In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteOn 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.
As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. At the center 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. In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.
Pgs. 100-123 In Cold Blood
The reader is introduced to the village of Holcomb, a small yet prosperous farming settlement in western Kansas. Herbert Clutter, a self-made man and prominent member of the community, lives a comfortable life as the owner and proprietor of River Valley Farm, where he resides with his wife, Bonnie, and children, Nancy sixteen , and Kenyon fifteen. The Clutters are a principled and upstanding family, active churchgoers and participants in community life, both in Holcomb and the neighboring Garden City. Kenyon puts the finishing touches on a hope chest he has built as a wedding present for his older sister, and then travels with his father to a meeting of the 4-H club in Garden City. Bonnie Clutter spends a typical afternoon in bed. While he waits, Perry peruses a series of maps, dreaming of treasure-hunting expeditions in exotic locales, South America in particular.
The truth is not what it was when I was a little girl. Truth in the 21st century is a different creature altogether, with few scruples. People read crime fiction for the same reason that little children like fairy tales: they like to scare themselves because it helps them manage the fears in their own lives. In Part 2, Persons Unknown , Capote signals his artifice over and over again, as he explores the character and motivations of the killers, and after a while I found it began to jar. Does Capote know this from talking to Perry and Dick? Is he inferring it from other facts that he knows? Or is it entirely made up?
Please type in your email address in order to receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates 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. He reads to slow and the book is boring.
All rights reserved. Alvin Dewey is very experienced in these kinds of cases and was a friend of the Clutters. This makes it personal to him, and he vows to solve the case if it takes the rest of his life. The case is making headlines all over the country, and lots of out-of-town reporters are arriving. At his first press conference, Dewey refuses to speculate about the identity of the killer or killers. He holes up in his office looking at evidence from the crime scene, including photos of the murdered Clutters.