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In Cold Blood (1965)

by Truman Capote

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,053414143 (4.13)2 / 800
National Bestseller  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.  As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates 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.… (more)
  1. 80
    Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi (artturnerjr)
  2. 31
    The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer (VisibleGhost)
  3. 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'.
  4. 20
    The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Victor Hugo (lilisin)
  5. 10
    Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields (edwinbcn)
  6. 10
    Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas (FFortuna)
  7. 11
    So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell (Jesse_wiedinmyer)
  8. 00
    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  9. 11
    Fame and Obscurity by Gay Talese (Ronoc)
  10. 11
    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.
  11. 11
    The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela (caflores)
    caflores: Dos historias sobre violencia provocada por el ambiente, y dos narraciones crudas y frías.
  12. 01
    Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (Othemts)
  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. 01
    Capote in Kansas: A Ghost Story by Kim Powers (bnbookgirl)
  15. 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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Showing 1-5 of 382 (next | show all)
Extraordinary. ( )
  tonimeter | May 13, 2022 |
Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul mio blog, La siepe di more

A sangue freddo è uno di quei libri da consigliare a chi ama leggere gialli in estate, ma non vuole trovarsi tra le mani robetta scialba: d’altro canto, Capote è una garanzia e, anche se non è stato sempre fedele ai nudi fatti come si vantava, ha scritto pagine che difficilmente vi lasceranno indifferenti.

A sangue freddo è il racconto del brutale assassinio di quattro persone, membri della famiglia Clutter, a opera di Perry Smith e Dick Hickock: Capote racconta gli antefatti, il delitto, la ricerca degli assassini e della loro fuga, lo sgomento della gente e infine l’arresto e la fine della vicenda con l’impiccagione dei colpevoli.

È un non-fiction novel molto statunitense, tutto intento nel raccontare come il sogno americano sia fallito (nel 1966, e ancora ne parliamo, pensate un po’ a quanto è coriaceo questo benedetto/maledetto sogno americano!), e molto universale nel descrivere di quanto destabilizzi le persone il delitto apparentemente insensato di brava gente e di come tuttə si convincano che qualcunə nella loro comunità non sia chi dice di essere. Tuttə fierə della propria tranquilla normalità finché non accade qualcosa che la rompe…

Penso che sia molto statunitense anche la determinazione con la quale si cerca di far condannare a morte Smith e Hickock, ignorando perizie psichiatriche e background: è un aspetto che mi ha agghiacciato almeno quanto il delitto, probabilmente perché sono europea e l’articolo 27 della Costituzione italiana mi scorre praticamente nelle vene… La sola idea che in uno Stato di diritto e democratico sia legale far impiccare delle persone, anche se si sono macchiate di delitti orrendi come in questo caso, mi sembra inaccettabile... ( )
  Baylee_Lasiepedimore | May 13, 2022 |
True crime non-fiction about a senseless murder that happened in 1959 in west Kansas. The book started with how the victims, a family of four, spent the last day of their lives. A fairly happy, mundane day. And the book ended with the trial and hanging of their two murderers. The author provided a lot of detail on the murderers -- what they did in the car during their long drive to the victims' house, what they did in the weeks after the murder, reminiscing of their childhood, analysis of their mental well-being, what they did in prison while awaiting their trial, what they did in prison while on Death Row.....I personally felt it's a bit too much information. I feel very little sympathy for the murderers and don't particularly want to know more about them. People who conduct crime of this intensity with such little provocation are extremely dangerous to the community, and I think it is the government's responsibility to make sure they don't ever harm anyone else. The most interesting part of the book for me was how neighbors discovered the crime scene and how investigators eventually tracked down and caught the two murderers who were on the run.

Some interesting things I learned from the book: 1. Kansas has a organization that investigates crime committed at the state level called Kansas Investigation Bureau -- KBI. I've only ever heard about the FBI. Didn't realize there are also KBI agents (and agents that do similar work in every state)! The KBI agents in the book were very sharp and conducted themselves just like the FBI agents I see in the movies. So cool. 2. Up until mid-1960s, capital punishment in Kansas was executed through hanging, while the majority of other states carried out their death penalty through electrocution. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |

Content: Cursing, Topics to consider: murder, racism, pedophilia, suicide, and capital punishment.

“Of all the people in the world, the Clutters were the least likely to be murdered.”

In Cold Blood is a well-crafted, intriguing true story of the Clutter family murders in 1959. Although it claims to be a completely true account of the incident, it reads much more like a fiction book than any true crime I’ve read. The details and descriptions really help you to understand the depth of emotions involved in the case.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this book to me was how Capote chose to focus on the backstories of both the victims and killers while having relatively little focus on the actual murder until much later in the book. His way of crafting the victims’ lives and interactions with friends and family makes the reader empathize with everyone in the town of Holcomb, Kansas. Through snippets from many interviews, the author lets you see the same story from many different perspectives.

The perspective I didn’t expect to be so prevalent was the perspective of both of the killers – not only what led up to the murders, but also their home life and what they did after they fled Kansas. I do, however, think the author was slightly biased toward one of the murderers, Perry Smith. The story was crafted to make the reader feel for him over Dick even though they were equally guilty of their crimes. Unlike a lot of other true crime books, I came to despise the murderers not only for this single incident, but also for who they were as people.

Although the pace was fairly slow and it was clear who the perpetrators were from the beginning of the book, Capote still somehow built up a lot of suspense about the details of the event as well as the conclusion of the case. It held my attention and had me speeding through the pages. For anyone who wants to learn about the Clutter case or read a book which delves into the backstories of murderers, I definitely recommend this story.

A powerful quote: “The question is this – do poor, plainly guilty defendants have a right to a complete defense? I do not believe that the state of Kansas would be either greatly or for long harmed by the death of these appellants. But I do not believe it could ever recover from the death of due process.” ( )
  AudrasBookBlabbing | Jan 17, 2022 |
A distressing but fascinating book about a murder in 1959 when four members of the Clutter family are killed by two criminals. Truman Copote tells us about the murderers and their lives, the parents and their two children, the bonny Nancy and 15 year old Kenyon. After the murder we follow the two murderers on the run and the investigation that appears to run out of steam but eventually gets lucky. The trial is covered in detail and the time on death row. This is sensitively written and chillingly fascinating and harrowing. The small community where the Clutter family lived has to come to terms with what has happened and the families of the two criminals. Despite being set in the 1950s and 60s, this is still an excellent read. ( )
  CarolKub | Dec 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 382 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Truman Capoteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Borràs, Maria LluïsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Breckan, Eldor MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colacello, BobIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornips, ThérèseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fujita, S. NeilCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsstuvold, RuneForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricci Dèttore, MariapaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, RupertIntroductionsecondary 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
First words
The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there'.
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)
In over three months I practically never left the Broadway area. For one thing, I didn't have the right clothes. Just Western clothes - jeans and boots. But there on Forty-second Street nobody cares, it all rides - anything. My whole life, I never met so many freaks.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

National Bestseller  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.  As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates 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.

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Haiku summary
Two cons kill family.
Reporter relates the tale
In fiction format.

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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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