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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood (original 1965; edition 2002)

by Truman Capote

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13,943None147 (4.16)508
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 (Author) (1965)

1001 (79) 1001 books (68) 20th century (163) America (55) American (186) American literature (192) biography (62) Capote (71) classic (175) classics (125) creative nonfiction (56) crime (668) death penalty (49) fiction (438) history (155) journalism (216) Kansas (259) literature (162) murder (475) mystery (92) non-fiction (1,213) non-fiction novel (57) novel (127) own (73) read (198) to-read (221) true crime (906) Truman Capote (64) unread (94) USA (106)
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» See also 508 mentions

English (250)  Spanish (7)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (265)
Showing 1-5 of 250 (next | show all)
The book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is regarded by many to be one of the best nonfiction books of all time. This is most definitely for a reason. The book was very good and could be read by many different audiences. It captures the story of the murder of an innocent family in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, and the impact it had on the town. It also follows law enforcement agents trying to catch the murderers and it follows the actual murderers on their quest to make it to Mexico. It is a true story and the actual event took place in 1959. The book was published in 1966. One of the main messages of this book is that sometimes people regard criminals as completely terrible and portray them as almost nonhuman, but they are human and have hopes and dreams like everyone else. Truman Capote portrays them in a sympathetic way in the book because he shows what they want to achieve in life and that they were willing to do anything to achieve it. This can be seen in the quote, “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. And Dewey could not forget their sufferings. Nonetheless, he found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger—with, rather, a measure of sympathy—for Perry Smith’s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, an ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage or another.”(pgs 245-246). This quote shows how the murderers could be looked at sympathetically because of their hardships and shortcomings as individuals. Another main idea that Truman Capote wanted to convey was that any action can have a large affect on a whole community of people. In this instance, it is that the murder of the family made the previously trusting and caring people in the city scared and suspicious. This can be seen in the quote, “This hitherto peaceful congregation of neighbors and old friends had suddenly to endure the unique experience of distrusting each other; understandably, they believed that the murderer was among themselves.” (pg. 88). This quote shows how the murder of this family made the entire town distrust and be suspicious of one another. It is an example of how one small action can have an affect on an entire community; this principle is seen in the "butterfly flaps its wings" example where a small action has a large affect. This can be seen in the real world with 9/11. The attacks would seemingly only affect the people in the building and their families, but it really affected an entire nation. The attacks made everyone suspicious of the Middle East, and it made the United States make airport security better. What this book did well was keep the story suspenseful, while remaining truthful to what really happened. It also was good how it told the story as if it was happening in real time. The only bad thing about the book was the beginning (first 75 pages or so) because it started off slowly and was not as interesting as the rest of the book. Due to the way the story is told as if it was happening right now and the suspenseful nature of the story, people who enjoy fiction books that want to transition into nonfiction would very much enjoy this book. It is definitely worth reading for those people, as well as anyone else looking to read a good nonfiction book. ( )
  James_Moremen | Apr 9, 2014 |
tense and well-written ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 31, 2014 |
I forgot "The Firm" at work on Friday and I had no interest in going back to get it for the weekend ... so I grabbed another book to read. Part of the reason I finished this book so quickly was because I wanted to finish it over the weekend, but not only that -- it was an excellent read. It was very well written. I was constantly surprised to realize it was written at the time of the murders in which it's about -- it was written in 1965!

Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Mar 24, 2014 |
The best written worst book I have ever attempted to read. ( )
  stevewhite71 | Mar 19, 2014 |
This book really creeped me out. This is different than reading about a fiction murder. I kept on thinking this is real, Nancy is a real girl with a life, Kenyon had so much before him, etc. This are real people which makes it really creepy and scary. I also loved reading about the people and animals they have left. This book made me feel really sad. I rated it 3 stars not because it was poorly written but because I felt that it was a bit biased towards Perry Smith, one of the criminals. Most of the paragraphs were about him, his thoughts, etc. Little about the Clutters and especially about Dick, the other half of the duo. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 250 (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 (82 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Capote, TrumanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borràs, Maria LluïsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Breckan, Eldor MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornips, ThérèseTranslatorsecondary 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 the English one.
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 the English one.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Four editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182571, 014103839X, 0141043083, 0241956838

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