of Italy, Russia, and Switzland. Mr Capote feels as much at home writing about Hollywood stars, as he does about cleaning ladies working in Manhattan, or as he does about writing about murderers and a member of the Manson clan. The one thing all the stories and the novel have in common is a vivid, undeniable "honesty." "Honesty," the most important quality that only the greatest of writers have ever achieved.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Íris

    Música Para Camaleões foi o primeiro livro que li de Truman Capote. Definitivamente não é a melhor escolha para débutant de um autor, mas fica-se sabendo se é o estilo de narrativa e escrita que nós apreciamos. Num sentido de humor único, por vezes sarcástico, por vezes um pouco cruel e sagaz, Capote conta vários episódios da sua vida atribulada de escritor e viajante. O prefácio é, provavelmente, o que mais gosto no livro. Explica o fervor que Capote sempre sentiu pelas palavras e como a escrita Música Para Camaleões foi o primeiro livro que li de Truman Capote. Definitivamente não é a melhor escolha para débutant de um autor, mas fica-se sabendo se é o estilo de narrativa e escrita que nós apreciamos. Num sentido de humor único, por vezes sarcástico, por vezes um pouco cruel e sagaz, Capote conta vários episódios da sua vida atribulada de escritor e viajante. O prefácio é, provavelmente, o que mais gosto no livro. Explica o fervor que Capote sempre sentiu pelas palavras e como a escrita sempre fora parte dele desde tenra idade, como quem aprende a respirar. É um testemunho que nos aproxima dele e nos leva a compreender melhor os contos que são lidos a seguir. O livro está divididos pelos contos, sendo o primeiro que dá nome ao livros, Música Para Camaleões, que conta uma conversa que quase dá a sensação de ter acontecido num universo paralelo, onde os camaleões se juntam em torno do piano de cauda para ouvir a dona tocar. Sim, os camaleões gostam de música. Com um laivo de quem aprecia thrillers e policiais, Capote conta várias vezes sobre situações onde se viu envolvido com a polícia, dentre as quais, uma em que fugiu a esta para não fazer o seu depoimento enquanto testemunha numa audiência no tribunal, entrando assim numa aventura digna da sua própria ficção. As situações inusitadas pelas quais Capote passa são definitivamente as minhas preferidas do livro, tais como as conversas de teor sexual que tem com Marilyn Monroe numa capela após o funeral onde também lhe confessa as suas inseguranças enquanto mulher; um bordel onde uma mulata serve cerejas em natas regadas a bebidas espirituosas pela vagina; ou uma velha senhora que mantém os seu gatos mortos congelados como uma lembrança do seu amor por eles. É um livro que entretém e gostei bastante de ler. É divertido, escrito numa narrativa fluida mas tipicamente americana e com um sentido de humor que só cabe aos de mente livre e com uma tendência para o niilismo. Embora o timbre da sua narrativa não seja dos meus preferidos, foi uma leitura bastante agradável. Ler este e outros artigos no meu blog Subverso Literatura.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Halley Sutton

    Hmm. Hmm. Lots of thoughts here. 1. I'd read a grocery list if Truman Capote wrote it, so I am not unbiased in my review. 2. That said. Jesus, what a preface! I sure love to read him, but I can't imagine he was any picnic to know, particularly in later years. (Although who wouldn't have loved to split a bottle of champagne with him and Marilyn Monroe, seriously.) Particularly of interest was the line about discovering what is true and what is REALLY true. Where in Capote's psyche did "Handcarved Hmm. Hmm. Lots of thoughts here. 1. I'd read a grocery list if Truman Capote wrote it, so I am not unbiased in my review. 2. That said. Jesus, what a preface! I sure love to read him, but I can't imagine he was any picnic to know, particularly in later years. (Although who wouldn't have loved to split a bottle of champagne with him and Marilyn Monroe, seriously.) Particularly of interest was the line about discovering what is true and what is REALLY true. Where in Capote's psyche did "Handcarved Coffins" fall there? Is he acknowledging that this story, which he insisted was fact, was true but not REALLY true or did he get so far wrapped up in the myth of it that he started to believe it was true-- and that in fact made it "true", his belief in it? Does it matter if this story is true or not, in much the same way the Trojan War, as fact, doesn't really matter because it created great art and literature-- so the historical basis of it is negligible? (Paging Bob Sacamanoff.) I'm not sure that it does. On the other hand, I can see how much interest would be generated by this story because of the "true story" factor and particularly in the wake of "In Cold Blood"-- but it's still a great novella, regardless of how Capote positioned it. I'm sure he would've loved the expose and controversy. Kim Kardashian's literary predecessor. (KIDDING.) Clearly missing my undergrad lit-paper writing days. Sorry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I liked the first two thirds of this book quite a lot. Capote was just an amazingly skilled writer, and his clean, thoughtful prose really worked for me. However, I found the last third (Conversational Portraits) pretty irritating. In the first part of the book, even though Capote is a character in all stories, and is a strong narrative presence, it didn't overwhelm the work. The third part, though, is Capote in full-blown egomaniac, name-dropping mode. I could've done without the nearly minute- I liked the first two thirds of this book quite a lot. Capote was just an amazingly skilled writer, and his clean, thoughtful prose really worked for me. However, I found the last third (Conversational Portraits) pretty irritating. In the first part of the book, even though Capote is a character in all stories, and is a strong narrative presence, it didn't overwhelm the work. The third part, though, is Capote in full-blown egomaniac, name-dropping mode. I could've done without the nearly minute-by-minute account of him getting high with his maid. The last story really sums up this section well: in it, Capote is having a conversation with himself, jacking off, and reciting a list of famous people he hates. Enough said. I recommend the second part, Handcarved Coffins, though. It is an account of a series of unsolved murders in a small American town and Capote's writing really shines.

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