In cold Blood pdf by Truman Capote, Sumary, Read Online Characters

In Cold Blood pdf by Truman Capote is a novel by American author Truman Capote, first published in 1966. It details the 1959 murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. Capote learned of the quadruple murder before the killers were captured, and he traveled to Kansas to write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and they interviewed residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. Killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were arrested six weeks after the murders and later executed by the state of Kansas. Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. In Cold Blood was an instant success and is the second-best-selling true crime book in history, behind Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter (1974) about the Charles Manson murders. Some critics consider Capote’s work the original non-fiction novel, although other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in Operación Masacre (1957). In this article, you will be a able to download in cold Blood by Truman Capote as well as do the following:

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In cold blood Summary by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.In one of the first non-fiction novels ever written, Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, generating both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

About the author In cold blood – Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925 and was raised in various parts of the south, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first – and last – regular job. Following his spell with the New Yorker, Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.

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In cold blood by Truman Capote
In cold blood Truman Capote

Excerpt from in cold blood by Truman Capote

I
THE LAST
TO SEE THEM ALIVE

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas,a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.” Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West. The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them, wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes. The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them. Holcomb, too, can be seen from great distances. Not that there is much to see—simply an aimless congregation of buildings divided in the center by the main-line tracks of the Santa Fe Railroad, a haphazard hamlet bounded on the south by a brown stretch of the Arkansas (pronounced “Ar-kan-sas”) River, on the north by a highway, Route 50, and on the east and west by prairie lands and wheat fields. After rain, or when snowfalls thaw, the streets, unnamed, unshaded, unpaved, turn from the thickest dust into the direst mud. At one end of the town stands a stark old stucco structure, the roof of which supports an electric sign—DANCE—but the dancing has ceased and the advertisement has been dark for several years. Nearby is another building with an irrelevant sign, this one in flaking gold on a dirty window—HOLCOMB BANK. The bank closed in 1933, and its former counting rooms have been converted into apartments. It is one of the town’s two “apartment houses,” the second being a ramshackle mansion known, because a good part of the local school’s faculty lives there, as the Teacherage.

But the majority of Holcomb’s homes are one-story frame affairs, with front porches. Down by the depot, the postmistress, a gaunt woman who wears a rawhide jacket and denims and cowboy boots, presides over a falling-apart post office. The depot itself, with its peeling sulphur-colored paint, is equally melancholy; the Chief, the Super-Chief, the El Capitan go by every day, but these celebrated expresses never pause there. No passenger trains do—only an occasional freight. Up on the highway, there are two filling stations, one of which doubles as a meagerly supplied grocery store, while the other does extra duty as a café—Hartman’s Café, where Mrs. Hartman, the proprietress, dispenses sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks, and 3.2 beer. (Holcomb, like all the rest of Kansas, is “dry.”) And that, really, is all. Unless you include, as one must, the Holcomb School, a good-looking establishment, which reveals a circumstance that the appearance of the community otherwise camouflages: that the parents who send their children to this modern and ably staffed “consolidated” school—the grades go from kindergarten through senior high, and a fleet of buses transport the students, of which there are usually around three hundred and sixty, from as far as sixteen miles away—are, in general, a prosperous people. Farm ranchers, most of them, they are outdoor folk of very varied stock—German, Irish, Norwegian, Mexican, Japanese. They raise cattle and sheep, grow wheat, milo, grass seed, and sugar beets. Farming is always a chancy business, but in western Kansas its practitioners consider themselves “born gamblers,” for they must contend with an extremely shallow precipitation (the annual average is eighteen inches) and anguishing irrigation problems. However, the last seven years have been years of

droughtless beneficence. The farm ranchers in Finney County, of which Holcomb is a part, have done well; money has been made not from farming alone but also from the exploitation of plentiful natural-gas resources, and its acquisition is reflected in the new school, the comfortable interiors of the farmhouses, the steep and swollen grain elevators. Until one morning in mid-November of 1959, few Americans—in fact, few Kansans—had ever heard of Holcomb. Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.

The inhabitants of the village, numbering two hundred and seventy, were satisfied that this should be so, quite content to exist inside ordinary life—to work, to hunt, to watch television, to attend school socials, choir practice, meetings of the 4-H Club. But then, in the earliest hours of that morning in November, a Sunday morning, certain foreign sounds impinged on the normal nightly Holcomb noises—on the keening hysteria of coyotes, the dry scrape of scuttling tumbleweed, the racing, receding wail of locomotive whistles. At the time not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them—four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives. But afterward the townspeople, theretofore sufficiently unfearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors, found fantasy re-creating them over and again—those somber explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other strangely, and as strangers.

