Review: ‘Music for Chameleons’

music

Music for Chameleons
By Truman Capote

  • Date Finished: May 27, 2015
  • Genre: Short Stories, Narrative Nonfiction
  • Year: 1980
  • Project: Favorites Project
  • Reading List: Spring 2015, 25 Books to Read Before You’re 25
  • Grade: A+
  • Thoughts:

I feel like I’ve given a lot of books an A+ this year – more than in years’ past, that’s for sure. But this A+ is worth it because it’s part of my Favorites Project, it’s Truman Capote, and it’s the book that made me fall in love with Truman Capote – so much so that, after reading this book, I counted him among my favorite authors.

I actually don’t want to say too much about Music for Chameleons because I feel like knowing about this book takes away some of its magic. That’s, at least, how I feel given that so much of the pleasure I derived from reading this book came from the sheer surprise of, “This is a book by Truman Capote?” If all you’ve read of Truman Capote is Breakfast with Tiffany’s, then you’re truly missing out. I contend that Music for Chameleons is one of Capote’s most lyrical, sweetest books, even if it’s only a collection of brief stories, most of them true. We see Capote playing around with the narrative nonfiction style he pioneered in In Cold Blood with another chilling crime story, as well as quirky line-by-line recollections of conversations Capote held with various individuals during his life, from his cleaning lady to Marilyn Monroe.

And so if you’ve never thought of reading this book – try it. Give it a shot. You may not know anything about it. You may never have heard of it before today. But sometimes, when you give a book a chance, it can change your reading life forever. This was one of those books that did it for me.

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