157 High St
Peebles, OH 45660
Join the Peebles Library Bibliophiles Book Club to discuss In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The Peebles Library Book Club meets on the third Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the Peebles Library Community Room. See the Book Club’s 2018 reading list, browse reviews, and read excerpts online. Pick up a copy of each month’s title at the library desk, and read along with us. Download an eBook or audio book from the Ohio Digital Library or Hoopla Digital. Can’t join us for meetings? Read along with us, and share your reviews in the Beanstack social reading app.
Truman Capote’s masterpiece, In Cold Blood, created a sensation when it was first published, serially, in The New Yorker in 1965. The intensively researched, atmospheric narrative of the lives of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, and of the two men, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, who brutally killed them on the night of November 15, 1959, is the seminal work of the “new journalism.” Perry Smith is one of the great dark characters of American literature, full of contradictory emotions. “I thought he was a very nice gentleman,” he says of Herb Clutter. “Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.” Told in chapters that alternate between the Clutter household and the approach of Smith and Hickock in their black Chevrolet, then between the investigation of the case and the killers’ flight, Capote’s account is so detailed that the reader comes to feel almost like a participant in the events.
With the publication of this book, Capote permanently ripped through the barrier separating crime reportage from serious literature. As he reconstructs the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, Capote generates suspense and empathy.