Criterion Corner: In Cold Blood (#781)

I’ve never read In Cold Blood – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Truman Capote. I have seen the two competing films about the writing of In Cold Blood, though, Capote (2005) and Infamous (2006), in which the idiosyncratic author was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toby Jones respectively, so I was quite aware of what Capote’s novel, and its 1967 film adaptation, would be about. I was also aware of the whole discourse about the non-fiction novel, the genre that Capote adopted. Did Capote create, or at least shape, the format that we’ve come to know as true crime? Or did he just reflect cultural anxieties and currents that were already forming?

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