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Writer's Block: Best book ever! [Mar. 7th, 2010|01:47 pm]
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Is there any book you can read over and over again without ever getting sick of it? Do you discover something new every time you read it?
Absolutely "Music for Chameleons" by Truman Capote. The personal narratives, celebrity or otherwise, are beyond brilliant. The reader gets to see and feel these people through Capote's detail-trained mind. My favorites are the interview with Manson murderer Bobby Beausoleil, in which I see both the killer and Capote from a different perspective, and "A Beautiful Child," another personal narrative that one has to read to believe- it will inspire you to view centuries of popular culture in a manner to which one would never have been otherwise made accessible.

Apart from Capote's personal narrative is a true-crime narrative much in the style of Capote's iconic classic "In Cold Blood." this has demonstrated dramatically Capote's own efforts to improve his narrative writing. Part of the genius of this piece, "Handcarved Coffins," is that it's very much a whodunit written in a manner that inspires sympathy for both victim and each suspect. The reader is led to believe that while each human is capable of the crime, each suspect is also a human. But, unlike "In Cold Blood," the mystery is never solved. I often hear Hunter S. Thompson lauded as the "father" of Gonzo journalism, but without Truman Capote's trailblazing, obsessively detail-obsessed mind as inspiration, there would be no Gonzo Journalism in the tradition we see now.

I do discover my own mysteries in each story in this book; it inspires new ideas and enthusiasm with each read. I find it to be by far Truman Capote's best book and highly recommend it.