Sunday, May 13, 2007

BOOK: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Last summer, my sister and I watched "Capote" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. I thought the movie would be Capote's biography, but it really only focused on his time investigating the Kansas murders of the Clutter family in 1959. Interesting fact - Harper Lee was his friend and assistant who accompanied him. So when the Nonfiction 5 challenge was announced, I decided to read In Cold Blood to have some more background to the movie. It's the first Capote book I've read.

What a detailed book! Capote includes so much detail and description of the town and the family, which was rather gruesome when he was describing the murders, but his story -and it feels like fiction at times because how could this really happen? is told in a detached, balanced manner. Actually, the movie gave the impression that Capote got quite involved with the murderers, especially Perry Smith. His life is told in more detail and he is the more sympathetic, if you could say that, of the suspects. Except that he was the cold blooded murderer. It was a very difficult book to come to terms with.

I can see why this book is considered a masterpiece because the details, the pacing, the characters, the objective view made this a terrific read. It is like a Dateline expose, or 48 Hours mystery, but without the sensationalism added in. Except that this was a sensational story.


  1. I've read this book and thought it was excellent. I think I read somewhere that there was a rumor going around that Harper Lee actually wrote the book.

  2. I enjoyed this one quite a bit too. The author certainly showed off his beautiful writing style.

  3. I never realized that this was a nonfiction book. I've heard they have ways of proving who is the real author - I hope they do the research and let the public know.

  4. Oh yay! I have this on my list of possibilities for the NFF Challenge 2008. I love Dateline and 48 Hours, so it should be a good choice for me. Thanks!


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