During the last days of Capote's life, Powers imagines a final correspondence between Truman Capote and Harper (Nelle) Lee. Capote's mind is pickled by drugs and alcohol. He makes a frantic phone call to his former best friend. He's been seeing ghosts, the ghosts of the Clutters. Capote immortalized their brutal deaths in his book In Cold Blood. He believes they've come to haunt him for his part in their unwanted fame.
For Lee, this phone call brings back unpleasant memories and causes her to brood over their lost friendship. Years ago, she helped Capote research In Cold Blood, while trying to get The Book (To Kill a Mockingbird) published. Never one to share the spotlight, Capote grew resentful of the public's fascination with Lee once The Book starts getting attention. He whispers a rumour which ends a lifelong friendship.
While subtitled as 'A Ghost Story', the ghosts (and it's questionable if they really are ghosts) are a very small part of the book. It's more a ponderous tale of what really happened between Capote and Lee. At first, I had a bit of trouble reviewing Capote in Kansas. I felt rather squeamish about Lee as a character since she is such an icon and still living. However, after interviewing Kim Powers (and how often can you do that?!!), I understand what he was trying to accomplish. What I know about Capote could fill a thimble, but from what I understand now, he was a lot like the character in the book. He seems to have loved shocking people and pushing their buttons. It just goes to show that behind all the pretty words is a real person with real frailties.
If you've ever wondered about Capote and Lee, this is the book for you.
My thanks to TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of Capote in Kansas and letting me be a part of this book tour.
Kim Powers’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, Oct. 1st: Bookgirl’s Nightstand
Friday, Oct. 3rd: Book Room Reviews
Monday, Oct. 6th: A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook
Wednesday, Oct. 8th: Tripping Toward Lucidity
Friday, Oct. 10th: book-a-rama
Monday, Oct. 13th: Ready When You Are, C.B.
Wednesday, Oct. 15th: Bibliolatry
Friday, Oct. 17th: Books and Movies
Monday, Oct. 20th: Booking Mama
Wednesday, Oct. 22nd: Diary of an Eccentric
Thursday, Oct. 23rd: Maw Books
Friday, Oct. 24th: Book Club Classics
Monday, Oct. 27th: Books and Cooks
Tuesday, Oct. 28th: Devourer of Books
Wednesday, Oct. 29th: Literate Housewife
Please visit my blog tomorrow. I'll have my very interesting interview with Kim Powers. I think you'll enjoy it.