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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful
I wanted more from the book and the Study Guide helped me focus on the book and thus getting a truer feeling when I read the book as well.
Published 10 months ago by Susan Wagner

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well-intentioned, but such a mess! Read why
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*This review is of the hardcopy (paperback) version of ClassicNotes by GradeSaver(tm) for Truman Capote's "non-fiction novel" IN COLD BLOOD (1966).* Somewhere in this mess are the bones of a decent set of study notes crying to get out, but the contents of this work are so severely distorted by lack of statement of purpose, inconsistencies or omissions in...
Published on July 27, 2011 by Allen Smalling


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well-intentioned, but such a mess! Read why, July 27, 2011
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This review is from: GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In Cold Blood Study Guide (Paperback)
.

*This review is of the hardcopy (paperback) version of ClassicNotes by GradeSaver(tm) for Truman Capote's "non-fiction novel" IN COLD BLOOD (1966).* Somewhere in this mess are the bones of a decent set of study notes crying to get out, but the contents of this work are so severely distorted by lack of statement of purpose, inconsistencies or omissions in formatting, and an almost unbelievable welter of typos and text bargles that I cannot recommend this.

Omissions: This set of ClassicNotes has no statement of purpose or instructions, and what ordinarily would be a selected bibliography or suggestions for further reading are buried in p. 61. There one finds the heading "Author of ClassicNote[note typo!] and Sources" and lists author of this work as Grace Laubacher (7-21-2009), "[U]pdated and revised by Damien Chazelle (7-31-2009)." There follow on the same page a number of books relevant to a discussion of IN COLD BLOOD, including, I am happy to see, a chapter from the 1999 books THE QUEER SIXTIES (Routledge, publisher) that seems to have informed this work's discussion of homoeroticism as a constituent in the Truman Capote - Perry Smith relationship, both in Capote's characterization of Smith in the book and especially in the 2006 film INFAMOUS, a "writing-of" biopic that deals extensively with Capote's interviews of Smith, and Smith's reactions.

Along the way, though, one finds such missing-word phrases as "[they] committed atrocious of violence," and "found guilty the brutal and calculated murders." And on page 60, is "imbricated" supposed to mean "implicated"? I could forgive a few careless typos, I could even forgive the fact that the vitals like author bio, characters in the book, plot synopses and thematic analyses take up only those 60 pages . . . but most of the rest of these Notes' 106 pages starts off with two brief essays, one about the book, the other a comparison between IN COLD BLOOD, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, presumably as exemplars of New Journalism, but no information is given about these two authors except their names. Were these real student papers?

There follow about fifty pages of quizzes based on the book. **NOTE TO STUDENTS PLANNING ON A CRIB**: You must actually have to read IN COLD BLOOD to answer these questions accurately! And that's fine. What is not fine is the uncorrected garbling that occurs frequently in this last segment of the notes. One example, this from pp. 69-70: "There is no question that CapWide character in print at [hard return]<...> line 269 ote utilized dramatic license in presenting the thoughts of the murderers."

A friend who is more computer-savvy than I guessed that the enormous intrusion between "Cap" and "ote" (Capote, interrupted) may have resulted from a reversion to ASCII code that can happen when a word-processor used for drafting has trouble making some of its symbols understandable to a print program. The good old raised comma apostrophe seems to be a particular trigger, among others. This 2009 book is so Nineties! Why wasn't there a human being there to line-edit this book or at least give it a good going-over? According to the publishers, whose advertising occupies the last four pages of this volume (yet not a word about the author's background), www dot gradesaver dot com carries over 250 titles; Amazon itself lists over 150 of the study notes alone.

Can all the many books involved in this series be so frustrating? Here's the only advice I can give: skip this number and avoid the full-retail price I paid, (as of now, including Amazon). Assuming you have already read, or are about to read, IN COLD BLOOD, you can actually (at the time of this writing), for a little cheaper than the item at hand, buy CAPOTE: A BIOGRAPHY by Gerald Clarke, probably still the best one-volume introduction to Capote and his works, including a detailed discussion of IN COLD BLOOD, its historical and publishing context and yes, discussions of characters and themes (but no quiz notes). Perhaps the book under discussion bears some utility as a source of "multiple-guess" questions for high-school classes graded on the curve but if that's so, it doesn't redeem the book in my eyes. One star, the lowest possible rating, which I try strenuously to avoid giving. I might have coughed up a two or even a three despite this book's awkward formatting, omissions not usual in this type of reference and ordinary typos if the last 35 pages of it (including some unaccountably blank pages) did not contain so much wretched interference in it.

Here's what I could learn from Google about Grace Laubacher, listed author: She's a 2009 graduate of Harvard University, AB Visual and Environmental study, whose course work included cinema; while a student she created notable set designs for a number of Harvard plays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me!, July 29, 2013
By 
T. Herburger "31B" (Fort Stewart, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In Cold Blood Study Guide (Paperback)
I took a sophomore (college) English class over the summer. The condensed six week run for the class, plus the high minimum word count requirement, meant I would be reading/writing at a fairly fast pace. In this mix we had to read In Cold Blood with bi-weekly short-answer quizzes. I bought and read this Grade Saver book precisely to help me with the ICB readings.

The book did feel a bit clunky and unpolished as the previous reviewer stated. However, I wasn't nearly as effected by this fact and it worked great for me. The chapter summaries and analyses let me know what I was to look for before reading; the character analyses were also useful in establishing the key traits... the essay ideas proved a useful brainstorming piece for me as I ultimately had to write an essay on the book... I did find the quizzes to be useless, however.

Overall I used this book to help speed-read my way through Capote's great In Cold Blood.
Did it work in this regard? Yes.
Is this book amazinghappyfuntimes?! No.
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4.0 out of 5 stars High School Helper, May 30, 2014
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This review is from: GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In Cold Blood Study Guide (Paperback)
My son's high school class was reading In Cold Blood. He also had to do a couple of projects related to it. Although he read the book, this GradeSaver helped him alot on the projects. When I bought it for him he said, 'yah, I'm not going to need that...' (insert surly 17 year boy voice here)...but a couple of days later he made a point to come by and tell me thanks for getting it for him because it helped him when he didn't think it would. Sooo...that's pretty good praise to me! I would totally recommend this for your surly teenager as well!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, August 20, 2013
By 
Susan Wagner (Colorado Springs, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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I wanted more from the book and the Study Guide helped me focus on the book and thus getting a truer feeling when I read the book as well.
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GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In Cold Blood Study Guide
GradeSaver (TM) ClassicNotes: In Cold Blood Study Guide by Grace Laubacher (Paperback - August 10, 2009)
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