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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood (1965)

by Truman Capote

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,668285135 (4.16)553
  1. 70
    Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (artturnerjr)
  2. 20
    Operación Masacre by Rodolfo Walsh (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: 'Operation Massacre' by Rodolfo Walsh predates 'In Cold Blood' and is regarded as the work originating modern 'true crime'. In this case, the reportage covers the 1956 police execution of a group of men in Buenos Aires during the 'Dirty War'.
  3. 20
    The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Victor Hugo (lilisin)
  4. 31
    The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer (VisibleGhost)
  5. 10
    Mockingbird by Charles J. Shields (edwinbcn)
  6. 10
    Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas (FFortuna)
  7. 00
    Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French (sturlington)
  8. 00
    Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dark Places was undoubtedly influenced by In Cold Blood, but brings an interesting form of storytelling to superficially similar plot lines.
  9. 11
    The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo Jose Cela (caflores)
    caflores: Dos historias sobre violencia provocada por el ambiente, y dos narraciones crudas y frías.
  10. 11
    Fame and Obscurity by Gay Talese (Ronoc)
  11. 11
    So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell (Jesse_wiedinmyer)
  12. 01
    Capote in Kansas: A Ghost Story by Kim Powers (bnbookgirl)
  13. 01
    The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima (GYKM)
    GYKM: In 1956, Yukio Mishima not only conducted background research into the crime that he would base his psychological novel on but he also interviewed the arsonist. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a melding of fiction, fact, and autobiography.
  14. 08
    I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Not a true crime story. It is part of the New Journalism body of work.

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» See also 553 mentions

English (264)  Spanish (8)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (283)
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
A compelling account of a senseless mass murder and the subsequent trial. This is probably a must-read simply because of its historical place as an early example of true crime and narrative nonfiction, and because it was written when Capote and Harper Lee were working together. ( )
  sturlington | Feb 27, 2015 |
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. ( )
  Tutter | Feb 20, 2015 |
I can see why this book is considered one to the greatest books in the nonfiction genre. I quite honestly did not understand, before reading this book, how a murder story from a small town in Kansas could get at much attention as this one did, but I figured I should read and see.

The first thing that made me really like this book was just how much research Capote did to write this. It was amazing how much these people, especially the murderers, opened up to him and told him everything. There was no stone un-turned in this book.

I can also see just what the appeal of this case was. The fact that the perpetrators didn't even know the family makes this rare, since the majority of murders are committed by someone the victim knows. It was also fascinating to read into the psychology of the these two men and how they reacted to their crime. There was a lot of insight into what their thought process was during the whole ordeal, and while I didn't sympathize with them necessarily, it actually humanized them a little bit. We get see where they came from, what their childhood was like, etc.

I also feel that Capote did a great job of capturing just what kind of affect this horrible incident had on the town of Holcomb. Everyone who knew the Clutter family and even those who were not closely associated with them were affected in some way. It was also interesting to see just how the suspicion that the killer was among them almost ruined the closeness of the neighbors in this small town. We not only got a look at the lives and thoughts of the men who committed the crime but insight into how this kind of tragedy can cause strife in an entire community.

This was a compelling read and was actually hard to put down sometimes. Even though you know how everything ends, you are still engrossed in the lives of those involved which keeps you reading. It was very well done and I highly recommend it. ( )
1 vote kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Perhaps this is just because I already knew most of what happened from the movie Capote, but I just don't feel anything. It's kind of like [b:The Fault in Our Stars|11870085|The Fault in Our Stars|John Green|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1360206420s/11870085.jpg|16827462]: everybody feels so fake. ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
In 1959 a farmer from Holcomb, Kansas was killed along with his wife and two of his four children by a couple of two-bit thieves. This brutal crime spawned a desperate search for the killers who left bloody footprints at the murder scene. From petty crime to mass murder, In Cold Blood tells the story from murder to the gallows where they were executed by hanging.

In the Truman Capote literary masterpiece, it is easy to consider In Cold Blood a crime novel; it has shades of pulp and southern gothic throughout the book. However this journalistic investigation has often been cited as the first and best example of the non-fiction genre known as true crime. While there have been true crime books before In Cold Blood, this book did redefine the genre. Capote likes to call his book a non-fiction novel which he defined in an interview with The New Your Times as “a narrative form that employed all techniques of fictional art, but was nevertheless immaculately factual”.

However this is not just a book about the brutal murder of the Clutter family; we also get a Capote’s depiction of rural America. Outside the details of the crime, the author paints a descriptive backdrop of Kansas, the way he sees it. Religion, masculinity, femininity, the nuclear family and small town communities all play a big part in developing the scene. When he talks about the crime, the reader gets to explore the psychological motivations of murder and awaiting execution.

There is the issue of mental illness that needs to be explored when talking about In Cold Blood. It is almost like Truman Capote wants to challenge the reader to consider if Perry and Dick suffered from an untreated mental illness. There are shade of delusional, depression, schizophrenia and a sociopathic personality that comes through when talking about these two people but as this is 1959 I expect no psychological consult or treatment were given to these men; the court rejected the request.

I expected a true crime book but I feel like In Cold Blood was trying to do something similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I was very impressed with this book and I feel like Capote may have ruined true crime and even narrative non-fiction for the rest of the authors in these genres. Capote’s investigational skills and mastery over the written word is what makes this book a masterpiece.

This review originally appeared on my blog: http://literary-exploration.com/2014/08/30/in-cold-blood-by-truman-capote/ ( )
  knowledge_lost | Dec 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
If nothing else, In Cold Blood justifies another Capote conviction: that when reportage commands the highest literary skills, it can approach the level of art.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jan 21, 1966)

» Add other authors (115 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Capote, Trumanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borràs, Maria LluïsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Breckan, Eldor MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornips, ThérèseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dettore, MariapaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsstuvold, RuneForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Een waar verslag van een viervoudige moord en zijn gevolgen.
Freres humains qui apres nour vivez

N'ayez les cuers contre nous endurcis,

Car, se pitie de nous povres avez,

Dieu en aura plus tost de vous mercis

Francois Villon (Ballade des pendus)
Brothers, men who live after us,
Let not your hearts be hardened against us,
Because, if you have pity for us poor men,
God will have more mercy toward you.
For Jack Dunphy and Harper Lee with my love and gratitude
First words
The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there'.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mensenbroeders, gij die na ons leeft, wil niet verbitterd aan ons denken, want wie erbarmen met ons armen heeft, zal God veel eerder zijn genade schenken. (François Villon - Ballade der gehangenen)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Two cons kill family.
Reporter relates the tale
In fiction format.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679745580, Paperback)

"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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:02 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

An account of the senseless murder of a Kansas farm family and the search for the killers.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182571, 014103839X, 0141043083, 0241956838

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