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The Thanksgiving Visitor / A Christmas Memory

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Companion tales: The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory in one boxed edition.


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Companion tales: The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory in one boxed edition.

52 review for The Thanksgiving Visitor / A Christmas Memory

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 5 perfect stars I am second to none in my admiration for Truman Capote's major work, In Cold Blood, but it isn't a feel-good read or an uplifting one. This story is both. It is perfectly constructed. It leads the reader from room to room, place to place, experience to memory, without ever breaking the literary fourth wall. Yes, it's a memory, in French this form would be called a récit; but it's never Narrated By A Future Self. Seldom does a wide-ranging reader come across so perfect an ex Rating: 5 perfect stars I am second to none in my admiration for Truman Capote's major work, In Cold Blood, but it isn't a feel-good read or an uplifting one. This story is both. It is perfectly constructed. It leads the reader from room to room, place to place, experience to memory, without ever breaking the literary fourth wall. Yes, it's a memory, in French this form would be called a récit; but it's never Narrated By A Future Self. Seldom does a wide-ranging reader come across so perfect an example of a memory told as a story as ordinarily authors use this technique in order to comment on either the nature of or the facts within a memory. Capote tells his adult readers what happened on one happy day and leaves them to it. There is always an element of summary in any memory, in any récit (brief, streamlined novelish things that they are); here it is the outgrowth of listening to the man Capote's story instead of Capote Making A Point. This is a favorite reading experience for me and has stood well the cruel test of time when periodically re-read. If this is your first reading of it, I am glad for you that you have found your way here. I hope to see you in our company again soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    Check out my individual reviews on each story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rasma

    If I had to choose one piece of literature to be my all time favorite, it would be Truman Capote's, A Christmas Memory. I love The Thanksgiving Visitor as well, but next to A Christmas Memory, which is perfection, it is merely fantastically wonderful. If I had to choose one piece of literature to be my all time favorite, it would be Truman Capote's, A Christmas Memory. I love The Thanksgiving Visitor as well, but next to A Christmas Memory, which is perfection, it is merely fantastically wonderful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    notgettingenough

    I hope I get to read more of this new-to-me author. http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres... I hope I get to read more of this new-to-me author. http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I just love these holiday stories about Capote’s childhood. What a moving story of friendship.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mayda

    These two tender stories have at their core a young boy, Buddy, with only one friend, his elderly cousin, Miss Sook. The relationship they share may be an unusual one, but they complement each other, each fulfilling a need in the other one. In “The Thanksgiving Visitor,” a schoolmate who torments Buddy is invited to Thanksgiving dinner by Miss Sook. An action committed by the guest results in a surprising lesson that changes lives. In “A Christmas Memory,” Miss Sook and Buddy make their traditio These two tender stories have at their core a young boy, Buddy, with only one friend, his elderly cousin, Miss Sook. The relationship they share may be an unusual one, but they complement each other, each fulfilling a need in the other one. In “The Thanksgiving Visitor,” a schoolmate who torments Buddy is invited to Thanksgiving dinner by Miss Sook. An action committed by the guest results in a surprising lesson that changes lives. In “A Christmas Memory,” Miss Sook and Buddy make their traditional fruit cakes, thirty of them, to give to special people. It’s a touching story, written in a lyrical style that differs from much of Capote’s other works. A passage from it was read at Capote’s memorial service, when Joanne Carson quoted Capote as saying that it was his most perfect work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    William

