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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood (original 1965; edition 1994)

by Truman Capote (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,135377144 (4.15)2 / 725
Title:In Cold Blood
Authors:Truman Capote (Author)
Info:Vintage (1994), 343 pages
Collections:Read, Your library

Work details

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1965)

  1. 80
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    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'.
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    Fame and Obscurity by Gay Talese (Ronoc)
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    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.
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    caflores: Dos historias sobre violencia provocada por el ambiente, y dos narraciones crudas y frías.
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    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
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    I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel 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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English (346)  Spanish (9)  Italian (5)  Catalan (4)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (374)
Showing 1-5 of 346 (next | show all)
This is one of those books you hear about every so often and think, “one day I’m gonna read that book.” Well I finally got around to it and it is brilliantly written. This is indeed Capote at his best. He did a great deal of research whilst writing this and it shows. The book goes along seamlessly from start to finish. Fascinating story about the Kansas family of four murdered one night for maybe 100 bucks of trinkets and cash on hand. A large part of the book follows the perpetrators from murder to execution. Highly recommended. ( )
  krgulick | Jun 19, 2019 |
I had to make myself get through some of this because I was bored, but towards the end it was especially creepy to get into the heads of the killers. ( )
  jill1121 | Jun 1, 2019 |
I love this book. Third time I've read it, even though it's been a long time since the last and I vowed I didn't have enough time to reread. I can always make the time when it's reading.

In Cold Blood has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Capote did what I wanted to do. I wanted to write about criminals and crime. I wanted to do it in a straightforward This is the evidence kind of boiler pot story. That' the beauty of Capote's book.

Right now I seem to be riding on a True Crime rail right now. I'm going to go look for a good true crime book to follow this one.

This is how my year meanders. I get a bug in front of my eyes that tells me I really need to read THIIS! and I can't let go. I'll be back to record the next. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
There are many reasons to resent this book. It's exploitative and there are well-reasoned arguments for Capote having manipulated more than was fair the events he chronicled...but he's such a beautiful writer.

That's the clincher here, this book may not have invented the true crime genre but it certainly popularized it. In Cold Blood is responsible for people like my mother being so afraid of danger, of predators and killers lurking in the shadows beneath every tree. That kind of fear is catching. When I was very young while waiting for the school bus at the end of our driveway a passing car slowed down, causing us four kids to run 20 feet back towards the house. The bemused driver, wanting directions, received them by way of a shouting match between himself and my older sister. Such is modern childhood.

I did myself a disservice when starting this by looking up the pictures of those involved, making the murders that much more horrific as I knew exactly what they looked like while what happened to them happened. But the reality of the events wouldn't come across half so hard if this book had been in the hands of another author.

Capote skillfully weaves together the elements of the case, the last day, the discovery of the body, the long search by the authorities and, of course, the ongoing travels of Hickock and Smith. There is repetition as events unfold and are later reconstructed or retold, showing at each step how each event was brought into the record. The repetition is in part a byproduct of the novel being serialized in print, but Capote uses the necessary device to his advantage. While reading this my thoughts waxed poetic and thought of Capote beginning the novel with bare, blank page and as with watercolors layering thin coats of colors on top of one another, making the foregone conclusion ever clearer.

It was impossible not to be affected by this case, the Clutter family are drawn from life through details that only their close friends and neighbors would know. It was awful, the lives and dreams of Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their youngest children Nancy and Kenyon. Particularly Nancy, because of her diary, because of her boyfriend and friends input, Capote captured how heartbreaking this tragedy was. Is.

Capote reconstructed a lot of dialogue, which has gotten some flack, but its flows so authentically that I doubt many would object to the words put in their mouth...aside from the killers themselves of course. But it was their opinions and words that Capote had the most opportunity to get down so I call it fair play.

In Cold Blood may have spurred a whole genre of imitators and voyeuristic slasher accounts, but Captote's writing never comes off as cheap or lurid. The impression is purely one of respect for the people involved and a desire to portray people as they were.

--- 08/06/2013: Read again for book club, a little less praise. Hopefully I'll be able to explain sometime when I have a computer again. ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Masterfully written real-life murder mystery in which strands of the story slowly come together. ( )
  gregscheer | Jan 1, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 346 (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 (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Capote, Trumanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
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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'.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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)

» see all 16 descriptions

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Average: (4.15)
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1.5 11
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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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