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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Review: In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

I have mixed feelings about In Cold Blood. On one hand, this is a book that pioneered interesting and elegantly-crafted non-fiction. Although there are moments when the story gets bogged down by legal or court details, for the most part In Cold Blood reads like a novel. On the other hand, the success of this book ushered in an era of over-sensationalized true crime and non-fiction works that speculated and outright lied about what really happened.


On its own, In Cold Blood is certainly riveting and, at times, gorgeously rendered. Some of the scenes come across as masterfully written fiction; of course, if you research the book after reading it, you'll find that some actually were fiction. Veracity aside, I was intrigued and disgusted by the Clutter family crime. I think having always lived in Kansas (though I'd never heard of Holcomb prior to reading this book) helped keep my interest. As I mentioned earlier, the story does drag from time to time, but not horribly so. Also, I'd have liked to have known more about Harper Lee's involvement, but I guess that's material for a different book.