Truman Capote accomplished something great and difficult with this book: he tells this story in extreme detail but never is it boring or slow. Every word, every sentence, every piece of information reveals the lives of these people and the tragic collision between the two very different worlds.
The narrative feels at once factual yet sentimental, objective yet deeply involved. The picture painted by Capote of the rural Kansas community shows us their idiosyncracies, their peculiarities, their flaws and limitations. Somehow, these make the picture even more appealing. Capote writes with respect for these people and dignifies them.
In a strange way, Capote does the same for the killers as he explores their strange, warty lives. The author leaves no doubt as to their guilt or their sociopathic ways, but there is the same artful sense of involvement and even affection between the objective facts.
I have listened to three audiobooks now read by the same man, Scott Brick. The guy is fantastic. He adopts different voices and inflections without hitting you over the head with it. The reader never gets in the way of the story.
This audiobook gets my highest recommendation.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
I really liked this book. It was very interesting to read a true crime as a novel. The narrator is one of the best. He really adds alot to the experience.
Sometimes "great books" really are great, and this is one of them. I had never read any Capote books nor have I seen the movie. I choose this book on the strenth of its reputation and on the comments of other reviewers. I was not disappointed!
I hadn't read the book or seen the movies, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Nor had I read anything else by Truman Capote that I can recall. I was impressed with the way the author uses the English language to its fullest and most beautiful potential to describe such horrific and base crimes and criminals. He transports you to rural Kansas and into the lives of the doomed Clutter family at the start. Then the book focuses on the killers. You don't want to feel anything for them, but the author's focus is on their story and you can't help but get sucked in to their depraved world.
Scott Brick is my favorite narrator and he comes thru here in spades. He's got a knack for voices and accents and puts them to good use for this book. It's like listening to a one man show instead of an audiobook - I can't recommend it enough.
Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
I had heard about this book for years, and given this year's movie about Truman Capote, felt it was time to read this one.
The one major thing I appreciated about the author is that he did not belabor the killings themselves and "torture" the reader with excessive gore. While the crimes were described, they were communicated in a less disturbing fashion than other books I have read.
The manner of delivery was also very unique - understand that this is a novel-like story based on true crime. The dialogue between the killers and between many others in the book is fabricated, but based on true facts & situations, which is a unique way to write the book.
An added bonus is the narrator - he does a GREAT job! Very well done!
The only "issue" I had with the book, (and I'm sure there are varying opinions on this) is that I do believe Capote seems to be more sympathetic to the murderers that I would have been comfortable with. It is also interesting that the surviving members of the Clutter family have had major issues with the book.
Having said that, it was a well written book about a very sad subject. Like the book "Pointing From The Grave" the sad message is that in a crime like this many, many lives are destroyed beyond just that of the victims and the perpetrators. Very very sad.
Nothing wrong with the audio book (the narrator is great). It's the book itself. When the murders themselves took place so early on (and "off-camera") I knew there was a problem coming. There's no suspense to anything that happens, and then Capote chases all these rabbits along side paths that have nothing to do with the story itself or the main characters. More than once I found myself asking "Why do I care about that?" I know it is considered a classic, but it's much in the same way as many "classic" movies that critics love, but as an audience member I found myself wanting something... more. The "dispassionate" author makes this come across as a newspaper article that you start reading on page 1 and find out it's continued on page 2... and 3... and 4... and 5... and eventually you find yourself thinking "You know, I was interested in this when I started, but how much longer is this going to go on?" If it wasn't Capote but some random college student, the professor would have torn it apart. Remember the scene from "A River Runs Through It" when the father hands the writing assignment back to his son and says "Again, half as long" ? I wish Capote had met him.
Yes, it comes across as a fictionalized account of a mass murder, rather than just a who done it novel.
The book is a very, very good psychological profile of these two men who were serial criminals, but got caught up in their own personal feud. It left me wondering how it would end for the murderers.
This one is a very good performance by Brick. He is a very good narrator.
This was the first of its kind, true crime story, and set the standards for this genre of non-fiction.
I was expecting a great deal more from this book. Frankly, I found it to be a self-indulgent trip through the actual accounts of this horrible murder that developed little tension (because you know whodunnit) and, for me, little interest. The descriptions are sparse, the writing almost news-like and the changes in narration seemed to be the only use of any writing technique whatsoever. The lengthy descriptions of psychiatric disorders and irrelevant histories of other death-row inmates further distract from whatever Capote intended to convey or describe. Can't recommend this unless you are a big fan of true crime writing.