Book Vs Movie
“In Cold Blood”
Truman Capote’s “Non-Fiction Novel” Vs the Richard Brooks Movie
The Margos tackle true crime in this episode that features Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood which was a sensation when it was first published in 1966 and started a new genre called the “non-fiction novel.” Capote first read about the Clutter family murders in early December 1959 in a small section of the New York Times. Based on that one clip, he decided to go to Holcomb, Kansas (along with lifelong friend Harper “Nell” Lee as his assistant) on behalf of The New Yorker to get the story about how a small town handles a horrific crime.
It never occurred to Capote that though he himself comes from a small town (Monroeville, AL) his years of celebrity as a New York City writer and novelist would enchant even the most grounded folks in Holcomb. With Lee’s help, Truman spent years getting to know the residents of Holcomb along with dozens of members of the police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to get close to the killers Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickock.
Capote became a millionaire after its publication but his friendship with Lee faltered and he was said to be haunted by the executions of Smith and Hickock for the rest of his life. In Cold Blood is now the second best-selling true crime book of all time behind Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi.
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