Truman Capote was born in New Orleans on September 30, 1924. He rose to international prominence in 1948 with the publication of his debut novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms. His other works of fiction include Breakfast at Tiffany's, A Tree of Night, The Grass Harp, and Summer Crossing, the author's long-lost first novel, which was rediscovered in 2004 and published by Random House in 2005. His nonfiction novel In Cold Blood is widely considered one of the greatest books of the twentieth century. Capote twice won the O. Henry Memorial Short Story Prize and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died on August 25, 1984, shortly before his sixtieth birthday.
Capote's account of brutal 1959 Kansas murders became a cause c?l?bre in 1965 because of his application of fictional techniques to reportage. Presenting dialog that the writer could not have heard and entering the minds of real-life characters, even important historical figures, have lost much of their novelty, but Capote's approach is still striking for its attention to detail and ability to delineate characters with a few strokes. Awareness of how the writer manipulated his subjects, thanks to the film Capote, adds a layer of irony not available to his original readers. While true-crime tales have become commonplace, In Cold Blood has not lost its power to shock through its portrait of the violent invasion of the small-town values of a vanished, innocent America. As always, Scott Brick gives a capable reading, though he makes the Kansans sound too folksy. Recommended for all collections. Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A masterpiece . . . a spellbinding work. --Life
A remarkable, tensely exciting, superbly written 'true account.' --The New York Times
The best documentary account of an American crime ever written. . . . The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence . . . harrowing. --The New York Review of Books