Apropos In Cold Blood

Apropos In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

by Truman Capote

New York: Random House

343 pp. $5.95.

Truman Capote’s meticulous story of a quadruple murder on the Kansas plain, its instant success, and some of the critical reactions to it raise a number of thoughts and questions. To take the success first, can it primarily be attributed to skillful merchandising? Doubtful; if that were so, more books—or, for that matter, toothpastes or movies—would be successful. There must be some kind of merit in the “product” for it to have caught on. Now unquestionably the writing is very skillful, but I submit that the major reason for the appeal of this “nonfiction novel” lies in the particular way in which its subject matter is treated. This treatment reflects a new attitude toward crime, toward murder, that has developed during the last two decades and most significantly during the last few years….

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