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The Complete Stories (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Truman Capote , Reynolds Price
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Jun 2005 Penguin Classics

Including a previously-unpublished story 'The Bargain', Truman Capote's The Complete Stories is the first ever complete collection stories from one of the masters of American literature, and the author of Breakfast at Tiffany's. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Reynolds Price.

Passionate, perceptive and eloquent, the short stories of Truman Capote are amon the greatest works of twentieth-century American fiction. This new collection gathers them all together for the first time: from early, eerie Southern Gothic tales such as 'Miriam' and 'The Headless Hawk', to the brilliantly evocative 'Children On Their Birth-days' and the tenderly autobiographical 'A Christmas Memory' - an affectionate portrayal of Capote's own Alabama upbringing. Whether describing the Deep South of his childhood, or considering city life with the penetrating gaze of an outsider - as in 'Among the Paths to Eden' and the hitherto unpublished 'The Bargain' - these stories rank among Capote's finest work: acutely observed tales from a unique and brilliant mind.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed The Complete Stories, you might like Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'One of the century's greatest storytellers'

Independent on Sunday

Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Stories (Penguin Classics) + In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (Penguin Modern Classics) + Breakfast at Tiffany's (Penguin Essentials)
Price For All Three: 18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (30 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188089
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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“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 golden 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 that many writers can’t do at all. . . . [He] summons the sensory world in its bewildering, inexhaustible richness.” –"Lo

About the Author

Reynolds Price is James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University and the disinguished author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, poetry, drama and essays. He lives in North Carolina.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Storyteller 20 Dec 2007
Capote writes as if he invented the short story and knows all the secret ingredients to making one successful. Short stories are a notoriously difficult style to master, and yet the stories in this collection are written with the ease and grace of a genius. If you, like me, are easily distracted when it comes to reading and prefer things to be concise and to the point then look no furthur than this beautiful collection of short stories. Everything you want in a good story is there: humour, sadness, lucidity and melancholy, indeed, the very stuff of life itself. Beautifully written, sharply observed and original, this collection of short stories takes some beating. As an avid fan of short stories I have definately read my fair share and would go as far as to say that this is the best penned collection there is. I was hooked from start to finish. My particular favourites are 'House of Flowers' for its lush, lingering descriptions of the tropical scenery of Haiti and for its sweet (but not syrupy) depiction of first love. Others include 'Jug of Silver' for its affectionate small town wit and 'A Christmas Memory' for its depth of feeling and Capote's masterful delivery of prose, which characterises the rest of his writing. Definately worth a buy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good. 2 Aug 2008
By Al
I bought this book on a whim whilst looking for something to read on holiday. My only exposure to Mr Capote prior to this was the film 'Breakfast At Tiffanys' which I am not a particular fan of. I bought the book anyway and I am glad I did. This is short story writing of the highest calibre. Forthright, sometimes bordering on the corny (in a pleasing Americana way) and occasionally downright creepy (A Tree of night). The stories are presented in order of date from the 40's right up to the 70's and as such you are able to see the development of the author. Right from the start it is clear that here we have a rare talent. I really liked this and heartily recommend anyone to read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 4 May 2011
After seeing the film Capote (the second of its kind - finding the performances and general humour attractive) I thought I'd read some of Capote's short stories. I generally like American 20th C writers and found his material equally engaging: in particular the visual details. However, Salinger is still 'up there' for me - which says more about me than Capote as a writer. Easy to read and touching in the poetic sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection. 26 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a quite exceptional collection of stories covering the greater part of Capote's literary career, the last coming only two years before his death. While no doubt he will always be better known and more valued for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood". These stories deserve a wide audience. It's tempting to say that the stories grow in depth and complexity as their author ages, but even the earliest ones have a haunting resonance that seems to reach out beyond the local circumstances and particularities. There is a natural ease and lucidity in the writing, a sharp eye for detail and a sure ear for dialogue. It would be good to name favourites and mine is probably "Children on their Birthdays", but as soon as I am drawn to the features of one I'm pulled to the distinctive qualities of others. At the heart of all are human relationships and none fails to illuminate this major theme.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Short Stories 2 July 2010
I'd never read Capote before and the first story I read in this collection was Miriam, a hauntingly bizarre story about a widow plagued by a strange little girl who gradually encroaches upon her life. After that I was hooked. He writes in a wonderful, perfectly attuned manner, the plots are always well paced, and it's clear you're in the hands of a master story teller right from the outset. They are also interesting testiments to Capote's own life, especially his childhood. One of the most touching stories in the book (and one of the most touching stories I've ever read) is 'A Christmas Memory', an autobiographical piece about his Father.
Short stories aren't easy to get right but these ones are fine examples of the form at its best.
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