Truman Capote: In which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career

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Pan Macmillan, 1999 - Authors - 498 pages
2 Reviews

‘Reading this oral biography is like gate-crashing one of Capote’s parties and being buttonholed by a series of insistent guests . . . Plimpton’s collage of reminiscence is apt enough for its subject, and fascinatingly (and bitchily) evocative of the man’ Robert McCrum, Observer

‘It is at the heart of this book . . . that Capote can be seen and heard at first hand. There are so many different voices, just like those at the parties which he gave remorselessly, that he comes alive from a hundred different vantages . . . engaging and entertaining’ Peter Ackroyd, The Times

‘Its babel of contradictory voices does justice to a complex and multi-faceted man, while avoiding the desiccated thickets in which more conventional biographies flail around. What one takes away from this book are great stories’ Independent on Sunday

‘Fascinating and rewarding . . . Plimpton transcends the limits of the ordinary biography by presenting the story in the voices of the many people who lived it . . . We are allowed to listen . . . and then to make up our own mind who Capote really was’ Daily Telegraph

‘Capote’s life, brilliant, sharp and fragmentary as a broken mirror, is made vividly present’ Anthony Haden-Guest, Sunday Times

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TRUMAN CAPOTE: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Less a literary convocation than an A-list gab-fest, this volume is filled over the brim with three things Capote cared deeply about: gossip, name-dropping, and himself. An oral biography (on the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FicusFan - LibraryThing

I found this book to be very gripping. It was a page turner. It was an oral biography. Various people talked about Capote, from his childhood in Alabama to his death in California. Some people were ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

George Ames Plimpton was born March 18, 1927. He was educated first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then spent four years at Harvard majoring in English and editing the Harvard Lampoon, followed by two at King's College, Cambridge. Before he left for Cambridge, he served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948. After graduation, at about 27 years of age, Plimpton went with his friends to Paris. There they founded the Paris Review in 1953 and published poetry and short story writers and did interviews. In the '50s, Plimpton and staff came to New York, where they kept the Review going for half a century. The Review has published over 150 issues. Plimpton also served as a volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and was walking in front of him as the candidate was assassinated in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Plimpton was known as a "participatory journalist". In order to research his books and articles, he quarterbacked in a pre-season NFL game, pitched to several all-stars (retiring Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn) in an exhibition prior to Baseball's 1959 All-Star game, performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and fought boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson. Plimpton was alson known by the nickname the Prince of Cameos for the amount of work he did in films, playing small parts and screenwriting. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002. Within a month of the academy induction, the French made him a Chevalier, the Legion of Honor's highest rank. The Guild, an arts organization based on Long Island, gave him a lifetime achievement award. Plimpton was also a member of PEN; the Pyrotechnics Guild International; the National Football League Alumni Association; and the Mayflower Descendants Society. In 2003, Plimpton decided to write his memoirs, signing a $750,000 deal with Little, Brown and Co. Before he could finish, George Plimpton died, on September 26, 2003 of natural causes at the age of 76.

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