In Cold Blood
List Price: $22.00

Our Price: $12.51

You Save: $9.49 (43%)

 


Product Description

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

Five years, four months and twenty-nine days later, on April 14, 1965, Richard Eugene Hickock, aged thirty-three, and Perry Edward Smith, aged thirty-six, were hanged from the crime on a gallows in a warehouse in the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansa.

In Cold Blood is the story of the lives and deaths of these six people. It has already been hailed as a masterpiece.

In Cold Blood was a groundbreaking work when released in 1966. With it, author Truman Capote contributed to a style of writing in which the reporter gets so far inside the subject, becomes so familiar, that he projects events and conversations as if he were really there. The style has probably never been accomplished better than in this book. Capote combined painstaking research with a narrative feel to produce one of the most spellbinding stories ever put on the page. Two two-time losers living in a lonely house in western Kansas are out to make the heist of their life, but when things don't go as planned, the robbery turns ugly. From there, the book is a real-life look into murder, prison, and the criminal mind.

Customer Reviews:

  • Sensational
    To keep it short and sharp: I have read all the classics (Tolstoy, Twain, Austin, Orwell, Fitzgerald ect ect), and I know this isn't technically a novel, but In Cold Blood stands the test of time and still remains as the most enjoyable and well written book I have ever picked up.

