At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the mansion in Skully's Landing, ...Show synopsisAt the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the mansion in Skully's Landing, his father is nowhere is sight. What he finds instead is a sullen step-mother who delights in killing birds; an uncle with the face of a debauched child; and a fearsome little girl named Idabel.Hide synopsis
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This was the book that made Truman Capote's initial reputation, and it has enjoyed a revival with all the films about Capote's In Cold Blood period. Unfortunately, it's one of those books that doesn't look quite so good in retrospect. It starts off fascinatingly, but then deteriorates into what nowadays looks like stereotyped Southern Gothic. Weird characters, weird settings, weird events, extremely unlikely coincidences, and dream sequences that increasingly don't get differentiated from "real" experience. By the end of the book the whole thing is pretty much a mess. Interesting to read as a period piece, but nowadays we wonder "What got everyone so excited about this the first time around?"
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