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Blood Will Out Audiobook

Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2014 - While a burgeoning novelist in the late 1990s, Walter Kirn began a peculiar friendship with the enigmatic and flamboyant Clark Rockefeller. The creative side of Kirn was drawn to Rockefeller's eccentric personality; however as time went by, Kirn uncovered a startling truth: that his 'friend' was in fact a cold-blooded killer. This true crime tale is brought to life by Stephen Bel Davies, an Audible listener favorite, who has already declared Blood Will Out the best work of nonfiction he's narrated. I could feel his appreciation for the material and respect for Kirn seep through his performance, which only enhanced the inherent drama. A chilling memoir, Blood Will Out has given me a greater interest in the true crime genre (even though it kept me up at night). —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (266 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
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Overall
3.4 (235 )
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Story
3.6 (235 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    John Natick, MA, United States 03-17-14
    John Natick, MA, United States 03-17-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    Story
    "Whynning all the way!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better narration, a better story, staying within topic of the story. Keeping with the main character as the villain instead of the incessant whining


    What could Walter Kirn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    kept on topic


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Bel Davies?

    Most anyone else


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Blood Will Out?

    Delve more into the earlier days which brought attention to the character.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MKE Family 03-07-14
    MKE Family 03-07-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story about unbelievable con man"

    This book is about an unbelievable con man from the perspective of a person who was conned from when they met until the end of the murder trial in 2013. The author is very honest about how he was duped and his own culpability into falling for this con man. If the book intrigues you, then go back and download "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit" which is more of a fact based book but was written before the murder trial and focuses on the kidnapping trial. I just was looking at a You Tube interview which included both authors so they compliment each other. If you find the concept of how a psychopath can fool an author writing about him, you may also be interested in "True Story" by Michael Finkel.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean 03-07-14
    Jean 03-07-14

    Tell us about yourself! I practice criminal law. Love books like everyone who uses this site.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "DON'T HESITATE. BUY THIS BOOK."
    What did you love best about Blood Will Out?

    The author's rapier wit and dynamic prose. Also loved the incredible story and Mr. Kirn's honest self-reflection.


    What other book might you compare Blood Will Out to and why?

    I think this book is one of a kind. However, you could compare it to Ann Rule's book on Ted Bundy wherein the author also has a personal relationship with the subject. However, Ms. Rule is not witty and her prose style does not match Mr. Kirn.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Of course, we all wait for the scene in which the crook is caught. However, I loved the scenes in which Mr Kirn is forced to pay the check time and again, and is always somehow wounded.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the moment where Mr. Kirn decides to write Clark's story and says to himself "look in your wallet; now look in mine."


    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Ellisville, MO, USA 03-23-14
    Dennis Ellisville, MO, USA 03-23-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "One 20/20 episode"
    Would you try another book from Walter Kirn and/or Stephen Bel Davies?

    Never ever.


    What was most disappointing about Walter Kirn’s story?

    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.


    What about Stephen Bel Davies’s performance did you like?

    He conveyed the bitchiness of Kirn's writing very well.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Extreme disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McCaleb New York, NY, United States 03-23-14
    McCaleb New York, NY, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "terrific"
    What made the experience of listening to Blood Will Out the most enjoyable?

    the sensibility of the writer in relation to the enigmatic Clark. Fascinating inspection of both men,


    What does Stephen Bel Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'd probably enjoy it just as well reading it - but the actor has an unbelievable command of accents.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant. Part memoir, part mystery.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JAMIE 03-20-15
    JAMIE 03-20-15
    ratings
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    5
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    Story
    "Dull and self absorbed"
    What disappointed you about Blood Will Out?

    This book is not about the "Kennedy" is it about the author, he brags about himself and goes on and on and on... terrible.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Walter Kirn again?

    never


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet United States 07-15-14
    Janet United States 07-15-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    Story
    "Disconnected"
    What disappointed you about Blood Will Out?

    It was way too drawn out. Too much detail and not enough story......kept jumping around. Finally stopped listening because nothing was happening!


    Has Blood Will Out turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I will still read books of this genre, but will never again purchase a book by Walter Kim.


    What three words best describe Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

    Boring, boring, boring


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MartinaF 06-26-14
    MartinaF 06-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Book"
    What made the experience of listening to Blood Will Out the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The psychopathy of the book's subject, and the self-reflective relationship of the author to the subject.


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Bel Davies’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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