No, I have never read In Cold Blood. In fact, I don't think that I have ever read a line by Truman Capote. I'm not necessarily averse to the "nonfiction novel," having read the much longer The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer. I enjoyed that quite a bit. I still think that "nonfiction novel" is a contradiction in terms. (I've also read a lot of Tom Wolfe, e.g. The Right Stuff, and much of What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer. Both read like novels, both call their work "journalism.") While using historical figures "fast and loose" in fiction, as in The Three Musketeers or Ragtime, is still clearly fiction (and therefore a novel), I think that if you are doing your best to recount an event accurately, it is history or journalism. Not a novel.
--Previous Message-- : : I've read this and enjoyed it pretty well. : : Question: is this a historical novel or is : it a non-fiction novel? : : I'm sure certain aspect of it are : fictionalized, i.e. completely untrue to : history; but I imagine the same can be said : of In Cold Blood. It doesn't seem right to : call it historical since it was begun during : events the author was present at. : : By the way, Sterling, you said you'd never : read In Cold Blood. I avoided it for years, : suspicious of the whole non-fiction novel : business, but I really enjoyed it. : : The introduction discussed issues of : translation, particularly about the title. : Even before reading that, the title bugged : me. I thought of The Downtrodden. I think it : sounds good, but I'm not sure it's right. : :