A♥ A♥ A♥ A♥ A♥ A♥ A♥ A♥
It’s Week 26 of Deal Me In 2014 which means we’re at the halfway point. I selected the Ace of Hearts which led me to Truman Capote’s short story “A Diamond Guitar”. My Deal Me In 2014 list can be seen here. DMI is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis
Up until now, the only Capote stories I’ve read have been his holiday stories, “A Christmas Memory”, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” and “One Christmas”. They are all excellent and have made me want to read more of his work.
“A Diamond Guitar” is a well-crafted story with well-developed characters. Mr. Schaeffer, an inmate at a farm prison for committing murder, begins and ends the story alone (in prison, but alone). In between, he befriends a Cuban kid, Tico Feo. Tico, an inmate himself, entertains the rest of the prisoners by playing Spanish songs on his guitar decorated with glass diamonds. He also tells stories about his adventures prior to prison – most of which everyone knows are lies.
Capote conveys a certain innocence with Tico’s and Mr. Schaeffer’s friendship. At times, the innocence works; however, other times, it seems at odds with a story about a farm prison. This story was written in 1950, before Capote’s famous work of non-fiction, In Cold Blood. I’ve never read this book, but perhaps my expectations for “A Diamond Guitar” were influenced more by the film versions of In Cold Blood than by his holiday works. I expected holiday stories to be a little sentimental, but not a prison story. However, “A Diamond Guitar” is good enough for me to continue exploring Capote’s work.