In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences, Paperback Book

In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences Paperback

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and children.

Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved.

At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible, yet entirely and frighteningly human.

The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: True crime
  • ISBN: 9780141043081

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The start is quite slow, what with the extensive description of the setting and the victims' lives prior to their murder, and it doesn't help that the actual details of events in the Clutter house that night are saved for later on (I felt this more a lacuna rather than a contributor to suspense). However, there's a sudden tipping about half way through and after that the book becomes one you have to keep reading. Capote makes the killers oddly sympathetic and the compassion one starts to feel is unnerving. Very well written, it's easy to see why it became such a modern classic.

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