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In Cold Blood | [Truman Capote]

In Cold Blood

Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s a story that most people know, told here in an unforgettable way – an audio masterpiece that rivals the best thrillers, thanks to Capote genre-defining words and Brick’s subtle but powerful characterizations. On 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: To experience Truman Capote's genre-defining work for the first time with Scott Brick at the helm was a real treat. Brick's understated inflection and characterizations of the victims and the killers are subtle, but powerful. This riveting listen - a true audio masterpiece - rivals the best thrillers. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

On 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. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

©1965 Truman Capote; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The resulting chronicle is a masterpiece, agonizing, terrible, possessed, proof that the times, so surfeited with disasters, are still capable of tragedy." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Amazon Customer Milpitas, CA 08-05-07
    Amazon Customer Milpitas, CA 08-05-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "outstanding"

    I'm a new fan of the author. You'll believe you've watched this first hand, the writing takes you into the home and into the heads of every character. Really a great book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Gooderman San Francisco, CA 02-09-06
    Stewart Gooderman San Francisco, CA 02-09-06 Member Since 2007

    DrG

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    "A masterpiece."

    Truman Capote's masterpiece is well presented here. The reader did a fine job of presenting each character in the book to the listener. This should be required reading for anyone interested in the American Novel. If I had any quips about Random House's production, it would be that I would have liked, as an addendum, to rehear the recording RCA Victor released in the mid-1960s of Capote reading excerpts from his book, a single Lp recording long out of print.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Littman OH 02-04-06
    D. Littman OH 02-04-06 Member Since 2014

    history buff

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    "moving nonfiction, as fresh as in 1965"

    In Cold Blood is Truman Capote's masterpiece, and a masterpiece of seemingly novelized nonfiction. It was one of the first works of this type in American literature, and one of the few that reads as well today as it did when first published in the mid-1960s. Capote takes you into the minds of the principal characters very successfully, the two killers & the victims & the lawmen & acquaintances of these individuals. Even though most readers will know the outlines of the story ahead of time, Capote's structure & pacing gives the book great suspense & tantalizes your curiousity to know more.

    In contrast to Capote's later career, and how he is depicted in the recent film (which focuses on the period in which he wrote In Cold Blood), the author does not shadow this book. He makes only a single appearance very late in the book, in a single sentence in which the "author" is talking to one of the two condemned men on death row in Kansas. So the book's strength comes, in no small part, from the invisibility of the author throughout.

    Narration is excellent.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Cave Creek, AZ, USA 01-24-06
    Dave Cave Creek, AZ, USA 01-24-06
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    "Amazing"

    I'd started reading "In Cold Blood" a number of years ago and had lost interest. I picked up the audio version as part of my renewd commitment to read as many literary classics as possible and I am glad I did. It's hard to believe this book was written so many years ago. It's spellbinding and the narration brings out a quality that I missed when reading it before. When a book can keep you sitting in your car, not wanting it to finish, then it's a good book and this one is one of those. Highly recommended!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Huntsville, AL, USA 01-22-06
    Monica Huntsville, AL, USA 01-22-06
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    "compelling classic"

    I expected this to be a good listen, since the book has been both a critical and popular since success since the 60's. It turned out to to be the most engrossing audiobook I have enjoyed to date. It is of course very well written, but I think the masterful reading by Scott Brick is what put it over the top for me. If you like true crime, mysteries, etc., I could not recommend a book more highly.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Brooklyn, NY, USA 01-27-06
    James Brooklyn, NY, USA 01-27-06 Member Since 2013
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    "Captivating book"

    A great book. It's amazing how in depth he gets into the lives of everyone surrounding the case. A really captivating story.
    The only funny thing is, after seeing Capote the movie, to note that although he has put in so much detail, he purposely left himself out of the book, when he actually got quite close to Perry Smith and played a role in getting the guys good lawyers and such when they were on death row. The only time he hints at himself is when he mentions "a reporter" who made frequent visits to the prisoners.
    but nevermind all of that. The book is great.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 01-08-14
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

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    "Fabulous -- Why Did I wait so Long to Listen?"

