In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

A True Account of A Multiple Murder and Its Consequences

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
30
1
1
Overview: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time. Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood, created a sensation when it was first published, serially, in The New Yorker in 1965. The intensively researched, atmospheric narrative of the lives of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, and of the two men, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, who brutally killed them on the night of November 15, 1959, is the seminal work of the "new journalism." Perry Smith is one of the great dark characters of American literature, full of contradictory emotions. "I thought he was a very nice gentleman," he says of Herb Clutter. "Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat." Told in chapters that alternate between the Clutter household and the approach of Smith and Hickock in their black Chevrolet, then between the investigation of the case and the killers' flight, Capote's account is so detailed that the reader comes to feel almost like a participant in the events.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Modern Library, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group,, 2013
Edition: 2013 Modern Library edition
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780812994384
0812994388
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 C173i 2013
Characteristics: viii, 396 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

s
SimonRAD
Oct 04, 2018

Top 5 True Crime book of all time. Flawless.

x
Xambro7
Sep 10, 2018

This was a great read. My wife, who usually is aghast at "all the negative media" I read and watch, said "oh, it's a classic". Due to subject matter, she would never be caught moribund reading it. But I liked it, the writing was superb.

j
jachayden
May 05, 2018

Not sure what all the fuss is about from the true-crime-fan community. I found it rather tedious and if it was not such a classic I would not have made myself finish it. Obviously I am happy that the killers were caught and they family can rest in peace knowing justice was somewhat served, but before reading this I had assumed this was an unsolved case and that's why the case has been so notorious for so long. I think knowing who the murderers are throughout the novel is part of what makes it so boring. There's no mystery to it all; it's just 350 pages of a tragic story and a page by page reminder of why these killings were so completely pointless. Completed 5/2/18.

m
mogie
Feb 11, 2018

It was a really detailed and well researched book but at the same time easy to read. If you like true crime I recommend it. I normally have difficulty reading alternating story lines but I did not with this book.

Cynthia_N Dec 15, 2017

I was a little disappointed in this one. It wasn't bad but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

JCLMattC Jun 14, 2017

Portions of this novel dragged for me, I'll admit, but the rest was exciting. Some parts were shattering. Having watched Capote starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, I can't help but feel the author's presence lurking just outside the perimeter of the text.

q
QUASAR BEHN
May 22, 2017

Mesmerizing!

Amy_MarkhamPL Feb 07, 2017

Breathtaking and incredible, In Cold Blood is one of my favourite books of all time. Truman Capote's exhaustingly-researched true crime book, detailing a multiple murder and its consequences, reads like a haunting and beautiful novel. “No one will ever know what In Cold Blood took out of me,” Capote once said. “It scraped me right down to the marrow of my bones. It nearly killed me. I think, in a way, it did kill me.”

r
rpavlacic
Nov 04, 2016

Though true crime books were written before "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote's story - originally a series of four feature length articles in The New Yorker in 1965 prior to its publication in book form a year later - is the gold standard of the genre, the one by which all others are measured. Capote had written several plays and novels beforehand (e.g. "Breakfast at Tiffany's") but he outdid himself with this one.

A masterful piece of investigative journalism but written in the style of a novel, the story of a functional Kansas family who was held hostage then systematically murdered remains haunting to this day. It is still shocking that Dick Hickock and Perry Smith took over the Clutter home in the mistaken belief that the family had $10,000 in their possession, only to make off with $40 and leaving behind to survive two adult sisters (fortunately not there at the time); then going on a crime spree hanging bad cheques and stealing cars (and license plates) across America before they were finally caught in Las Vegas.

Also notable is the effect the atrocity had not just on the townsfolk of the community, but also on the prosecutors and law enforcement officials who had to deal with something on a scale almost unprecedented in the state's history.

Capote wrote several books after this one, but none ever measured up to what proved to be his masterpiece. It remains a shame that a lifestyle of hard living ended his career and life in 1984 at the age of 59. The fact the book remains in print speaks to its power and enduring legacy. A must read, although it is definitely too graphic for pre-teens.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

In Cold Blood is certainly riveting and, at times, gorgeously rendered. Some of the scenes come across as masterfully written fiction; of course, if you research the book after reading it, you'll find that some actually were fiction.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

r
rpavlacic
Nov 04, 2016

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote

SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call "out there." "

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at TCCL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top