An In Cold Blood for our time, a chilling, compulsive story of a writer unwittingly caught in the wake of a grifter-turned-murderer.
In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn - then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage - set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a 15-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.
Kirn's one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend’s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller's evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew - a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself.
Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation, Blood Will Out is a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition, and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.
©2014 Walter Kirn (P)2014 Audible Inc.
It could be shorter, more linear.
Walter Kirn's voice is perfect to read his own books.
Listen to Walter Kirn on NPR Fresh Air. It will give you the best clues on his subject.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
Perhaps people who didn't know most of the story ahead of time.
I doubt that most of my friends would enjoy the presumptuous writing style.
Pedestrian, Acceptable, Monotonous.
The book is too much about the author, Walter Kern, and not enough about the imposter Clark Rockefeller,
The narrative jumps around too much. Unfortunately I had heard an interview about the book on NPR. The interview was well done, but the book didn't live up to my expectations.
Yes, number one the writer of this book was boring, and I found that I was not able to pick up whatever he was trying to put down. So if the story was interesting which from what I could gather it was not, another author maybe.
The lackluster story, or non story if you will.
Complex yet boring
Try another book.
Key point, the name Rockefeller always sells.
Better narration, a better story, staying within topic of the story. Keeping with the main character as the villain instead of the incessant whining
kept on topic
Most anyone else
Delve more into the earlier days which brought attention to the character.
The infinite mysteries of the human psyche are confirmed in this potent, albeit unpleasant, literary reflection of an Ivy League dupe (Kirn) to a murderous, metamorphic mephistopheles, Christian Gerhartsreiter a/k/a Clark Rockefeller a/k/a [...etc.]
Kirn centers his tale on a seemingly sacrificial Gordon setter named Shelby. I wish I could say I found it compelling, but Kirn's literary style seemed to overly force his focus on the symbolic Shelby, to the point I found it a bit affectatious. To me, more powerful was Kirn's retrospective of how he was (willingly) blind to the signs about his "friend" "Clark" and of his gradual realization of the truth, peppered by Kirn's own shortcomings.
It was Walter Kirn's story. I wanted to read more about the subject the book was supposed to be about. Please retitle this book "All about Walter Kirn and How He was Duped". Do you really think it was significant to the story of Clark Rockefeller that Walter Kirn was married to Margot Kidder's 19 year old daughter when Kirn was 35?
The book read more like an angry letter from a jilted girlfriend. The lack of knowledge about court proceedings doesn't drop Kirn from talking about them. He just repeats what the knowledgeable court reporters told him..
If you saw this story on TV and want to know more, don't buy this book. Terrible, simply terrible.
He conveyed the bitchiness of Kirn's writing very well.
Avoid this book. Wait for the sequel, "More about me" by Walter Kirn. And if you ever have dinner with Kirn, make sure you pay your half of the bill, or he might write a book about you.
the sensibility of the writer in relation to the enigmatic Clark. Fascinating inspection of both men,
I'd probably enjoy it just as well reading it - but the actor has an unbelievable command of accents.
Brilliant. Part memoir, part mystery.
The story of the author's (sometimes self-serving) friendship with a psychopath and killer is truly fascinating. It's well paced and keeps the listener's interest.
The psychopathy of the book's subject, and the self-reflective relationship of the author to the subject.
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