Download In Cold Blood Audiobook

In Cold Blood Audiobook, by Truman Capote Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Truman Capote Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9780739333655
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (11 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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First published in 1965 as a four-part serial in The New Yorker, Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" details the grisly murder of a family of Kansas farmers by two enigmatic (and misinformed) ex-cons who expected a quick score with a safe full of cash, but instead found themselves as the centerpiece of this pioneering masterwork of the true crime genre. Filled with the kind of gory, detailed violence that we find commonplace today, the book was an immediate sensation.

After reading about the murders, Capote traveled to Kansas with his childhood friend Harper Lee (who would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel To Kill A Mockingbird) to interview the locals about the crime.

After the criminals were captured, tried, and convicted, Capote continued his copious research, conducting personal interviews with both killers in a book writing process that would ultimately last six years and outlast both Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who were hung in April of 1965 at the Kansas State Penitentiary.

Rumors persist to this day of a sexual relationship between Capote and Smith, for whom the author expressed a complicated and nuanced empathy. Three film adaptations did little to dispel the rumors and added to the rich pedigree of the book by garnishing a slew of Academy Award nominations.

Despite the acclaim he received for In Cold Blood and his earlier novella Breakfast At Tiffany's, Capote -- the outwardly gay, substance-abusing writer -- was arguably more famous than his work. He spent his last years maintaining his celebrity status by appearing on talk shows -- sometimes intoxicated -- and at one point publicly threatened suicide. His struggle with drugs and alcohol led to multiple stints in rehab and his untimely death from liver cancer in 1984.

The most famous true crime novel of all time and one of the first non-fiction novels ever written; In Cold Blood is the bestseller that haunted its author long after he finished writing it.

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. 

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A masterpiece . . . a spellbinding work.”

    Life magazine
  • A remarkable, tensely exciting, superbly written 'true account.' New York Times
  • The best documentary account of an American crime ever written. . . . The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence . . . harrowing. New York Review of Books
  • “Narrator Brick keeps up with the master storyteller every step of the way. In fact, Brick’s surefooted performance is nothing short of stunning. He settles comfortably into every character on this huge stage—male and female, lawman and murderer, teen and spinster—and moves fluidly between them, generating the feel of a full-cast production. He assigns varying degrees of drawl to the citizens of Finney County, Kansas, where the crimes take place, and supplements with an arsenal of tension-building cadences, hard and soft tones, regional and foreign accents, and subtle inflections, even embedding a quiver of grief in the voice of one character. This facile audio actor delivers an award-worthy performance, well-suited for a tale of such power that moves not only around the country but around the territory of the human psyche and heart.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • If the Oscar-winning film CAPOTE has brought this story’s outline to a new audience, Scott Brick’s outstanding narration should introduce a generation of listeners to the complete story. Capote’s 1965 “nonfiction novel,” built around the senseless murder of a Kansas family, is a marvelous blend of rigorous reporting and poetic license. His portrait of the two killers is sympathetic—the act was monstrous, but the men were not monsters—and the soft edges of Brick’s voice convey this perfectly. Though the recording is more than 14 hours, Brick is just so easy to listen to. It’s not so much what he does, but what he doesn’t do: he attempts no Kansas accents, no melodramatic phrasing. He steps back and lets the story breathe, and in doing so, leaves the listener breathless. D.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award


  • A #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A  New York Public Library Staff Pick of Favorite Books of the Last 125 Years
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 5/22/2011

    " i've always been fascinated by the mind of a criminal. i can't think of anything else to say, except that this book is awesome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anushka | 5/20/2011

    " Quite a disturbing account of a real life honest portrayal of the murderers friendship and their crime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pascal | 5/20/2011

    " At the end of Page 1 I was hooked. One of the few books I have read multiple (more than two) times. That says it all. A masterpiece of writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 5/19/2011

    " Chilling but very well researched and written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 5/16/2011

    " A little dry, but worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 5/16/2011

    " Read a long time ago. When I read it I was intrigued that the on-the-lam Perry had once passed through
    the Worcester, Mass. bus station. A place I myself had passed through a few times back in the day. Date
    read is a guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Agustina | 5/13/2011

    " Fantastic book. Loved how it was written. Read it and you shall see. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethany | 5/13/2011

    " Not sure what made me decide to read this now, 45 years after it was first published (other than that it was on sale). But I'm glad I did; it was interesting, and made me want to see the movie Capote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie | 5/13/2011

    " I studied this at university and found it a compelling read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/13/2011

    " This is a chilling true account of an obscure multiple murder in rural Kansas in the late 1950's. Don't read it while alone at night. What amazes me is that this was written by the same author who created Holly Golightly/Breakfast At Tiffany's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 F. | 5/12/2011

    " I read this one a while ago. I remember the way this work felt more than the details. The men who perpetrated this crime were more stupid than criminal--the result however was tragically the same. "

About the Author

Truman Capote (1924–1984) was an American author, playwright, and actor. He is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, which brought him literary acclaim and became an international bestseller. He twice won the O. Henry Memorial Short Story Prize and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Many of his works have been adapted for film and television.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. He attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks. winning won more than fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.