- Published: 1994
- Number of pages: 343 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.48 MB
- Authors: Truman Capote
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
In one of the first non-fiction novels ever written, Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, generating both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
Amazon.com Review “Until one morning in mid-November of 1959, few Americans–in fact, few Kansans–had ever heard of Holcomb. Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.” If all Truman Capote did was invent a new genre–journalism written with the language and structure of literature–this “nonfiction novel” about the brutal slaying of the Clutter family by two would-be robbers would be remembered as a trail-blazing experiment that has influenced countless writers. But Capote achieved more than that. He wrote a true masterpiece of creative nonfiction. The images of this tale continue to resonate in our minds: 16-year-old Nancy Clutter teaching a friend how to bake a cherry pie, Dick Hickock’s black ’49 Chevrolet sedan, Perry Smith’s Gibson guitar and his dreams of gold in a tropical paradise–the blood on the walls and the final “thud-snap” of the rope-broken necks. Review “A masterpiece … a spellbinding work.” —Life”A remarkable, tensely exciting, superbly written ‘true account.’ ” —The New York Times “The best documentary account of an American crime ever written … The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence … harrowing.” —The New York Review of Books From the Inside Flap With the publication of this book, Capote permanently ripped through the barrier separating crime reportage from serious literature. As he reconstructs the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, Capote generates suspense and empathy.
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ “In Cold Blood” is an iconic non fiction book that is authored by an iconic fiction writer, Truman Capote. The story is about a real life, hideous violent crime that occurred in the State of Kansas in 1959. Although non fiction, the book has the style of fiction and reads as a hard crime thriller, “page turner”. In a case such as this, I don’t wish to say that I “enjoyed” this book. The crime is disgusting. However the writing is excellent. As a retired police investigator of violent felonies, the entire work had the ring of truth and reality for me.I had put off reading this book up until now for numerous reasons. As a student of literature and authors, I prefer to read books by authors in order of publication so that I can study the evolution, if any, of the author. Also, in this case, I am a retired police,officer suffering from PTSD. Therefore it was with a good deal of hesitation that I decided to finally read this work. I do need to report to you that I did indeed find it personally very painful. I have worked cases like this and they have stayed with me. In some ways, the old scars were opened To some extent. It was not as bad as I was afraid it would be. (I had asked others about this prior to reading the book.)Obviously all I know about this case is what I have read. Presuming the work is accurate, I can tell you this is what is like to arrive at the scene of a hideous violent felony in which there are no witnesses and no obvious leads, To a conscientious lead investigator, it is almost impossible to convey the feeling of near hopeless, forlorn, desolation that may descend upon “The Lead” in a case such as this. Truman Capote does a really good job in describing all of this. It proved extremely realistic to me.Of all the books that I have ever read, if I was instructing a course on homicide investigations, I am positive I could use this book as a core text. I know exactly how I would have worked this “job” after all of the primary work and leads had been run down. Often I was assigned cases such as this after the primary work was done, and the investigation had stalled. The police “caught a break” in this case. However the break came from exactly the type of source that I would have pursued. Believe me it is a complete pain to work a case this way, but it can be done proactively rather than waiting for a break. This is not “normal aberrant” behavior. This is a subset of aberrant behavior, that I refer to as “aberrant of aberrant”. the very nature of which, that makes this job solvable…In summary, this is an excellent work of non fiction. The only hesitation I have in recommending this work is the hideous nature of the crime. This crime fits my personal definition of obscenity. However if you are a young detective assigned to violent crimes, and really want to learn and not just “Mail it in” this is the one…. Thank You for taking the time to read this review.
⭐ One of the most significant non-fiction writings of the mid-1960s that still holds an honored place today in American letters. In late 1959 the entire Herbert Clutter family of rural Kansas — Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their two youngest children Nancy and Kenyon — were slaughtered for no particular reason except that the two drifters who sought them out had received bad advice about the alleged riches Mr. Clutter kept in his office safe, but didn’t. What might have been merely a downcast saga of the “outs” tangling with the “ins” becomes an amazingly gripping story in author Truman Capote’s virtuoso writing, that took years to research, write and edit. In my opinion only purists quibble over whether this book should be classed as non-fiction or fiction; it IS non-fiction, but because some of Capote’s narrative techniques were new at the time, IN COLD BLOOD ever since then has straddled “best-of” lists to its overall detriment. Ignore that chatter and read this masterpiece for what it is.Note: Capote’s research assistant out in rural Kansas was none other than (Nelle) Harper Lee, who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
⭐ I was a little worried about picking up this book- concerned that it would be lurid and make celebrities out of the killers. But I was surprised and immediately swept away- the writing is precise, clear, and lyrical. It rings like a bell calling you back for more. The depth of analysis, the sheer amount of work that went into this is stunning. And it is never lurid, never written to sell copy. The characters are richly drawn and fully realized. And it is the Clutter family that I remember most now that I’ve shut the book. As it should be. A secondary tragedy is that we don’t see more of this type of reporting.