    This book of two short stories ranks up there with Alice's Restaurant, A Child's Christmas in Wales, and A Christmas Story. It is both warm and fuzzy but with import. I'd recommend it for the seasons coming up; it evokes a lot of my own memories. This book of two short stories ranks up there with Alice's Restaurant, A Child's Christmas in Wales, and A Christmas Story. It is both warm and fuzzy but with import. I'd recommend it for the seasons coming up; it evokes a lot of my own memories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I love everything about this book, including the packaging - the box with the picture of a young Capote ad his cousin Miss Sook. These two stories, just over 100 pages for both, provide a wonderful introduction to the holiday season. The Thanksgiving Visitor tells of Miss Sook's invitation to Thanksgiving dinner of the boy's 12 year old bully. A Christmas Memory tells of baking fruitcakes and other Christmas preparations of Miss Sook and the young boy. I have owned and read this book a number of I love everything about this book, including the packaging - the box with the picture of a young Capote ad his cousin Miss Sook. These two stories, just over 100 pages for both, provide a wonderful introduction to the holiday season. The Thanksgiving Visitor tells of Miss Sook's invitation to Thanksgiving dinner of the boy's 12 year old bully. A Christmas Memory tells of baking fruitcakes and other Christmas preparations of Miss Sook and the young boy. I have owned and read this book a number of times and enjoyed it each time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Very well-written and poignant. I don't want to say too much here, but these short stories make quite a remarkable reading experience. A folksy style, an easy tone, and innocent characters might become trite in the hands of a lesser writer, but here, they are matched with the gritty reality and sorrows of life. I have read A Christmas Memory three times now, and each time, I am blown away, all over again, at the power of Capote's words, and at the incredible skill with which he uses them. I have Very well-written and poignant. I don't want to say too much here, but these short stories make quite a remarkable reading experience. A folksy style, an easy tone, and innocent characters might become trite in the hands of a lesser writer, but here, they are matched with the gritty reality and sorrows of life. I have read A Christmas Memory three times now, and each time, I am blown away, all over again, at the power of Capote's words, and at the incredible skill with which he uses them. I have read Christmas stories before. I probably have even read hundreds of them, and many are the same. But I have never read anything quite like these. Somewhat cynical, and still fondly reminiscent; bleak, sorrowful, and wretched, and yet strangely hopeful; these stories tell of separation and death, of irredeemable loss, and yet they offer a glimpse of something wholesome and never quite breakable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I found a collection that included these 2 stories along with "One Christmas". I can't actually say what I was expecting from Truman Capote but I can assure you it wasn't what I received. These stories are so sweet, charming and tender. The language and style are endearing and I wished that they would go on and on. I never read Breakfast at Tiffany's but have seen the film countless times. Yet, even that could not prepare me for the endearing voice found in these short stories. A really lovely s I found a collection that included these 2 stories along with "One Christmas". I can't actually say what I was expecting from Truman Capote but I can assure you it wasn't what I received. These stories are so sweet, charming and tender. The language and style are endearing and I wished that they would go on and on. I never read Breakfast at Tiffany's but have seen the film countless times. Yet, even that could not prepare me for the endearing voice found in these short stories. A really lovely surprise.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie Biles

    Truman Capote’s masterful ability to depict his characters, including himself, vividly and completely makes for a most beautiful autobiographical Thanksgiving narrative. The amazing gift of friendship and the lessons learned both strike and change this reader!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hogfather

    A pair of really heart-warming short stories that I will definitely recommend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I loved this story so much!! I will be reading it at Christmas every year!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    Despite a very sad childhood, Truman had one shining star. His elderly cousin Sooke navigated him through a tough patch, teaching him right from wrong, and good from evil. When he was dumped in rural Alabama by parents who did not want to be responsible in raising him, this bright, sensitive, lonely boy temporarily found an anchor in Sooke. Bullied abusively by many, but in particular by a near do well named Odd, he dreaded going to school. Told by Odd that he was beating him to "toughen him up", Despite a very sad childhood, Truman had one shining star. His elderly cousin Sooke navigated him through a tough patch, teaching him right from wrong, and good from evil. When he was dumped in rural Alabama by parents who did not want to be responsible in raising him, this bright, sensitive, lonely boy temporarily found an anchor in Sooke. Bullied abusively by many, but in particular by a near do well named Odd, he dreaded going to school. Told by Odd that he was beating him to "toughen him up", Truman truly never did toughen up. Both as a child and an adult, Truman was an incredibly insecure person. In this story, when he confesses to Sooke that he fears Odd, she explains that Odd and his family are poorer than most, that his father is not exactly a great man, and that his mother does the best she can. Sooke tells Truman he must invite Odd to the family Thanksgiving dinner. Sooke paves the way, and Thanksgiving day finds Odd in Truman's company. Jealous beyond comprehension, Truman seethes when Odd is given attention by family members. The opportunity for revenge strikes when Truman observes Odd stealing Sookes one and only valuable item -- an old cameo. Deliberately embarrassing Odd, Truman waits for the opportunity to announce to those at the table that Odd is a thief. Sooke becomes incredibly angry at Truman, berating him and noting that it is never right to deliberately exhibit cruelty. Sadly, in the pages of the book Truman seems to understand this lesson. If real life, this adage is not carried through. Five stars for this well-written, poignant tale.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    Truman Capote lived with some distant, elderly relatives in Alabama until he was 10 years old and was sent away to a military boarding school. He was especially fond of his cousin Miss Sook, who was quite childlike herself. This books recounts two tales from Capote's childhood. Both are rather somber affairs, the Christmas story more so than the Thanksgiving one. Don't expect to feel uplifted at the end. Update: I chose these 2 stories as my pick for a book club I am hosting in November 2018, so I Truman Capote lived with some distant, elderly relatives in Alabama until he was 10 years old and was sent away to a military boarding school. He was especially fond of his cousin Miss Sook, who was quite childlike herself. This books recounts two tales from Capote's childhood. Both are rather somber affairs, the Christmas story more so than the Thanksgiving one. Don't expect to feel uplifted at the end. Update: I chose these 2 stories as my pick for a book club I am hosting in November 2018, so I reread them to refresh my memory. I actually liked them better the 2nd time around and raised my rating from 3 stars to 4, although I still find the stories bittersweet. I added "One Christmas" into the mix this time, which adds dimension to the other 2 stories. I drew a definite comparison between these stories and "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Capote's friend Harper Lee. The Odd Henderson and Walter Cunningham characters and story lines are practically interchangeable. (Dispel the rumor - Truman Capote did NOT play Dill in TKAM. That actor's name was John Megna. I don't know how that rumor got started.) I found a 5-part video on YouTube of the 1968 Geraldine Page version that is a very faithful production of "The Thanksgiving Visitor". I couldn't find it on DVD anywhere, though. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Juniper

