Saturday, October 5, 2013

Six nonfiction books that may give you nightmares

Claire Zulkey is a writer who lives in Chicago.  Her books include the novel An Off Year. She also edits the aptly named website,

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Zulkey tagged six nonfiction books that will give you nightmares, including:
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences, by Truman Capote

I don’t like being alone out in the country, and part of that is due to In Cold Blood, which many people claim is one of the first, best examples of creative nonfiction out there. In it Truman Capote pieces together the story of the Clutter family murders, committed by Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, who were out of prison on parole. I always found Capote’s re-creation of the Clutter family’s last moments (all were murdered by shotgun) chilling, and the randomness of the crime terrifying. Hickock and Smith never intended to murder the Clutters, and in fact were only there based on bad information they had received from another former inmate. Just picturing Hickock and Perry creeping up on the Clutter farmhouse in Kansas is enough to scare me away from living in a secluded area.
Read about the other titles on Zulkey's list.

In Cold Blood also appears on Lauren Passell's top 20 list of peanut butter & jelly reads, Kit Whitfield's top ten list of genre-defying novels, Sarah Weinman's list of best true crime books, Catherine Crier's five top crime books list, Ann Rule's five best list of true-crime books, and Bryan Burrough's six best books list. Kansas' first poet laureate Jonathan Holden's chose In Cold Blood for The Great Kansas novel.

--Marshal Zeringue