    One other thing: this is still the only example I have found where I would recommend watching the movie BEFORE reading the book....more info
  • The first true crime book is still the best
    Truman Capote arguably invented true crime, and still dominates with this spectacular classic. He took years to finish this book, his last book, and it shows in the brilliant prose. This is among my favorite books of all time. I recommend to everyone....more info
  • Anarachy in the heartland : an American story
    An excellent piece of investigative journalism. Although called the first "non-fiction novel" I don't consider it a novel. To do so would suppose that journalism is objective, it is not, and anyway by most accounts Capote mostly got it right. It's gripping journalism, extremely well researched, and very American. The juxtaposition of Capote, a liberal New Yorker, among the conservative mid-westerners should not go unnoticed. It strikes a chord with the American paradoxical character of "the new" versus "stability"; change versus safety; the search for frontier versus authenticity; the fear of anarchy versus the fear of authority; liberal versus conservative. On the one side the ultimate in safety, security and authority is represented by the Clutter family - and on the opposite side the killers, younger and free, represent change, "the new" and anarchy. Capote instinctively tapped into this dialectic and became part of it himself as an upstart homosexual New Yorker in the middle of stable, secure and patriarchal Kansas. This sort of "meta" author mirroring the story is the real aesthetic and creative achievement that has kept it a classic while later "new journalism" works, characterized by their use of literary techniques applied to non-fiction, have rarely if ever exceeded Capote's initial genesis....more info
  • Captivating
    True story of the murder of a family in Kansas. Capote is amazingly talented and provides the full story on this event in a unique way. Very highly recommended....more info
  • Brutal Event in Journalistic Focus
    This book is essentially a detailed and well-crafted piece of journalism with the level and quality of detail to bring it into horrific focus. One gets access to all sides of the murders of a family from the effect on the close relatives and friends to the emotional states of the murderers themselves and their final demise at the end of a rope. No one can escape this book without a large emotional wallop that will leave one's mind reverberating for some time. The book additionally invites questions concerning the limits and boundaries of journalistic integrity. When does the journalist step beyond his role as observer and become part of the story? And...Should the journalist do so and thus change outcomes? Disturbingly provocative in many ways....more info
  • To Like or Dislike....That Is the Question
    The nonfiction book In Cold Blood, written by Truman Capote, is a psychological thriller of sorts based on the quadruple homicide of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, 1959. The story follows the events of both the Clutters and the murderers before the murders, and continues to follow the murderers, as well as the investigators of the case, through the rest of the novel.
    I thought it was very smart the way Capote divided the main structure of the book into 4 separate sections: The Last to See Them Alive, Persons Unknown, Answer, and The Corner. This separation helped more in following the different events and stages of what happened: [before] the murder, the investigation, the answers, and the conviction.
    Another aspect of the structure that I enjoyed was how Capote wrote the novel presenting perspectives and point-of-views of both the Clutters/investigators/townspeople and the murders `simultaneously'. This helped to create a timeline for things also occurring simultaneously, for example, while Nancy Clutter was baking cherry pies, the murderers were trying to buy pantyhose to wear over their heads.
    I admire the research behind this novel. Capote took initiative to get to know the murderers' story, as well as that of the Clutter/investigators and bystanders of the story. Usually, non-fiction novels are written in support of the victim to show and bring justice and light to how gruesome a slaying it was; this book did this, but also `gave' something to the murderers by letting us (the readers) get insight into their lives and giving us one-on-one time with their stories (family background may have caused adult deviance).
    Even though I enjoyed most of the book, and how it presented opposing perspectives, it sometimes became confusing and/or annoying. Capote would write in perspectives/dialogue from characters that didn't provide anything to the story, other than the fact that they `didn't know the Clutters, but heard of how nice a family they were'.
    ...more info
  • Disturbing Account of a Senseless Crime
    I thought this was a disturbing and well-written story, even though I'm not a big fan of true crime books. Basically, the portrait of Perry Smith was extremely convincing and human, which made the whole thing all the more chilling: on the one hand it made me wish we could take better care of people on the fringes of society, but on the other hand it made me want to lock my doors at night. I should note that I didn't necessarily experience In Cold Blood as a page turner, although it was definitely engrossing in its own way. To me the most shocking thing about Capote's account of the crime is the way in which he highlights the arbitrary, almost accidental nature of it, the way it really could have happened to anyone, or not happened at all. Overall I'd call this a solid and impressive effort...not quite as good as I expected given its reputation, but still very good....more info
  • Good Book--Good Service
    I have read the book before. This was a gift. The receipient was delighted with it. It came in a timely manner. The service I have received frokm Amazon has been consistently reliable....more info
  • In cold blood
    A must read!! This book is so well written that it reads like a novel. When you stop and realize that it is a fact based account of actual events you truly understand what all of the fuss is about. BONE CHILLING!!...more info
  • Capote: In The Eyes Of Killers
    In Cold Blood is a great thriller. It keeps you in suspense throughout the whole book about what the verdict will be. While living in prison, they talk about killing and robbing the family once they got out, and then they actually go through with it. There is this very nice family who gets murderered by two individuals that just got out of prison. They try running away, but come back to town and get caught. This book is not only suspenseful, but all of the while it keeps you interested. ...more info
  • Brutal Event in Journalistic Focus
    This book is essentially a detailed and well-crafted piece of journalism with the level and quality of detail to bring it into horrific focus. One gets access to all sides of the murders of a family from the effect on the close relatives and friends to the emotional states of the murderers themselves and their final demise at the end of a rope. No one can escape this book without a large emotional wallop that will leave one's mind reverberating for some time. The book additionally invites questions concerning the limits and boundaries of journalistic integrity. When does the journalist step beyond his role as observer and become part of the story? And...Should the journalist do so and thus change outcomes? Disturbingly provocative in many ways....more info
  • Excellent Book
    This is a good crime thiller as the author has you guessing until the last chapter as to what happen and why. ...more info
  • Review of In Cold Blood
    This is truly a captivating story that prompted me to do a lot of side work and research. Capote tells the story of the Clutter family tragedy and the killers that wiped out this family in a familiar, but unsentimental style. He combines a narrative approach with a factual account that is unparalleled in terms of skill. However, you leave the book with the sensation that the story has been told to you quietly, maybe by a favorite uncle or close friend...hard to explain, but it's a soft landing.

    It's as fresh today a read - and as chilling a story - as my first read in 1968, at the age of 15.

