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In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 3 Feb 2000
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About the Author
Truman Capote is an author, screenwriter, and playwright. Much of his work has been regarded as literary classics. Apart from In Cold Blood, his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's became extremely famous. Numerous television dramas and films have been picturised on his short stories, novels, and plays.
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This is my first book by Truman Capote and I'm already looking out for his other works. After finishing the book I immediately went through his first published short story 'Miriam', online. With 'In Cold Blood' Capote started the genre of fiction like novels based on facts and real incidents. I'm enchanted by his ability to build up ' fiction' like thriller inspired and developed from real & gruesome killing of four members of Clutter family in sleepy countryside Holcomb, Kansas (USA) in 1959. This is a seminal work of great literary importance by Truman Capote. Though a non-fiction, the novel is as dramatic, shocking, intriguing and imaginative in description as any fictional thriller could be.
The novel is divided into four chapters.This is not typical ' who done it' kind of a suspense thriller. If you don''t have any prior knowledge of the Clutter murder case before starting , by the end of the first chapter you would know who committed this infamous and heinous crime. Nonetheless, the most intriguing part 'HOW' remains with you till end of third chapter where author divulges shocking details of ' how the murder was committed', what was the instrument of murder and what was the motive. It also expounds the chilling details of what goes inside the mind of a murderer while is still at his task. Second chapter is primarily devoted to the personality and background of the murderers. The last and final chapter details the aftermath of arrest, subsequent interrogation and corroboration of the crime committed.
Truman Capote had claimed that all the facts mentioned in the novel were true and is result of exhaustive research that he carried out. His childhood friend Harper Lee assisted him in his research. Though few fingers were pointed to his approach and unethical ways of gathering information especially his relationship with Perry Smith while he was in custody is still a matter of debate whether it was a platonic relation or something more than that. Some say he was extra generous to the Alvin who was heading the case and eulogized his work ethics and proactive approach in cracking the case.
Despite moral and ethical issues raised and certain biases that the book is claimed to have, the novel cannot be ignored by reader who appreciates well researched and authentic thriller that too coming from genius of Truman Capote. The author never loses the track and is spot on.
No wonder this is the second-biggest-selling true crime book in publishing history, behind Vincent Bugliosi's 1974 book Helter Skelter. I now know what book is on my reading list next.
It creates two despicable villains and finishes with true Justice.
Right from the start, the detailed description of the characters: Victims and murderers, the intricate way in which their stories were laid down, starting with the day before the murders.
Capote seems to be in no hurry. He has all the time in the world telling his tale. Always, in most parts, the story gets eerie and cold.
An anatomy into a mass-murder. Its consequences. How life changed for a bunch of people involved, directly and indirectly is just beguiling.
An amazing, must read, if one is a crime-fiction fan and also takes interest in the examination of real crime.
One thing’s for sure. Death Penalty has to be abolished!
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