The master of River Valley Farm, Herbert William Clutter, was forty-eight years old, and as a result of a recent medical examination for an insurance policy, knew himself to be in first-rate condition. Though he wore rimless glasses and was of but average height, standing just under five feet ten, Mr. Clutter cut a man’s-man figure. His shoulders were broad, his hair had held its dark color, his square-jawed, confident face retained a healthy-hued youthfulness, and his teeth, unstained and strong enough to shatter walnuts, were still intact. He weighed a hundred and fifty-four—the same as he had the day he graduated from Kansas State University, where he had majored in agriculture. He was not as rich as the richest man in Holcomb—Mr. Taylor Jones, a neighboring rancher. He was, however, the community’s most widely known citizen, prominent both there and in Garden City, the close-by county seat, where he had headed the building committee for the newly completed First Methodist Church, an eight-hundred thousand-dollar edifice. He was currently chairman of the Kansas Conference of Farm Organizations, and his name was everywhere respectfully recognized among Midwestern agriculturists, as it was in certain Washington offices, where he had been a member of the Federal Farm Credit Board during the Eisenhower administration.

Major characters in cold blood by Truman Capote

·         Perry Edward Smith

Along with Dick, one of the two murderers of the Clutter family. He is a short man, with a large torso but small legs. His legs were badly injured in a motorcycle accident. He wants very much to be educated, and he considers himself quite intelligent and artistic. His childhood was lonely and disorganized. His criminal record seems to be a natural extension of the strange environments in which he grew up.

·         Richard Eugene Hickock

Along with Perry, one of the two murderers of the Clutter family. Also a small man, Dick grew up in Kansas, was married twice, and is jailed for passing bad checks. He is a practical man who exudes confidence and cruelty, but in reality he is not as ruthless or brave as he seems.

·         Herbert Clutter

The father of the Clutter family. His wife is Bonnie. He has four children: two older daughters who have moved out, and Nancy and Kenyon. His large property, River Valley Farm, keeps him moderately wealthy. Starting with little, he has built up a large, successful farm. He is a community leader, involved with many organizations. He is a gentle man, a strict Methodist. He served on the Federal Farm Credit Board under President Eisenhower.

·         Bonnie Clutter

Herbert’s wife, Bonnie, cannot keep up with his public image as a leader, and she withdraws into the home. Suffering depressive mental disorders, she spends a great deal of time in bed.

·         Nancy Clutter

Along with Kenyon, one of the two youngest Clutter children. They both still live at home. She is “the darling” of the town, a class president and future prom queen. Like her father, she is very organized.

·         Kenyon Clutter

An awkward 15-year-old, Kenyon loves to tinker with carpentry and machines.

·         Bobby Rupp

Nancy’s steady boyfriend, Bobby lives nearby.

·         Alvin Dewey

An investigator for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), Dewey is the agent responsible for much of western Kansas. He becomes very involved in the case, to the distress of his wife, Marie, and his two small boys.

·         Harold Nye

One of Dewey’s principal KBI assistants. Nicknamed “Brother Nye,” he is the youngest of the group. During the capture and interrogation of Smith and Hickock, he has the flu.

·         Tex John Smith

Perry’s father, Tex is a kindly backwoodsman who taught Perry to bake bread, but who never comes to see his son in jail. Perry’s mother is Flo Buckskin, who Tex met and married on the rodeo circuit.

·         Willie-Jay

Assistant to the chaplain of Lansing, the Kansas state prison, Willie-Jay becomes a kind of mentor to Perry. He tells Perry that he is talented.

·         Floyd Wells

An inmate at Lansing prison. After Perry leaves on parole, he became Dick’s cellmate. He is a former employee of Herbert Clutter, and he tells Dick about the ranch and the layout of the house.

·         Lowell Lee Andrews

Andrews was a young college student who murdered his family. He is a schizophrenic. Several of his years on death row overlap with those of Dick and Perry. Perry resents the fact that Andrews is highly educated.

·         Bess Hartman

The proprietor of Hartman’s Cafe. She has a thick skin and scolds her customers when they gossip too much about the Clutter murders.

Where to buy In cold blood by Truman Capote

You can buy the most famous true crime novel of all time titled In cold blood by Truman Capote which “chills the blood and exercises the intelligence” (The New York Review of Books)—and haunted its author long after he finished writing it from the following sites online

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Read reviews of In cold blood by Truman Capote

Customer reviews on Barnesandnoble for in cold blood by Truman Capote

Mel-Loves-Books
4 out of 5 stars.

