In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

4.08 (605,923 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.08 (605,923 ratings by Goodreads)
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The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed In Cold Blood, you might like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs' And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is the American dream turning into the American nightmare ... By juxtaposing and dovetailing the lives and values of the Clutters and those of the killers, Capote produces a stark image of the deep doubleness of American life ... a remarkable book'
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Penguin Modern Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 236g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 9780141182575
  • 2,684

About Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925 and was raised in various parts of the south, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first - and last - regular job. Following his spell with the New Yorker, Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.
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Rating details

605,923 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 41% (247,107)
4 36% (217,195)
3 17% (100,712)
2 4% (25,797)
1 2% (15,112)

Our customer reviews

Despite being a little difficult to get into at first, I found that this book was so well-written and paints a perfect picture in the reader's mind exactly what happened in that town in 1959. Being in my 20s, it was a different experience having to read a novel that was written over 50 years ago, as the style of writing was quite different to what I was used to reading. However, I fast became used to the style and even enjoyed and deeply admired the way it was written. Capote wrote so eloquently yet spoke of the events so matter-of-factly. I could not put this book down, and there isn't a lot of books that I can say that about. Brilliant read, and I recommend this to anybody, especially those who are interested in true more
by Marianne Galvez
The Clutter family remains the nightmare of Holcomb, a small Kansas city knowing just peaceful life till the unmotivated and unexplainable murder of the four family members in 1959. The novel, a real documentary analysis of crime, shows that greed combined to lack of feelings and problematic social background form criminals who kill, never repent or feel bad after their crime. Perry Smith and Richard Hickock started with petty crimes and theft but prison life and spirit pushed them to dare and try more. Believing that the FBI investigation could not trace them they moved freely till their arrest and trial. The novel shows clearly that some types of weak personalities are not capable to resist if they find themselves in problematic surroundings and after starting criminal life they can not retrieve but fall deeper and deeper in crime actions. The irreversibily of their decision acts like fate which leads obligatorily to a tragical more
by Nada BN
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