pointyourtoe, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by pointyourtoe)
Not only are Capote's prose mesmerizing, he makes you forget what Dick and Perry are about to do, and nearly pity them, but the level of detail is especially impressive given that he allegedly never wrote a single note during the interviews. It's the most hauntingly addictive book I've read.
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conner.barr, February 18, 2011 (view all comments by conner.barr)
In Cold Blood tells the true story of the murders of the Clutter family that took place in 1959 in Holcomb, Kansas. The story begins a few days prior to the murders. Capote goes in great detail to describe the town of Holcomb and an in depth look at the lives of the Clutter family. The Clutter's were strong Christians. Herb Clutter, one of the most respected men in town, was a farm owner and a family man. Then there is Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who Capote goes back to every other chapter. Both are outcasts in society and have spent numerous prison terms. They had a plot to rob the Clutters and leave no survivors. Although the crime happens early on in the story, Capote really focuses on the aftermath. The effect it had on the town of Kansas and what happened to the killers.
The Capote masterpiece depicts the psychology behind random murdering such as what happened to the Clutter family. This book will keep the reader turning the pages. The story runs all the way through the killers' stay on Death Row up until they are executed in 1965. This novel raised a lot of questions as to how the novel was written and how the author knew so much about the killers. Also, the focus on Perry over Dick is interesting. The movie Capote does a great job at answering these mysteries created by the book, In Cold Blood, and would be a good follow up after reading this book. In Cold Blood is an amazing in depth account of a very unfortunate event.
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Elizabeth L, December 20, 2009 (view all comments by Elizabeth L)
This book was all it is purported to be, and so much more. I realize Capote has the reputation for being somewhat obnoxious (particularly vis a vis his own talents), but if that's what it takes to produce something this exquisitely composed and fully realized, than I'd be happy for all writers to be jerks. As with many readers of this book, I was quickly drawn up into its narrative, forgetting the reality of the gruesome tale and surrendering to its writer's ability to conjure up a town and its people who seem so well-described I could pick them up of a line-up or recognize them on the street. Further, Capote does much to humanize all of the people in his story, both "good" and "bad." In this way, In Cold Blood establishes itself as a meditation on justice that compels its readers to consider whether guilt is sufficient grounds for punishment (particularly capital punishment). I feel I could read this again and again, discovering greater nuances most writers can only imagine they might portray.
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zerlindatar, July 29, 2009 (view all comments by zerlindatar)
I read this book many years ago but only learned recently of the Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird) connection when I was reading Lee's biography. Harper and Truman were childhood neighbors and close friends. At his request, she accompanied him to Kansas for research in his preparation to write In Cold Blood. She took copius notes and was a very important part of his being able to make friends with some of the key people involved in the investigation. When In Cold Blood was published he gave her no recognition for all the help she had provided. Another interesting tidbit: in To Kill a Mockingbird the little boy (Dibs?) was based on Capote and Scout was based on Harper Lee.
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In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
Vintage Books USA -
"A masterpiece...a spellbinding work."
by The New York Times,
"A remarkable, tensely exciting, superbly written 'true account.'"
by The New York Review of Books,
"The best documentary account of an American crime ever written....The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence...harrowing."
by Random House,
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.
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