3 years ago  
“The Crime Was A Psychological Accident, Virtually An Impersonal A …

“The crime was a psychological accident, virtually an impersonal act, the victims might as well have been killed by lightning. Except for one thing: they had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered.” In Cold Blood by Truman Capote had me captured from the first page. From what I have read about this book, it seems that this may be more based on a true story than complete true crime novel, but the writing was so enthralling and the case so interesting that I would still consider this a must read for fellow true crime readers. The way Capote delved into the psychological aspects of the crime, the investigation, and the criminals themselves was my favorite aspect of the novel. I was particularly interested in the perspectives of psychology in the criminal justice system at that time. A lot of which I was very unfamiliar with. This is not a book I will soon forget and I give it 4.5 stars and highly recommend it.

Anonymous
5 out of 5 stars.
4 years ago  
A Work Of Literary Masterpiece, In Cold Blood Was One Of Few Early …

A work of literary masterpiece, In Cold Blood was one of few early examples of narrative nonfiction. Written to appeal to a younger audience with little appreciation for the more textbook-esque style of many other nonfiction texts, it hooks the reader with a driving, engaging account of the events of the Clutter murders. Personally, I found this novel to be an easy, enjoyable read, and would highly recommend it to any others wary of nonfiction novels.

Anonymous
5 out of 5 stars
4 years ago  
In Cold Blood Is A Great Read If You Like True Crime Genre. It Foc …

In cold blood is a great read if you like true crime genre. It focuses on the murder of the Clutter family. The author Truman Capote did a lot of research to make this book very detailed. The author uses the perspectives of the killers as well as the neighbors and investigators. I think it is very interesting that even though it is based on true events it is written as a novel and Capote even re-created dialogue. When you read it, the writing style makes you feel like like you are part of the story. There wasn’t anything I did not like about this book!

Anonymous
4 out of 5 stars.
4 years ago  
In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Capote Wove A Tale Of Deception …

In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Capote wove a tale of deception and brutal killing. The author based his story off of the real-life murders of the Clutter family in 1959. The actual Clutters were slaughtered during a robbery gone wrong, which is also portrayed in the novel. The murderers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, spent five years on death row until they were hanged as punishment. Capote effectively transformed a horrific robbery/murder to a page-turning novel. The author managed to captivate his audience by shifting point of views from the victims to the murderers. Not only does he accomplish this well, he also incorporates stylistic elements to make the murders appear more like a plot rather than an actual event.
Capote shifts perspective from murderers to the murdered which allows him to convert this real life event to a story plotline. As the reader, we see the murder occur from both perspectives which almost allows us to be separate from the event since it leads to a weaker emotional connection to the story when reading. However, when the reader takes a moment to recall that this actually occurred, it opens a box of emotions. Capote wrote the plot so effectively, we automatically assume it is a work of fiction and forget the harsh realities.
Capote’s well researched insight on the story lends the perspectives of both the Clutter family members and the murders, Perry and Richard, to communicate a clear plotline. He does well to tie up loose ends that may have resulted from the limited availability of knowledge about the murders-which may be the reason why this story seems so fictional. Blurred omniscience lets Capote lead the reader through the rollercoaster of both emotions and action, each page becoming another layer to the overall suspense. The book does justice not only to the victims but the murders as well. Instead of painting Perry and Richard as complete antagonists, capable of only crime , Capote add layers to their personality by explaining the background of each man. The heart wrenching pasts of the duo humanized them, creating an additional element of tension during the brutal slaying of the Clutter family.

Anonymous
5 out of 5 stars
6 years ago  
I Overall Enjoyed Reading And Would Recommend In Cold Blood. This …

I overall enjoyed reading and would recommend In Cold Blood. This non-fiction by Truman Capote is the story of the brutal murder of four members of the Clutter family. As a reader, we know who the killers are from very early in the book but Capote holds back until later on how the murders actually took place. This made the book very interesting to read, since the story was told in a different order. It also often switched back between the hometown and where the killers are. This presented a really interesting and unique contrast between the reaction of the town and the murderers. I didn’t like this book because at times it could be very dry, and it went into detail about things that weren’t crucial to the entire story. I would highly recommend this book to readers who are interested in murder stories. It’s definitely not for everyone, it can become quite graphic at times. Definitely a good and engaging read.

