In Cold Blood:
The Perfect Combination of Fact and the Art of Fiction
The earliest print of Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood was in 1966. When first published, Capote distinguished the book’s genre as “the first non-fiction novel”. Truman’s remarkable capability to combine fact with the art of fiction is what consistently remains astonishing about the book, even in a world full of narrative literature. The way Capote went about writing this novel is unlike how any other non-fiction author has done before. He describes the setting with such vivid imagery, and the characters with detail down to a heartbeat. To put it simply, when Truman Capote first composed this novel, he may have single handedly changed the definition on non-fiction.
The book begins with a description of the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, illustrating its utter attraction and loneliness. Herb Clutter is the first character to be introduced into the story line, emphasizing the fact that he isn’t like any other ordinary victim. He was a very valuable man of his town; well educated, well paid, and a proud father. His wife’s name was Bonnie Clutter, and his two children named Kenyon and Nancy. After introducing the victims, Capote goes on to unveil the killers, which so happen to be about as conflicting to Clutter’s character as you could imagine. As the book comes to an ending, Capote shifts the focus between the killers and the Clutters while the climax rises up towards the cold November night of 1959.
Readers anticipate the outcome of the novel from the start, yet Capote still manages to build suspense. More surprisingly, he creates sympathy for the murders while letting readers in on all the gruesome details of the crime. There is also one aspect of this novel that makes it even more outstanding than the others, and that is its impassiveness. Capote makes a huge effort to show no remorse towards the excruciating description of the murder scene. His vivid imagery takes the reader...
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