This one has been on my Kindle since it released. But after hearing it’s going to serve as the basis for Ryan Murphy’s Feud season 2 and has already cast Naomi Watts I picked it up immediately.
And honestly the most interesting thing about Capote’s Women might wind up being how Murphy’s going to embellish it.
Truman Capote had one much talked about (because he couldn’t help himself) but in the end unwritten work that he considered his magnum opus, Unanswered Prayers. It was a book that he was planning on writing about the high society he had been granted access to mainly through his friendships with the wives of some of the richest men in the world.
He called them his swans. Beautiful. Fashionable. Rich. Stylish. They had the best of the best and they had Capote’s attention for a time.
There’s some interesting stuff in here but honestly… I felt it was kind of surface.
I was hoping for some great roles for women (and Murphy will probably turn them into that) but the sad thing is while you can definitely see how some of the women were smart, energetic and empathetic they didn’t aspire to being (because they had been raised that way in a lot of cases) anything more than the wife of a rich man.
I appreciated the honesty of the money matters set. They were beautiful. They wanted and felt they deserved the best of everything. But they were also as one put it, ‘renters in their own lives’ or more specifically the lives of their husbands who for the most part treated them that way.
Capote himself was a super talented writer (who wrote most famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood) but after a rough childhood he could be absolutely vicious. He never hid the fact that he was a rabid gossip, even before the book and there’s certainly some manipulative things in his relationship with one of the killers from In Cold Blood.
(Also I hate to admit it but I realized I had been confusing Truman Capote and Andy Warhol so it was good to work that out in my head.)
Admittedly it’s hard to even see whether he was honest in any of his friendships with these women. He seemed to think he was but then he’d turn around and talk to his editor, or a manager or pretty much anyone that would listen (which might have been his biggest downfall) about how stupid they were.
And in the end he never delivered on the much promised book besides a couple of chapters worth of an excerpt that he published which pretty much ended his relationship with most of the swans (especially his first friend Babe Paley- who felt it was a knife in the back and will be the character Watt’s plays) something that somehow surprised him.
The strangest story though might be what happened to his ashes. Eek.
So while I expect the show to be dramatized up and give us great recreation of the fashion and parties and a time passed- Capote’s Women doesn’t really have much to it. Which is maybe why he could never crack Unanswered Prayers.
Recommend: Eh. If you’re really interested but otherwise I’d wait for the series. It will likely be a lot more fun!