by Truman Capots ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
Truman Capots, whose previous Other Voices, Other Rooms (a novel) and Tree of Night (short stories), were mightily submerged, subterranean and psychiatric, approximates the surface in his latest work- a group of semi-essays on such places as New Orleans, Tangier, Brooklyn, Ischia, Hollywood, New York, Haiti, Spain and Europe. Perceptive, clear-eyed and delightfully creative, these notes on places and people have caught the folk rhythms, the angular off-beats, the protective coloring, and the often surrealistic juxtaposition- and brought them into common focus. New Orleans is composed of uncertain vistas, ""old charm"", good eating places, a mammoth jazz man named ""Shotgun"", a man banging from a tree in an eerie courtyard where a hound dog drinks water- and Mr. Buddy, who sings, plays the guitar and keeps his nail scissors sharp for fights. Brooklyn is described brilliantly and eloquently creating the atmosphere of a ""continent of backyard lots"". Capote knows Mr. T. T. Huett-Smith, a distinguished, elderly lady who lives at the Cherokee in Brooklyn- an antiquated apartment hotel- and who steals silverware from the five and ten cents store. Another old man at the Cherokee throws light bulbs out of a window. It's the city where you can hear a cock crow. Hollywood is ""the no place of everywhere"", the childless place, the Chirico stamping ground where construction, lives, things are of the pasteboard, no-back variety. The treatment of New York is fairly routine; a magic island, a fairy land, etc. It has Joe Vitale, the radio repairman, who wants to swim from Rockaway to Jones Beach; it also has a bit about Garbo on Third Avenue- and something about a heat wave. In Haiti there is a description of a native dance- and whores- especially a six foot tall one. And there is swashbuckling, jealous Lucia in Venice who leads a band of juvenile delinquents; a dangerous walk in Ischia- and the meeting with the Mussolini family; evil Tangier where the Soko is always busy; a bandit scare in Spain....Textured, colorful, articulate, delicate, beautifully written and constructed- these shots in a dark, dark world are civilized and alive.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: -
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1950
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