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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely enjoyable first novel for all Capote fans
This never before published first novel by Truman Capote is a delight and should be a must-stockingstuffer for all fans of Capote. Although not his finest work, it nevertheless clearly displays his talents of description and characterisation and prefigures his later work esp. Breakfast at Tiffany's. The beautiful little hardback edition is a bonus and makes it a...
Published on 18 Nov 2005

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did He Really Want This Read?
Summer Crossing is the fairly newly discovered first novel by Truman Capote. It's taken from four school notebooks and various additional notes in the New York Public Library's Truman Capote Collection. Various experts and editors have then put it all together, and the part that doesn't quite agree with me, edited it and added parts where it was illegible. Now this is a...
Published on 2 Mar 2009 by Simon Savidge Reads


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did He Really Want This Read?, 2 Mar 2009
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Simon Savidge Reads "Simon" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summer Crossing (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Summer Crossing is the fairly newly discovered first novel by Truman Capote. It's taken from four school notebooks and various additional notes in the New York Public Library's Truman Capote Collection. Various experts and editors have then put it all together, and the part that doesn't quite agree with me, edited it and added parts where it was illegible. Now this is a double edged sword. The negative is that you don't know if Capote ever wanted this story read and it partly isn't a story he totally read or finished (thankfully no one has tried to finish his final novel) and has been fiddled with. The positive is that we get to see more of his work and with this novel in particular we get to see what may have been the beginnings of Holly Golightly forming and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Summer Crossing is a tale of first love. Grady's parents leave her in New York City alone (her sister Apple lives not to far away but is easy to elude and avoid) aged only eighteen. Grady is a bit of a minx. Having previously fallen for her fathers married friend she has actually tried to seduce him when his wife was pregnant whilst also being his wife's closest friend during her pregnancy. You can tell we have quite a feisty heroine pretty much from the start especially with the conversations with her mother as she stubbornly refuses to go away on a cruise with her or be paraded at any dances where she might meet a potential match.

As we find out Grady is already in love, though not with the sort of society boy her parents would wish for. Clyde is a Jewish Park Attendant who she is immediately attracted and devoted too. What follows is a hedonistic summer where drink and drugs are mixed with early freedom and desire proving a tragic, dangerous and dramatic mix. I loved Grady as a character I thought she was absolutely fantastic. I just didn't feel I knew any of the other characters really and in that sense you could tell it was an unfinished work and possibly the vague plotting of Holly Golightly.

I kind of wish I had read Breakfast at Tiffany's after this. Not because I was disappointed or didn't like Summer Crossing more that it just never quite matched up. I do get the feeling that if Capote had finished it he would have made it a lot longer, taking more time to introduce some of the characters and their personalities and back stories. I also would have liked to have known if the end is the ending he chose (quite possibly as it's quite shocking and dramatic) or if he had further plans for Grady who is a wonderful, wonderful character. I could have read a lot more about her and her adventures in the past and possibly beyond the book.

All in all I would say if you loved Breakfast at Tiffany's or are a die hard Capote fan then this is a book you wont want to miss out on. For everyone else it's a good read but on which you might find you drift away from as you turn the page.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely enjoyable first novel for all Capote fans, 18 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Crossing (Hardcover)
This never before published first novel by Truman Capote is a delight and should be a must-stockingstuffer for all fans of Capote. Although not his finest work, it nevertheless clearly displays his talents of description and characterisation and prefigures his later work esp. Breakfast at Tiffany's. The beautiful little hardback edition is a bonus and makes it a perfect gift.
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5.0 out of 5 stars We'll worth reading, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Summer Crossing (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
If you enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's then read this book as it gives an insight into its development and heritage. If you have not read breakfast at Tiffany's you should.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A promising start, 22 April 2013
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Truman (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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It's an interesting debate whether an author's previously unpublished work should remain unpublished. For what it's worth, I'm extremely glad I read Summer Crossing. The book is obviously unfinished and therefore nowhere near as accomplished or cohesive as Capote's other works, but there are revealing moments that make it worthwhile, for example the beautiful description of a mother bidding a temporary, touching farewell to her daughter. So while I wouldn't expect another Breakfast at Tiffany's, it's worth a few hours of any Capote fan's time.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Failed Draft, 9 Feb 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summer Crossing (Hardcover)
What does an unsuccessful draft of a fine author's work look like? If that question interests you, read Summer Crossing. If the question doesn't, you can skip this novel.
I doubt if this book would have been published except that the story contains bits and pieces of themes that are powerfully developed in Breakfast at Tiffany's, also by Mr. Capote.
When Truman Capote found his writing voice, it was in writing about his own life and the people he knew.
Summer Crossing comes across, by comparison, as a writing exercise disconnected from his personal experience that has serious problems in its conception and implementation.
So what's the story?
A rich young New York socialite, Grady McNeil, is left inexplicably behind and unchaperoned for the summer while her parents shop their way through Europe. In the best tradition of young people first on their own, Grady soon finds a way to break all the bounds of her former life. She craves the reality of this new life . . . but finds it brings complications she hadn't really expected.
With that set up, one would expect a fine short story . . . but Mr. Capote didn't yet have the skill to turn the premise into a novel. Later, he would.
Should the book have been salvaged and made available? I think so.
Should you read it? Probably not.
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Summer Crossing (Penguin Classics)
Summer Crossing (Penguin Classics) by Truman Capote (Paperback - 29 Jun 2006)
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