Customer reviews on Amazon for in cold blood by Truman Capote

Frank DonnellyTop Contributor: Poetry Books
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Non Fiction Violent Crime Work That I Have Read, Although At Times Painful…
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
Verified Purchase

“In Cold Blood” is an iconic non fiction book that is authored by an iconic fiction writer, Truman Capote. The story is about a real life, hideous violent crime that occurred in the State of Kansas in 1959. Although non fiction, the book has the style of fiction and reads as a hard crime thriller, “page turner”. In a case such as this, I don’t wish to say that I “enjoyed” this book. The crime is disgusting. However the writing is excellent. As a retired police investigator of violent felonies, the entire work had the ring of truth and reality for me. I had put off reading this book up until now for numerous reasons. As a student of literature and authors, I prefer to read books by authors in order of publication so that I can study the evolution, if any, of the author. Also, in this case, I am a retired police,officer suffering from PTSD. Therefore it was with a good deal of hesitation that I decided to finally read this work. I do need to report to you that I did indeed find it personally very painful. I have worked cases like this and they have stayed with me. In some ways, the old scars were opened To some extent. It was not as bad as I was afraid it would be. (I had asked others about this prior to reading the book.) Obviously all I know about this case is what I have read. Presuming the work is accurate, I can tell you this is what is like to arrive at the scene of a hideous violent felony in which there are no witnesses and no obvious leads, To a conscientious lead investigator, it is almost impossible to convey the feeling of near hopeless, forlorn, desolation that may descend upon “The Lead” in a case such as this. Truman Capote does a really good job in describing all of this. It proved extremely realistic to me.

Of all the books that I have ever read, if I was instructing a course on homicide investigations, I am positive I could use this book as a core text. I know exactly how I would have worked this “job” after all of the primary work and leads had been run down. Often I was assigned cases such as this after the primary work was done, and the investigation had stalled. The police “caught a break” in this case. However the break came from exactly the type of source that I would have pursued. Believe me it is a complete pain to work a case this way, but it can be done proactively rather than waiting for a break. This is not “normal aberrant” behavior. This is a subset of aberrant behavior, that I refer to as “aberrant of aberrant”. the very nature of which, that makes this job solvable… In summary, this is an excellent work of non fiction. The only hesitation I have in recommending this work is the hideous nature of the crime. This crime fits my personal definition of obscenity. However if you are a young detective assigned to violent crimes, and really want to learn and not just “Mail it in” this is the one…. Thank You for taking the time to read this review.

Allen SmallingTop Contributor: Classical Music
5.0 out of 5 stars Truman Capote’s Masterpiece
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2017
Verified Purchase

One of the most significant non-fiction writings of the mid-1960s that still holds an honored place today in American letters. In late 1959 the entire Herbert Clutter family of rural Kansas — Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their two youngest children Nancy and Kenyon — were slaughtered for no particular reason except that the two drifters who sought them out had received bad advice about the alleged riches Mr. Clutter kept in his office safe, but didn’t. What might have been merely a downcast saga of the “outs” tangling with the “ins” becomes an amazingly gripping story in author Truman Capote’s virtuoso writing, that took years to research, write and edit. In my opinion only purists quibble over whether this book should be classed as non-fiction or fiction; it IS non-fiction, but because some of Capote’s narrative techniques were new at the time, IN COLD BLOOD ever since then has straddled “best-of” lists to its overall detriment. Ignore that chatter and read this masterpiece for what it is.
Note: Capote’s research assistant out in rural Kansas was none other than (Nelle) Harper Lee, who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

jay mully
5.0 out of 5 stars he also incorporates stylistic elements to make the murders appear more like a plot rather than an actual event
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2017
Verified Purchase

In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Capote wove a tale of deception and brutal killing. The author based his story off of the real-life murders of the Clutter family in 1959. The actual Clutters were slaughtered during a robbery gone wrong, which is also portrayed in the novel. The murderers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, spent five years on death row until they were hanged as punishment. Capote effectively transformed a horrific robbery/murder to a page-turning novel. The author managed to captivate his audience by shifting point of views from the victims to the murderers. Not only does he accomplish this well, he also incorporates stylistic elements to make the murders appear more like a plot rather than an actual event.
Capote shifts perspective from murderers to the murdered which allows him to convert this real life event to a story plotline. As the reader, we see the murder occur from both perspectives which almost allows us to be separate from the event since it leads to a weaker emotional connection to the story when reading. However, when the reader takes a moment to recall that this actually occurred, it opens a box of emotions. Capote wrote the plot so effectively, we automatically assume it is a work of fiction and forget the harsh realities.
Capote’s well researched insight on the story lends the perspectives of both the Clutter family members and the murders, Perry and Richard, to communicate a clear plotline. He does well to tie up loose ends that may have resulted from the limited availability of knowledge about the murders-which may be the reason why this story seems so fictional. Blurred omniscience lets Capote lead the reader through the rollercoaster of both emotions and action, each page becoming another layer to the overall suspense. The book does justice not only to the victims but the murders as well. Instead of painting Perry and Richard as complete antagonists, capable of only crime , Capote add layers to their personality by explaining the background of each man. The heart wrenching pasts of the duo humanized them, creating an additional element of tension during the brutal slaying of the Clutter family.