    Home for the holiday is not applicable to people at some point in life and A Christmas Memory touches upon this emotion. Seasonal advertising is all about family returning home to gather, but ignores people who are not part of that "norm." After my parents passed on, there really was no home to return to for the holidays except in my memory or my own physical home. A Christmas Memory touches upon traditions with loved ones and what it feels like when that is no longer possible. The writing is lo Home for the holiday is not applicable to people at some point in life and A Christmas Memory touches upon this emotion. Seasonal advertising is all about family returning home to gather, but ignores people who are not part of that "norm." After my parents passed on, there really was no home to return to for the holidays except in my memory or my own physical home. A Christmas Memory touches upon traditions with loved ones and what it feels like when that is no longer possible. The writing is lovely and Capote captures this neglected situation of the holiday. Individuals who grew up with divorced parents can relate to the child's challenges in One Christmas. The absent parent seeking affirmation they are loved; spending time with a parent that feels like a familiar stranger. An interesting story, but not one I feel compelled to read more than once. The Thanksgiving Visitor is an interesting story, but did not leave much of an impression.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zella Kate

    Confession: I was supposed to read these when I was working on my thesis. I did start them and really liked them, but I stopped reading after a few pages once I figured out they weren't going to relate to my topic because, well, I had deadlines. Anyway, I figured it was time to actually get around to finishing them, and I'm glad I did because they were excellent. They're superb examples of Capote's short fiction, which I think is highly underrated and is among his best work. They're wry, witty, Confession: I was supposed to read these when I was working on my thesis. I did start them and really liked them, but I stopped reading after a few pages once I figured out they weren't going to relate to my topic because, well, I had deadlines. Anyway, I figured it was time to actually get around to finishing them, and I'm glad I did because they were excellent. They're superb examples of Capote's short fiction, which I think is highly underrated and is among his best work. They're wry, witty, astute, hilarious, and poignant and well worth a read. Great holiday stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elsabe

    Found a beautiful old copy in a second hand bookstore! Boxed edition and fabric covered. Oh joy. Love how honest he is, yet so gentle. Cant wait to read more of Truman Capote. Wonder if he is another author like Roald Dahl - jumping from delightful children's fiction (Big friendly giant) to a thriller (Skin) to a sexy comedy (My uncle Oswald)? Found a beautiful old copy in a second hand bookstore! Boxed edition and fabric covered. Oh joy. Love how honest he is, yet so gentle. Cant wait to read more of Truman Capote. Wonder if he is another author like Roald Dahl - jumping from delightful children's fiction (Big friendly giant) to a thriller (Skin) to a sexy comedy (My uncle Oswald)?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    They weren't awful to read... the christmas stories both ended very sadly, and the Thanksgiving story was very anti-climatic, I was expecting something to happen and nothing ever did. So-so. Good for a quick read. They weren't awful to read... the christmas stories both ended very sadly, and the Thanksgiving story was very anti-climatic, I was expecting something to happen and nothing ever did. So-so. Good for a quick read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Till now the only thing I'd read by Truman Capote was "In Cold Blood." I was by myself at night and it scared me silly. I also watched Capote on tv and thought he was pretty strange. But this little book, read for book group, is beautifully written about his childhood and explains him a bit. Till now the only thing I'd read by Truman Capote was "In Cold Blood." I was by myself at night and it scared me silly. I also watched Capote on tv and thought he was pretty strange. But this little book, read for book group, is beautifully written about his childhood and explains him a bit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Krissy

    the version I read actually had three stories--two Christmas and the Thanksgiving one. All brilliant and beautiful tributes to his older cousin/friend who cared for him.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Lauer

    Rating for A Christmas Memory only.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Readstoomuch

    I've read these two short books several times. They are sitting on my "most favorite books" shelf. I expect that I'll read these again in a few years. I've read these two short books several times. They are sitting on my "most favorite books" shelf. I expect that I'll read these again in a few years.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Flaherty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Candace

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rich Wiscott

  31. 5 out of 5

    peg

  32. 5 out of 5

    Rattling

  33. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  34. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

  35. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Tackett

  37. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  38. 4 out of 5

    Erik Ferguson

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kingmont

  40. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

  41. 5 out of 5

    Carol Riley

  42. 5 out of 5

    Tanya W

  43. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jo Bertani

  45. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  46. 4 out of 5

    Foxglove Zayuri

  47. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  48. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

  49. 5 out of 5

    Adele

  50. 5 out of 5

    Luis Orellana

  51. 4 out of 5

    Cassondra Fearless Murray

  52. 4 out of 5

    Igraine

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