I’ve read a lot of books in my day, and for whatever reason, I didn’t get to this book until now. I was first told about it in high school, but for one reason or another, didn’t get to read it until now. The book is famous, as it kickstarted a genre of nonfiction that has spawned a lot of fans, and even a network of television programs that play this kind of stuff nonstop. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote is a nonfiction book about a family that was killed, in cold blood. Pun Intended!
Woa! Sorry to stop your flow of reading. I wanted to interject and say that this is an older review. I know, old content isn’t always great. However, if you’re reading this, just know that this is a review that I wrote after reading the book in 2018. I’m working on 2019’s reviews, and will post them as I can, but this is from my archives. Sorry to break up the flow again, just continue reading, and please try the fish! I mean, buy the book.
From the first chapters forward, Truman Capote doesn’t just write about the murders that occurred. Instead, he writes a narrative style that is unlike most of the true crime books that you will read. This is a fully narrated novel with a lot of elements that are unlike what you may read in many books that base their information on court cases. Instead, Truman finds a way to create voices thanks to the many interviews that he and Harper Lee were able to conduct. It is noted that the two were able to compile over 1,000 pages of notes before writing this novel, to give you an idea of how epic the research was.
If you’re looking for a documentary, without any sort of spin, then this is not for you. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote does very well to create a stellar non-fiction, true crime novel, but it’s one that is not without criticisms. The veracity of the book comes into question, and many have stated that it’s not 100% truthful. But even with a few embellishments, there’s a serious story about murder, and what happens afterwards.
The story is fascinating, to say the least. A couple ex-cons rob and murder a family, and then head to Mexico to start a new life. The two don’t get away with the murder, and things really go bad for them as they try to work out the details of what to do next. The guys did the deed, then were caught in Las Vegas, and were given the death sentence. The book creates a balancing act between cold blooded killers and sympathetic criminals, and it’s a long one to work through sometimes.
This is a classic. But the classics aren’t always fun to read. Capote’s work is great, and it was new at the time. But after reading so many different true crime books, I can say that this is not the best in the bunch. However, it gets points for being first, and a well-known writer’s push forward into a new genre. I liked it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just not on par with some of the other books that I’ve been reading lately. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 stars. Read it for yourself, and let me know if you like it, it’s not a favorite of mine.