Sunday, December 25, 2011

Truman Capote: "A Christmas Memory"

If you're looking for a great holiday read...this is the place I recommend you go. I love this book! Plain and simple. I always save it for the holiday season though, and I never read it at any other time. It's become a holiday tradition. The three short stories all take place in holiday seasons during the depression and feature the same setting and characters, so they form a nice group for a single volume.

"A Christmas Memory" is really the core of the book for me, and it's my favorite short story ever. I've read it every Christmas for something like ten years now and I have the same powerful, emotional reaction every time...and I'm not given to outbursts of emotional vulnerability. I smile, laugh, cry, and daydream about my own Christmas memories every time I read it. No other story affects me like this one, and I think everyone will see a little of themselves or their childhood somewhere in these pages. The other two stories are very well done. I'd probably rave about them much more if I could value each on its own merits, but they do get lost in the glare of "A Christmas Memory".

While this is excellent as a literary work, what I really value in these stories is their beauty, simplicity, and truth. Highly recommended for a holiday evening with hot chocolate, a lit tree, and Xmas carols playing. For an even better impact, there is a CD out there of Truman Capote reading "A Christmas Memory". Well worth picking up if you want to share this story as a holiday traditional with your family.

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