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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (originally 1965) created a firestorm at the time of publication and continues to generate a great deal of interest forty-five years later. I think this is arguably one of the classics of the twentieth century, something that should stand the test of time.

Capote spent five years researching the 1959 murders of the Clutter family, including parents Herbert and Bonnie and their youngest children, Nancy and Kenyon, just outside of Holcomb, Kansas. (The two oldest Clutter children were already gone from the home, with one married and living in Illinois and the other attending college in Kansas City and planning to be married at Christmas. Incidentally, they changed the wedding to three days after the funeral because of so many family members already being in town.)

He creates an engaging masterpiece, complete with the creation of a surprisingly sympathetic, considering the author is the polar opposite, portrayal of rural Kansas. The less-idyllic lifestyle of murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, including how they spent their time after the murders, is also vividly portrayed.

This is a re-read for me, something I read years ago, long before I started blogging. Since that first reading, I've seen the movie adaptation with Robert Blake and the Capote movie, covering his time in Holcomb researching with companion/friend Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). Anyone seen Infamous? That movie sounds promising, too.

My overall personal rating of In Cold Blood is a B+.


StephanieD said…
I've seen both movies, which came out the same year, if I recall correctly. Both were excellent, with different takes on Capote, but the Phillip Seymour Hoffman vehicle got more press. I still have yet to read the book, but it's on my list!
I think the book's a pretty fascinating read. Hope you have a chance to read it!

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