    Go get it....more info
  • Still good, but the nonfiction novel has since improved
    In Cold Blood tells the true story of the senseless murder of the midwestern Clutter family in the 1950s. The search for and the story of the two pitiful ex cons who were guilty of the horror is the book's focus. Although the nonfiction novel has evolved substantially over the years, Truman Capote is clearly a pioneer in writing captivating non fiction which reads like fiction. The story is well told and interestingly organized. Capote does a seamlessly delicate job of relaying the cold blooded nature of the crime but at the same time giving the reader an opportunity to glimpse the human side of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith from childhood to death row. Capote leaves just enough space for the reader to wonder and interpret things about the telling of the story to make the tale one dimension richer than it seems.
    ...more info
  • Anarachy in the heartland : an American story
    An excellent piece of investigative journalism. Although called the first "non-fiction novel" I don't consider it a novel. To do so would suppose that journalism is objective, it is not, and anyway by most accounts Capote mostly got it right. It's gripping journalism, extremely well researched, and very American. The juxtaposition of Capote, a liberal New Yorker, among the conservative mid-westerners should not go unnoticed. It strikes a chord with the American paradoxical character of "the new" versus "stability"; change versus safety; the search for frontier versus authenticity; the fear of anarchy versus the fear of authority; liberal versus conservative. On the one side the ultimate in safety, security and authority is represented by the Clutter family - and on the opposite side the killers, younger and free, represent change, "the new" and anarchy. Capote instinctively tapped into this dialectic and became part of it himself as an upstart homosexual New Yorker in the middle of stable, secure and patriarchal Kansas. This sort of "meta" author mirroring the story is the real aesthetic and creative achievement that has kept it a classic while later "new journalism" works, characterized by their use of literary techniques applied to non-fiction, have rarely if ever exceeded Capote's initial genesis....more info
  • Sensational
    To keep it short and sharp: I have read all the classics (Tolstoy, Twain, Austin, Orwell, Fitzgerald ect ect), and I know this isn't technically a novel, but In Cold Blood stands the test of time and still remains as the most enjoyable and well written book I have ever picked up.

    One other thing: this is still the only example I have found where I would recommend watching the movie BEFORE reading the book....more info
  • Masterful
    I had heard of Trumane Capote but never knew much about him. I had developed an image of a social gadfly who was famous simply for being famous. After seeing the movie "Capote", I thought I'd read his book, "In Cold Blood". It is terrific! The pointless murder of a midwestern farm family in the 1950's is not a subject I would otherwise be drawn to, but the quality of Capote's writing transcends the subject. It is a book you read just for the pleasure of reading rich, thoughtful and insightful prose. ...more info
  • Great case
    I had never heard of Truman Capote or the Clutter family murders before this book. If you want a book that reads like the inside of the killers mind, this one is what you want. The attention to detail and the description was amazing! The only thing I didn't like was even after seeing how brutal and horrific these murders were, it was like the author was fighting for the killers in the end. Almost as if he was defending them by saying they were insane. Other than that this was a good way to learn about the Clutter family murders in Holcomb Kansas....more info
  • Good Book--Good Service
    I have read the book before. This was a gift. The receipient was delighted with it. It came in a timely manner. The service I have received frokm Amazon has been consistently reliable....more info
  • Definately worth reading
    I became interested in reading In Cold Blood after watching the film Capote (which was excellent), and subsequently ordered a copy of the novel. In Cold Blood was my first Truman Capote novel, and I'd recommend it as a good starting point to Capote's writings (if I can even say that without having read any of his other work).

    It's a very good story, and it's well written. Capote definately succeeds in bringing the reader inside the "mind of the killer," as cliche as that sounds. It is a little slow at times (I wouldn't call it a 'page turner') - but that's not a complaint, as it was necessary (and also interesting) to explore the background of both the victims and the killers.

    I'm not entirely sure I'd consider it the masterpiece that the film (as well as other Amazon reviews) built it up to be. That said, however, I'm sitting here having just finished reading it in 2007 - taking into account when it was written and the impact it had on the genre, it certainly is an impressive landmark work. But I just don't think it has the impact on a reader today it would have had on a reader in the 1960s.

    In short - it was excellent, it was definately worth the read, although I didn't come away thinking it was the mind blowing work it was built up to be. But I would definately recommend it to anyone remotely interested in the crime (and particularly in the true crime) genre....more info