In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

This is another book I read for class. In Cold Blood is a true account of the Clutter family slaying that took place in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Herbert Clutter, his wife Bonnie, and their two youngest children, Kenyon and Nancy were killed.Their other two daughters, Eveanna and Beverly had already moved out. Capote got material for the novel through interviews of local residents and the killers themselves. In fact, he became close friends with killer Perry Smith.

First of all, I really admire the effort Capote put into this novel. He truly found everything he could about the murders, the killers, the court trials, and just everything really. I can’t imagine anyone else being able to do what he did.

In many ways, In Cold Blood was like a puzzle. The ending is known to readers from the beginning, and the pieces of the puzzle needed to be placed perfectly for the novel to work. I believe Capote did just that. When I got to the part where the Clutters were slayed, I was expecting bone-chilling details. I did not get that. Instead, Capote cut right to the point where¬† the bodies were found. Now that I’ve read the entire novel, it makes perfect sense to place them later in the novel. Other snippets of important information were also placed at just the right spots.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the novel was how Capote painted faces to the criminals. The reader almost sympathizes with them, in particular, Perry. By characterizing the murderers, Capote makes the novel more realistic and not just some newspaper article. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading articles on Crime Library in his or her spare time. ;) If simply reading the novel isn’t creepy enough for you, I also suggest googling pictures of the killers, victims, the house, etc.

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6 Responses to In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

  1. CB James says:

    I was also surprised by this book once I finally got around to reading it. I’ve just posted a review on my own blog, http://www.readywhenyouarecb.blogspot.com. I was expecting much more blood and gore and got an intimate portrait of a bunch of people instead.

  2. chartroose says:

    I thought the novel was really good too. Have you seen the movie “Capote” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman? He won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of that peculiar little man. The movie showed how he lied, cheated, conned, finessed and slithered his way to writing “In Cold Blood.” If you haven’t seen it, please do. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  3. bkclubcare says:

    I read this in HS (MANY years ago) because I am from Kansas and can very much relate to the setting. It still fascinates me – be sure to check out the other movie they made the same year (or just after) the Hoffman Oscar winning one. Both are good. Capote is said to have started this genre of journalistic story-telling… Read more Capote, he’s quite good.

  4. Emily says:

    We read To Kill A Mockingbird in 8th grade and apparently he was her friend. Interesting (:

  5. Lauren says:

    I’ve heard of this…not sure i could read it though. i’m not big on these type of novels anyway…freak me out…but when it’s based on real life? a litte more creepy. haha

    -lauren

  6. Arukiyomi says:

    I’ve linked to your helpful review at the end of mine which you can read (and comment on!) HERE if you want.

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