April's Reviews > In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
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Jul 28, 11

Read in July, 2011

Though I've seen a few movies based on Truman Capote's books, I had never actually read his work before. I'm glad I finally got around to it and that this is the first book of his that I tried. First, Capote is an EXCELLENT writer. He has a way with words that is both visual and lyrical, and he has the greatest knack of capturing people's characters and personalities not just in how they look and in what they do, but in how they speak — the words they use and even their very speech patterns.

Two of the three movies I've seen based on this book focus more on how Capote researched the story, how he absorbed the material, spoke to all involved, and simply watched the proceedings. It showed what he thought of the whole thing, what he discussed with his friend Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird), and how much of himself he invested when talking to the criminals themselves.

But those movies are so far from the actual material itself. Capote masterfully handles the events and histories revolving around the murder of a family by two strangers, all without inserting himself at all into the story. It reads like a novel borne out of a writer's mind, describing the landscape, the surrounding community, and the characters' mini-biographies and their motivations, told in the omniscient point of view, and it's just beautiful — all of it — sad and bewildering, poignant in its strange darkness.

I can see how the true crime genre was born from this one book. It makes a story in a newspaper much more personal, but what makes this exceptional is that it is extremely well researched.

I can't say enough good things about this book, and it's hard for me to even try. This is just one of those books that make one marvel. I highly recommend it, and I will be reading more Capote books after this one.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jason Another great review from you, April. I want to nominate this for our next book club pick.


April Thanks, Jason! I think your book club will enjoy it. :)


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