Capote in Kansas – Book Review and Blog Tour

Capote in Kansas: A Ghost Story by Kim Powers

Truman Capote and Harper Lee were childhood friends.  Truman inspired Harper’s character Dill in “To Kill A Mockingbird” and Harper, called Nelle by friends and family, went with Truman to Kansas to help him research the Clutter murders for his book “In Cold Blood.”  

Powers picks up the story of Truman and Nelle late in their life, as Truman begins to imagine that he is haunted by the ghost of Nancy Clutter, the murdered teenager.  In his fear he calls Nelle in the middle of the night.  He decides he must find a way to make amends both with the Clutters and with the friend he fell away from so many years before.

There was something very different about the style of this book, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.  Perhaps it was a mix of Truman Capote and the fear and desperation Nelle felt as strange things began to happen to her after Truman’s midnight call.  Whatever it was, it worked for me.  I definitely prefered Nelle’s periods of narration to the narration of Truman’s housekeeper, but it was all well done.  My very favorite parts of the story were Nelle’s rememberings of her youth, including the time in Kansas with Truman and the writing of The Book (“To Kill A Mockingbird”).  Perhaps the most interesting aspect was the slight exploration of the rumor that Capote was the real author of “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  

I really enjoyed this book.  Powers writes in a way that those who have never read “In Cold Blood” or even “To Kill A Mockingbird” can still understand what is going on, but I would recommend reading both before reading “Capote in Kansas,” as I think it will help with appreciation of this interesting novel.  

This book tour is nearly over, but you can still read one more review tomorrow, or go back and look up reviews at one of these great blogs:

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. (review)

Tuesday, Oct. 14th:  Ready When You Are, C.B. (author interview)

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

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