    In Cold Blood is true tale of a grizzly set of murders of four of the Clutter family in Kansas. Set in 1959, Capote brings this tale to vivid life and Technicolor description. I especially like the way he helps you to get to know each character -- good and bad; he also gives you excellent depth in the supporting characters. From the depth of these characterizations, he weaves a very descriptive tale which draws the listener forward through charter and verse.

    Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and he brings an added bonus to the work. This novel will be liked by the who-dunnit crowd even though who-dunnit is know; the thriller people will love it as well. Add this book to the bucket list!

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 04-27-14
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 04-27-14 Member Since 2014

    retired writer

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    "True Page Turner!!!"

    Great oldie but goodie!! Based on a true story of Murder and Mayhem... Narrator does an excellent job. The story is chocked full of interesting characters. The description provided on this site provides a good snapshot of what this novel is about. Recommend if you are interested in the psychological and mental health background of the killers. The author really develops each of the victims so that you get to know them well and care about them... as well as individuals in the community who are impacted when this prominent family is murdered.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah san francisco, CA, United States 11-11-11
    sarah san francisco, CA, United States 11-11-11 Member Since 2011
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    "easily best audiobook so far"

    I am squeamish. I don't like horror films and a even Buffy the Vampire Slayer has kept me from sleeping on occasion. I was worried from other reviews that the book might be gory or disgusting and that I wouldn't make it through. Not so. I also worried that the book would drone on, as others had complained. Not for a second. Finally, my biggest worry was that the writing would be poor or the narration bad (side note: ALWAYS listen to the sample read before purchasing an audiobook). No and no.

    Scott Brick is masterful. I mean, I don't know where this guy might go for a little recognition, or how he acquired such a skill, but his reading is superb.

    Capote's writing is masterful and the language and detail he chose to include are so literarily perfect it is hard to believe that he is relying on quotes and facts. Brilliantly executed. Capote's quotes of the real people put Steinbeck's fictional characters to shame. On this count, the book is a gem in the American cannon.

    Finally, there is an beautifully walked line between giving us the details and putting the reader in touch with the the truly horrifying events, without the melodrama and theatrics that most authors can't help but fall into.

    This was an audible that after a long draught, got me finding reasons to take the dogs out or go for a long car ride. I was listening first thing in the morning and before I went to sleep (no problems sleeping!). I devoured this and now want to see the movie.

    I am a scrooge when it comes to my credits. This one was perhaps the best one I have spent to far.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel D Offenberg 09-12-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow!"

    I'm not totally unfamiliar with Truman Capote's work, but I never got around to reading "In Cold Blood" before. I now see why it is seen as an American masterwork, and Capote's personal magnum opus. I felt totally pulled into the story and couldn't put down---the prose is mesmerizing, the story itself is captivating and Scott Brick is perfectly suited for this reading.

    For those who aren't really familiar with the book, a short synopsis: This is a "true crime" story about the murder of the Clutter family in the small western Kansas town of Holcomb, and the story of the murderers and the aftermath of the crimes. It isn't a mystery---we know from the outset who committed the crimes and that they were caught---but the details of the criminals' ongoing escape, the pursuit and the reaction of the small community provide a stunning story.

    One word of warning: This book is pretty graphic in places with regard to the state of the murder victims. Not for small children or the squeamish.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Steve
    Doncaster, United Kingdom
    1/26/06
    Overall
    "Cool, balanced recounting of brutal event"

    Capote avoids all the easy options. His book is not a blood and guts horror tale; it's not a socio-pschological tale trying to evince sympathy for the murderers; it's not a who dunnit detective story.
    In a sense it's all these and more as he recounts events from multiple points of view - the murderers', the police, the community, the families affected, the judicial system - all are given their place so you have an objective and balanced account where you have to form your own views and decide where your own sympathies lie. Capote's tone is cool (old sense!) and measured throughout.
    Well read by Scott Brick

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
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