A sangre fría Book reviews


Author(s): Truman CapoteDownload  


El 15 de noviembre de 1959, en un pueblecito de Kansas, los cuatro miembros de la familia Clutter fueron salvajemente asesinados en su casa. Los crímenes eran, aparentemente, inmotivados, y no se encontraron claves que permitieran identificar a los asesinos. Cinco años después, Dick Hickcock y Perry Smith fueron ahorcados como culpables de las muertes. A partir de estos hechos, y tras realizar largas y minuciosas investigaciones con los protagonistas reales de la historia, Truman Capote dio un vuelco a su carrera de narrador y escribió “A sangre fría”, la novela que le consagró definitivamente como uno de los grandes de la literatura norteamericana del siglo xx. Capote sigue paso a paso la vida del pequeño pueblecito, esboza retratos de los que serían víctimas de una muerte tan espantosa como insospechada, acompaña a la policía en las pesquisas que condujeron al descubrimiento y detención de Hickcock y Smith y, sobre todo, se concentra en los dos criminales psicópatas hasta construir dos personajes perfectamente perfilados, a los que el lector llegará a conocer íntimamente. “A sangre fría”, que fue bautizada, pionera y provocativamente, por Capote como una «non fiction novel», es un libro estremecedor que, desde la fecha misma de su publicación, se convirtió en un clásico.

Some Reviews: 16459 in Goodreads.com

Michael Finocchiaro

Michael Finocchiaro rated it      

I just wonder why it took me so long to get this masterpiece on my currently-reading shelf. What a breathtaking story! And told in the most amazing novelistic style! The cold-blooded murders in Kansas in 1956 is described by a cold, distant narrator via the interviews of the family, acquaintances, and community around the victims and the hair-raising stories of Perry and Bobby, the murderers. It is a real page-turner – I couldn’t put it down! The descriptions of the youth of all the tragic protagonists are explored from every angle as under a magnifying glass. In Cold Blood kept me thinking that most of the recent murder mystery shows and movies were indebted to this piece of literature (that Capote probably deserved a Pulitzer for but was passed over, helas, in 1965). There is this strange homoeroticism between the two murderers (who call each other “sugar” and “honey”) but who both spout homophobic words throughout. Like the lawyers, I felt Richard was the coldest one and Perry the most twisted and tragic.

This book is a true masterpiece of the non-fiction novel (even if some of the facts brought out by Capote were disputed) and its narration is stupendous in character development and maintaining an enormous amount of suspense end-to-end. It is even more astounding because the reader already knows who commits the crime, the novel only elucidates the “why” and even that is ambiguous and pathetic. An awesome read.

Note that in A Capote Reader, there is a great short essay about the making of the movie In Cold Blood where Capote talks a bit about the 6 years it took him to write this masterpiece. (Haven’t seen the movie yet :/)

[UPDATE] I finally saw the movie Capote and it was absolutely amazing as a backstory to this book. I still haven’t found the movie In Cold Blood yet.

David Putnam

David Putnam rated it     

This story made a huge impact on my life. There were six of us kids and come summer my mother couldn’t handle all of us so she farmed me out every year to the aunts. One aunt lived in Indio. My mother put me on a Greyhound bus and nine years old; all alone with my brown paper grocery bag as luggage. I was scared to death. A Seagull hit the expansive windshield with splat of blood and feathers. Unfazed the driver merely turned on the windshield wipers and made and even bigger mess.
I arrived in Indio a hundred plus degrees and my aunt Carol picked me up at the bus station. She said she was taking me and my cousin Danny to the movies. Oh, boy I loved the movies. We stopped at a store to pick up some candy and I bought my favorite Chicken-O-stick. I was nine my cousin was seven, she bought our tickets at The Aztec theater and ushered us through the door. She said she’d be back when the movie was over. It was nice to be out of the sweltering heat. We sat down ate our candy in great anticipation. The movie started and it was in black and white. It was In Cold Blood, not something a nine year old should be watching.
Ten years later my cousin Danny and my Aunt Carol would be arrested for killing my favorite uncle Don in a murder for hire. My aunt hired a hit man out of Orange County named Cornelius. They stiffed in a fake call of an emergency at the Metropolitan Water Distinct where my uncle worked. There was a clause in the life insurance policy that if he died at work it was double indemnity. My uncle showed up in the middle of the night and they shot him in the back of the head. Of course there is lots more to this true story.
And to this day I can not forget In Cold Blood, the movie.
Sorry for the rant this was supposed to be a book review.
David Putnam Author of the Bruno Johnson series.

J.L.   Sutton

J.L. Sutton rated it     

A seminal work for the nonfiction novel and the true crime genre, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood stands apart from most of its literary descendants. Not only is it compelling and suspenseful even when you know (like many crime dramatizations) what’s going to happen, it’s also very well-written. In fact, its literary quality gives In Cold Blood a dimension which few other nonfiction novels will match. The evolution of the form, since In Cold Blood, is nothing short of astonishing. It makes you appreciate how different the experience of reading the book is now compared to when the book was published. Yet, it is not a stuffy classic. This work made the world safe for nonfiction! Definitely worth reading!


Duane rated it     

With all the commonplace violence we are faced with today, bombarded constantly by a 24/7 news cycle, portrayals of violence in movies, video games, etc., it’s easy to see why there may be a level of indifference, even apathy toward the problem. But occasionally a crime is committed that rocks us to the core; a crime so senseless, so brutal, that it defies explanation. This murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb Kansas in 1959 is just such a crime. Senseless: they stole less than 50 dollars. Brutal: they shot their 4 victims in the head at close range with a shotgun.

Of course, this crime, as violent as it was, would have been lost in the annals of crime history if not for Truman Capote. His relentless research, which led to this brilliant 1966 “non-fiction novel”‘ and the subsequent movie by the same name, will shine a spotlight on this innocent family and their brutal killers, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, for years to come.

One of the interesting side notes for me was the fact that Capote’s childhood friend, author Harper Lee, accompanied and assisted him in his research for this book. My reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is my dislike for the genre, and there were a few minor details that bothered me. But it’s an extraordinary literary achievement, no doubt, and one that defines Capote’s career still today.


Jilly rated it      

Every once in a while I feel the need to get a couple of IQ points back by reading something that is considered a “classic” or won prizes or whatever.

So, this book is based on a real murder that happened way back in the 1950’s. A family was killed in a small town in Kansas and it was a big deal. Not like these days. We hardly flinch anymore when the weekly killing spree is on the news. Truman Capote was super obsessed with this case and took his buddy, Harper Lee, with him to Kansas where they interviewed everyone extensively in this small town. This book was the result and took him 6 years to get out. He insisted that it is completely factual even though he was called a filthy liar with pants on fire because “they” say he made some things up. Personally, I don’t care. The book is good whether or not he exaggerated or gave “alternative facts.” Again, sign of the times. We are so used to facts being spun that we don’t even expect absolute truth anymore.

The only thing that was difficult for me with this book was the unbelievably descriptive writing. I have little patience for long flowing sentences with many many adjectives to describe a wheat field. I die of boredom really easily. It’s a problem. But, I pressed through it because I am brave like that, and I found myself very immersed in the story. I don’t know if it is because all of that purple prose got my mind envisioning the story better than others or what, but it worked. Still not a converted fan of the excess adjectives though. I made ONE exception. Can I go back to my vampire smut books now?

Cool! See ya!


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