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Truman Capote's Masterpiece
on September 24, 2017
One of the most significant non-fiction writings of the mid-1960s that still holds an honored place today in American letters. In late 1959 the entire Herbert Clutter family of rural Kansas -- Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their two youngest children Nancy and Kenyon -- were slaughtered for no particular reason except that the two drifters who sought them out had received bad advice about the alleged riches Mr. Clutter kept in his office safe, but didn't. What might have been merely a downcast saga of the "outs" tangling with the "ins" becomes an amazingly gripping story in author Truman Capote's virtuoso writing, that took years to research, write and edit. In my opinion only purists quibble over whether this book should be classed as non-fiction or fiction; it IS non-fiction, but because some of Capote's narrative techniques were new at the time, IN COLD BLOOD ever since then has straddled "best-of" lists to its overall detriment. Ignore that chatter and read this masterpiece for what it is.
Note: Capote's research assistant out in rural Kansas was none other than (Nelle) Harper Lee, who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.