Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 25, 2009

Summer Crossing (2005), by Truman Capote, read by Lorelei King

Summer CrossingSummer Crossing is breathtakingly good – even if you didn’t know that Capote (1924 – 1984) wrote it when he was only 19.  It was his first novel, thought to have been destroyed by him, but it turned up and was published after his death. It is a coming-of-age novel, about a rich, spoilt and beautiful girl improbably named Grady after a dead brother.  Her mother, an ambitious socialite, has grand plans for her daughter, plans which Grady is determined to frustrate, and opportunity arises to do just that when they abandon her alone in New York while they go off somewhere in Europe on holidays.  (It’s hard to remember details when listening to an audio book en route to work).

Grady (only seventeen years of age) has a temptestuous love affair with Clyde, a most unsuitable young parking attendant. His rival, Peter, knows about it, but tries only to protect her from the consequences of her own defiance.  (He is so nice, and so wise, he must surely be modelled on the young Capote himself.)  The inevitable happens, but the denouement is a shock and even more so on this exquisite narration by Lorelei King.

What is astonishing is Capote’s command of the language.  He uses brilliantly original similes, metaphor and dialogue to convey his scorn for a way of life long gone now. Even though I was impressed by Breakfast at Tiffany’s and my initial reading of In Cold Blood shows Capote to be a master of prose, it is still hard to believe that a 19 year old could write so well.  Summer Crossing is available in the Penguin reprint series and is now on my wishlist – I loved this!

Author: Truman Capote
Title: Summer Crossing
Narrator: Lorelei King
Publisher: BBC Audio Books, 2006
ISBN: 9781405674089
Source: Kingston Library




  1. Hi Lisa. I stop by your blog often, but always feel a bit inadequate because my reading habits are so non-literary compared to yours! :)

    This review has me intrigued…

    Fiona :)


  2. It was a WONDERFUL book to record! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it….


  3. Oh Lorelei, how lovely to hear from you! I have listened to a number of stories you have recorded (though this is the first I have blogged) and I am so very impressed by the way you are able to narrate in so many different voices and even the men sound authentic. What particularly impressed me in this one was the way you were able to switch effortlessly from one character to another and to depict Capote’s wit with such subtlety.
    All the best


  4. Thanks for you kind words, Lisa – it’s made my morning! And thanks for reviewing a slightly ‘non-mainstream’ book…. Lorelei


  5. Hey Lisa!

    James Herring has gotten back to me re conferences in the UK in September. He suggests visiting as your best bet for information.

    I hope this helps.

    Fiona :)


  6. Thanks, Fiona – I’ve sent them en email:)


  7. I thought this audio book was memorably good. Well done Lorelei King.


    • Hello Peter, welcome!
      Yes, the narration is one of the best I know of. She really brings the story to life.


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