Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
What is startling about “In Cold Blood” is that Capote was the darling of the celebrated consumerist society with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1955), a socialite and friend of Marilyn Monroe. … “In Cold Blood” is a chillng story of the killing of the Clutter family for a few dollars. Although Capote does not say why they did it, the clues and social background of the culprits are explored. Capote showed that these killers were not just ‘pure evil’ or mad psychos – they were just human beings. All in all, Capote set in train a new genre of crime writing that examined the scary, seemingly random events with a new eye.
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Truman Capote: In Cold Blood – A true account of a multiple murder and its consequences. New York, Random House, 1965. First edition, first printing. 8 1/2 x 6 Red cloth, gilt titling with silver, black top edge. Capote was a towering literary figure of the second half of the 20th century and this is perhaps his most acclaimed, if controversial book. A non-fiction novel, a chilling story of the killing of the Clutter family.
In a cold winter night in Kansas late 1959 the Clutter family were bound and murdered for only a few dollars. The genius of the novel is that it allows various points of view and raises questions about crime and punishment. The quiet civility and humanity of the Clutter family is counter-posed to the random chaotic lives of the killers. It is an examination of how some people’s lives are tragically influenced by others. With this novel Capote is said to have invented the crime novel.
What is startling about In Cold Blood is that Capote was the darling of the celebrated consumerist society with Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1955), a socialite and friend of Marilyn Monroe. Here he gives a good deal of space to the bad guys, and although he does not say why they did the deed, he gives a detailed background. One of the killers, Perry Smith was the son of an entrepreneur, Smith was highly intelligent and decorated for bravery in the Korean War. Instead of being an ‘all American hero’ he was a drug addict and wanderer. He was the product of a family that was on the slide – bankrupted and prone to violence and addiction. He possibly suffered child abuse. Capote showed that these killers were not just ‘pure evil’ or mad psychos – they were just human beings. All in all, Capote set in train a new genre of crime writing that examined the scary, seemingly random events with a new eye.
Condition: Nice clean near fine copy, in a clean jacket. Neat previous owners’ inscription to top of front free endpaper and date “1966” (not all that noticeable because the endpaper is dark maroon. The boards are a little sprung. The jacket has a little edge wear and one closed tear (1″ long). A sound and presentable collectors copy.