⭐ In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Capote wove a tale of deception and brutal killing. The author based his story off of the real-life murders of the Clutter family in 1959. The actual Clutters were slaughtered during a robbery gone wrong, which is also portrayed in the novel. The murderers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, spent five years on death row until they were hanged as punishment. Capote effectively transformed a horrific robbery/murder to a page-turning novel. The author managed to captivate his audience by shifting point of views from the victims to the murderers. Not only does he accomplish this well, he also incorporates stylistic elements to make the murders appear more like a plot rather than an actual event.Capote shifts perspective from murderers to the murdered which allows him to convert this real life event to a story plotline. As the reader, we see the murder occur from both perspectives which almost allows us to be separate from the event since it leads to a weaker emotional connection to the story when reading. However, when the reader takes a moment to recall that this actually occurred, it opens a box of emotions. Capote wrote the plot so effectively, we automatically assume it is a work of fiction and forget the harsh realities.Capote’s well researched insight on the story lends the perspectives of both the Clutter family members and the murders, Perry and Richard, to communicate a clear plotline. He does well to tie up loose ends that may have resulted from the limited availability of knowledge about the murders-which may be the reason why this story seems so fictional. Blurred omniscience lets Capote lead the reader through the rollercoaster of both emotions and action, each page becoming another layer to the overall suspense. The book does justice not only to the victims but the murders as well. Instead of painting Perry and Richard as complete antagonists, capable of only crime , Capote add layers to their personality by explaining the background of each man. The heart wrenching pasts of the duo humanized them, creating an additional element of tension during the brutal slaying of the Clutter family.
⭐ I liked it at the start, but then it became something of a slog. The section about the Clutters themselves I found most interesting, but they were, of course, gone by the end of the first part. Also, there seemed to be quite a bit of incessant redundancy of facts, as though Capote had forgotten that he had added these facts earlier and just entered them again, and then never went back to see that he was repeating himself. Overall, it was a good book, but not as good as I hoped.
⭐ “The crime was a psychological accident, virtually an impersonal act, the victims might as well have been killed by lightning. Except for one thing: they had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered.”In Cold Blood by Truman Capote had me captured from the first page. From what I have read about this book, it seems that this may be more based on a true story than complete true crime novel, but the writing was so enthralling and the case so interesting that I would still consider this a must read for fellow true crime readers. The way Capote delved into the psychological aspects of the crime, the investigation, and the criminals themselves was my favorite aspect of the novel. I was particularly interested in the perspectives of psychology in the criminal justice system at that time. A lot of which I was very unfamiliar with. This is not a book I will soon forget and I give it 4.5 stars and highly recommend it.
⭐ I wondered how well this would hold up after having read it many years ago. Fictionalized true crime stories are common now but not when this was published so I wondered if it’s impact on me back then was because it had substance or because it was, at the time, new. It holds up more than well. There is grandeur in the storytelling, and a sweep of narrative that is hard to describe, epic in the way it details the arc of their lives. Really a wonderful book.
⭐ I’ve read several crime stories, personal accounts with serial killers, etc. However, this was something that honestly bored me. This has been recommended to me so many times over the years and unfortunately, I paid money to try and read it. I should have just checked it out of the library. Over descriptive and slow, this book does a good job of recounting the events, but not much else.
⭐ I was this it I wanted a scary story to make you shake in your boots, read In Cold Blood. Well I’ve read it and have to say, other than the fact it’s a true story, it’s not scary or bone chilling. It is disturbing but given the state of our nation, it’s not so unusual the days.The murders are 60+years in the past now so they aren’t as relevant as they were when the book was written.This story is well written and was a pleasure to read, although sad because it is a true crime, but it was easy to listen to. I switched between Kindle and Audible.If you’re a true crime fan, you may very well love this book. I think I’ve been desensitized to horror in books because real life, splashed all over the media and hyped up, is worse than fiction (I know this was based in true events). Imagine Truman Capote writing about true crime the days.
⭐ Capote got a lot of mileage out of this, a beautifully written true crime story that turned out not to be as “immaculately” accurate as Capote claimed, given subsequent revelations about the way the chief investigator and Capote cooked the narrative. Capote was in love with one of the killers. Capote also failed to give full credit to Harper Lee, who did most of the journalistic legwork. Still, journalism and creative writing professors shill for this very flawed book.
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