In Cold Blood tells the story of Perry Smith and Dick Hickock who were behind the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer and his wife and two children. Truman Capote vividly, hauntingly and brilliantly brings to life these two young killers and the effect they had on those involved in the Kansinians’ death.
As I started this book, I was told it was ‘disturbing’. And it was. Is, I should say. Unfortunately, I had to keep reading this book, as it is for college.
To read a work such as this, you have to have quite a strong stomach. I was nearly physically sick a couple of times. All right, maybe I’m just a wuss. Nevertheless, read with care.
As it is based on true events, this is a creative non-fiction – it uses real statements, dates and people but things like conversations have been invented. It is the first book of its kind I have ever read. I quite enjoyed the style – it is not just fact after fact, and there is enough prose to split it up and keep you interested.
The subject matter of this book is, as you will know, not a pleasant one. It is very graphic, and not for the faint-hearted (I may have already said this once or twice). Although it seems there are only 4 murders, there are, in fact, many more – and each one horrifically and vividly described.
Usually, murder fascinates me (no, I’m not a murderer, and I don’t plan to be, I don’t sympathise with killers and I am not a psychopath). The Clutter murders did as well, but the vivid way it was told did not.
Capote is an exquisite story-teller, and weaves fact and fiction in this well-written piece of work. I would recommend it, but not to younger audiences.
Explore the minds of Smith and Hickock and relive the struggles and terror the police and public faced after these murders.
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