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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood (original 1966; edition 2002)

by Truman Capote

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,321315120 (4.16)2 / 592
Title:In Cold Blood
Authors:Truman Capote
Info:Random House (2002), Hardcover, 343 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:nonfiction, crime, true crime, nonfiction novel

Work details

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)

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Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


On November 15, 1959 a family of four was found brutally murdered at their home in a small Kansas town. This story follows the events that occurred before, during, and after the crime.

I have so many people that written reviews for this book that I don’t feel like there is much more that I can add to this. It’s a great, intriguing book. I haven’t read too many true crime books (mostly because I read at night and am not sure I have the stomach to read such books before going into dreamland) so this is one of my first ventures into the genre. I was not disappointed. It kept my attention from the beginning, making for many more late nights than I had planned. Some parts of the story just made me recoil – it was a terrible crime and the descriptions just made me cringe. It made me any and sad, pulling out emotions, just like a good book should do. I would say the only place it lost me was towards the end. The last 30 or so pages just seemed too drawn out for me. Capote starts going into detail of other people on death-row with the killers and going into the repetitive information – this just made me want to start skimming, although I didn’t. Other than that I found it to be a great read.

Side note: This is a book I probably should have skipped for my late night reading. After reading a particular gruesome part of the book I turned in for the night. A couple hours later, I barely woke up, just to adjust my blankets but images of the book swam through my head leaving me on edge. Still being dark I suddenly saw a figure standing over the bed…you’ve never seen a girl fly out of bed so fast – images of murderers out to get me came to mind quickly. Turns out it was my husband getting up for an early day of work. And this is my lesson learned to be a bit pickier with my nighttime reading, regardless of how good it is.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
One of the most bone-chilling accounts of murder I have ever read. Capote's all too true story gets you into the heads of two killers who went on a rampage in Kansas. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
In one of the first true crime books, Capote describes the details surrounding the murder of four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas. He describes the events of their lives and the lives of the two killers before, during, and after the murder. We also hear from many of the residents of the small town, the detectives who investigated the crime, and the murders and their families.

This was a hard book to read because you knew what was going to happen, it was just a matter of finding out how and when. It did read like a novel a lot of the time, so it was also hard to remember that everything in the book was real. I do wonder how much creative license Capote took, especially with recreating conversations. Overall, Capote did a really good job writing a book with as much information about the crime as possible and conveying it from as objective a point of view as possible. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
On an unseasonably warm Kansas morning in November 1959 a small Kansas town was introduced to fear. Overnight, four members of the Clutter family, bedrocks of the Holcomb community, had been brutally murdered in their home. Suddenly neighbors were looking at each other with fear and doors that had never before been locked were kept tightly shut. When the law finally caught up with the murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, after they had traveled across the country, down into Mexico and back again, they were found to be without remorse or moral compass.

In Cold Blood is considered by many to be the first true crime novel, and also one of Truman Capote's masterpieces. While the stories were horrifying, Capote did a flawless job at giving both the victims and the criminals a human face. In fact some might say he did too good a job where it concerns the killers. He manages as an author to really pull out who they are and create sympathy, most especially for Perry, for two cold-blooded killers. This book, was meant to tell a story, so while it is based on fact and in regards to what happens, sticks to that fact, also has many elements of fictionalization, particularly when it comes to private conversations that he could not have been privy too. For me this actually detracted from the novel. I don't mind some elements of fictionalization when it comes to a true crime novel, but I far prefer a book that sticks to the known and leaves the unknown alone as much as possible when reading true crime. However it was still a very well-done book and for any fan of the true-crime genre it is a must read. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
3 Stars

In 1959 ex convicts Perry and Dick travelled to a lonely farm in Kansas, they believed the land owner Mr Clutter had a safe full of money in the house and this was going to be their big score before fleeing to a life of luxury in Mexico. When they arrive things are not what they expected the Clutters have very little money in the house and so as to leave no witnesses they cold blooded execute everyone in the house, Mr and Mrs Clutter and their teenage son and daughter. This was a horrific crime which shocked the small community especially as at first it appeared it must be someone they knew who had pulled the trigger.

Capote writes in a journalistic non judgmental manor, he lays out the last day of the Clutter family using evidence provided by a diary and by friends and neighbours, he lays out the way the crime is researched by the police, and he also lays out the past, present and future of the murderers.

This was an interesting insight into a real life murder case however the writing style was too detached for me, what happened to the Clutters was tragic and yet as a reader I never really felt their pain they were lightly painted and somehow in death not quite real. The murderers were more deeply drawn but again there was a sense of being removed from them they were also not quite real not quite human.

I would recommend this to those who enjoy true crime novels ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
Authentic, harrowing reconstruction of the unmotivated murder of a family of four in small-town America, and the capture and conviction of their two young killers.
added by KayCliff | editNational Housewives Register Newsletter, Hazel K. Bell (Sep 1, 1976)
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 (25 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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:29 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

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4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182571, 014103839X, 0141043083, 0241956838

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