Lady Fancifull
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling, uncomfortable account of a real crime – The Clutter Murders of 1959
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2017
Verified Purchase

Truman Capote’s 1966 account of a notorious, barely motive-driven rural multiple murder which took place in Kansas in 1959 catapulted him into the best seller lists and celebrity status. An upstanding, hard-working family from Holcomb, a small community in the wheat-plains of western Kansas, were brutally murdered by person or persons unknown, in November 1959. The Clutter family, Herb, church-going, teetotal dairy cattle-farmer, his rather delicate but equally upstanding wife Bonnie, and his two children, 16 year old Nancy, vivacious, popular, responsible, admired, and her bookish 15 year old brother Kenton were all shot at point-blank range, having previously been tied up. Herb Clutter also had his throat cut before being shot. Inevitably, investigation first turned to possible personal and local motive, but there was no evidence at all to suggest this. The community was a tight-knit, respectable, co-operative one, and all the Clutters were warmly regarded by their colleagues, peers, friends, family and neighbours “The hitherto peaceful congregation of neighbours and old friends had suddenly to endure the unique experience of distrusting each other; understandably, they believed that the murderer was amongst themselves” The conclusion was that this might have been a burglary which went wrong. The idea of this definitely ruled out local involvement as everyone knew that Clutter did not keep money or valuables in the house, but banked it

The crime seemed to point towards something of a growing trend – murder without any real personal motive. There have always been such, in times past, but, for obvious reasons, they were more likely to take place in crowded cities, where perpetrators could quickly vanish amongst the hordes. Such crimes in isolated areas, carried out by perpetrators completely unknown, where victim and murderer had no direct connection with each other, must have been comparatively rare before owning cars became common, so that going on the run and being able to hide anywhere, became easily possible. The perpetrators of this crime, after an intense investigation, were found to be a couple of small time crooks, who had met whilst serving time, far away from the scene of the crime. The successful solving of the crime, not to mention the capture of the pair, also depended on chance as much as skill, and the existence of mass-media (radio, TV) to highlight awareness of the crime and the search. The motive was indeed a robbery gone wrong, with the murderers, neither of whom had ever met Clutter, unaware that this rich man did not have a safe in his house (as they had assumed he would)

Truman Capote’s account of the case, originally serialised in The New Yorker, was rather a literary, ground-breaking one. The book was extensively researched from documents and interviews, but Capote structured this like a converging story, rather than a linear account. The structure, the language and the shaping are that of story, not journalistic reportage. Indeed, levelled against the book was criticism (particularly locally) that some dialogue had been invented, and small human touches and potent images had been invented. Interestingly, his researcher on the book was his friend, and later, admired author, in her own right, Harper Lee. She is one of the two people Capote dedicates the book to. The crime was indeed a gory one, but Capote withholds the gory details until near the end of the book, Instead, he paints a low-key, un-histrionic , unheroic, un-villainous picture of all the individuals associated with the case – this includes the victims, the murderers and all connected in the investigation, bringing to justice, and the community in which these events happened.

The author avoids operatic, overblown rhetoric. The reader (well, this one) has the sense of an author listening for a way to tell a shocking story in a simple, measured way, allowing the events themselves to be revealed in a way which suggests they have objective existence, and are not driven by authorial agenda. Nonetheless, the choices he made do of course shape the reader’s own perceptions. This is not a mere recounting of facts, but the reader is not being punched by the writer’s persona. Nonetheless, it is obvious that Capote did feel a kind of fascination with one of the perpetrators, whose status as half Cherokee, half-Irish, child of a broken marriage, whose mother was an alcoholic, and who spent part of his childhood in a brutal care home, marked his card, somewhat from the start. A classic outsider who FELT like an outsider to himself. Capote, himself an outsider, clearly felt some kind of – if not sympathy, than an identification of ‘outsiderness’ Unlike a more modern trend in some ‘true crime’ writing, Capote avoids a ramping up of the gory details of the undoubtedly gory crime. He is not trying to titillate or be gratuitous, Instead, there is a cool restraint. There is of course no ‘excuse’ for the crime, but there is a recognition that the fact that these types of crime occur shows ‘something’ about human nature. Because the writer does not go the route of ‘aberrant, demonic, despicable, bestial monsters’ the reader is uncomfortably forced to acknowledge this too is the possibility of human choice, human behaviour.

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