In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Published by: Random House
Published on: March 2002 (reprint)
Page Count: 343
Genre: True Crime
My Reading Format: Audiobook borrowed from my local public library
Audiobook Published by: Random House Audio
Narrator: Scott Brick
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 27 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook and Audiobook
Ever since I read Capote In Kansas by Kim Powers, I’ve wanted to read In Cold Blood. The problem is, I’m kind of a baby when it comes to blood, gore and torture. I purchased the paperback, but it never left my shelf. Then, after speaking with Dave Cullen about his wonderful true crime novel Columbine, I was once again tempted to pick up the audiobook when Cullen said his book had been called the modern day In Cold Blood. I rented the audiobook from the library, but had to return it unread. Finally, after seeing @braincandybr tweet about listening to it. Although our tweet chat never happened, it finally got me listening. I loved every chilling second of this book.
I had forgotten that I attempted to listen to The Passage. After several hours, I just couldn’t take it. I’m not much of a paranormal reader and hadn’t given the book much thought since. Well, as soon as I heard Scott Brick begin his narration of In Cold Blood, I recognized that voice instantly. Associating that voice in the past with a horror story, In Cold Blood started off that much more creepy that it might have been otherwise. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. Instead, this story built over time and honed a steady level of intrigue and suspense. Just as with Columbine, I knew the crime and the ultimate outcome before starting the book, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the story.
Scott Brick did a terrific job narrating this brilliant true crime book. I can’t imagine Capote not being pleased. Together, Capote and Brick made the world around the Clutter family hum with a thick tension you wished the family felt in time enough to save themselves. I sat vigil with the Clutter family as they lived out their last day. I didn’t want to get to know them and to care about them but to do otherwise was impossible. When I wasn’t heartsick over the Clutters, I kept an eye out for Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith even though I knew they were dead long before I was born. Capote’s characterization and story-telling coupled with Brick’s narration brought to light the actions and the inner demons of the two killers. Although criminal psychology and the ethics of the death penalty were explored, there was no defense made for the pair. As the title indicates, they certainly were not were they glorified. The reader is allowed to draw his or her own conclusions.
The scenes in which the Clutter family are held hostage in their home and through the killings was difficult to listen to, but it certainly wasn’t so horrible as to not read the book. In Cold Blood is a must read. I cannot recommend the audiobook version enough. Scott Brick more than lived up to the challenge of the subject matter and Capote’s writing.