29+ quotes from In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Quotes from In Cold Blood

Truman Capote ·  343 pages

Rating: (427.6K votes)


“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“It is no shame to have a dirty face- the shame comes when you keep it dirty.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“As long as you live, there's always something waiting; and even if it's bad, and you know it's bad, what can you do? You can't stop living.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Just remember: If one bird carried every grain of sand, grain by grain, across the ocean, by the time he got them all on the other side, that would only be the beginning of eternity. ”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Imagination, of course, can open any door - turn the key and let terror walk right in.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“You are a man of extreme passion, a hungry man not quite sure where his appetite lies, a deeply frustrated man striving to project his individuality against a backdrop of rigid conformity. You exist in a half-world suspended between two superstructures, one self-expression and the other self-destruction. You are strong, but there is a flaw in your strength, and unless you learn to control it the flaw will prove stronger than your strength and defeat you. The flaw? Explosive emotional reaction out of all proportion to the occasion. Why? Why this unreasonable anger at the sight of others who are happy or content, this growing contempt for people and the desire to hurt them? All right, you think they're fools, you despise them because their morals, their happiness is the source of your frustration and resentment. But these are dreadful enemies you carry within yourself--in time destructive as bullets. Mercifully, a bullet kills its victim. This other bacteria, permitted to age, does not kill a man but leaves in its wake the hulk of a creature torn and twisted; there is still fire within his being but it is kept alive by casting upon it faggots of scorn and hate. He may successfully accumulate, but he does not accumulate success, for he is his own enemy and is kept from truly enjoying his achievements.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“I despise people who can't control themselves.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“I've tried to believe, but I don't, I can't, and there's no use pretending.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“It is easy to ignore the rain if you have a raincoat”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“The enemy was anyone who was someone he wanted to be or who had anything he wanted to have.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“There’s got to be something wrong with us. To do what we did. ”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Those fellows, they're always crying over killers. Never a thought for the victims.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“There is considerable hypocrisy in conventionalism. Any thinking person is aware of this paradox; but in dealing with conventional people it is advantageous to treat them as though they were not hypocrites. It isn't a question of faithfulness to your own concepts; it is a matter of compromise so that you can remain an individual without the constant threat of conventional pressures.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Her bedroom window overlooked the garden, and now and then, usually when she was "having a bad spell," Mr. Helm had seen her stand long hours gazing into the garden, as though what she saw bewitched her. ("When I was a girl," she had once told a friend, "I was terribly sure trees and flowers were the same as birds or people. That they thought things, and talked among themselves. And we could hear them if we really tried. It was just a matter of emptying your head of all other sounds. Being very quiet and listening very hard. Sometimes I still believe that. But one can never get quiet enough...")”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Then starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“I believe in hanging. Just so long as I'm not the one being hanged.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“You want not to give a damn, to exist without responsibility, without faith or friends or warmth.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Two features in his personality make-up stand out as particularly pathological. The first is his ‘paranoid’ orientation toward the world. He is suspicious and distrustful of others, tends to feel that others discriminate against him, and feels that others are unfair to him and do not understand him. He is overly sensitive to criticism that others make of him, and cannot tolerate being made fun of. He is quick to sense slight or insult in things others say, and frequently may misinterpret well-meant communications. He feels the great need of friendship and understanding, but he is reluctant to confide in others, and when he does, expects to be misunderstood or even betrayed. In evaluating the intentions and feelings of others, his ability to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is very poor. He not infrequently groups all people together as being hypocritical, hostile, and deserving of whatever he is able to do to them. Akin to this first trait is the second, an ever -present, poorly controlled rage--- easily triggered by any feelings of being tricked, slighted, or labeled inferior by others. For the most part, his rages in the past have been directed at authority figures (297).”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“They shared a doom against which virtue was no defense”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Imagination, of course, can open any door—turn the key and let terror walk right in.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“The walls of the cell fell away, the sky came down, I saw the big yellow bird.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“One day she told the class, ‘Nancy Clutter is always in a hurry, but she always has time. And that’s one definition of a lady.’ ”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Time rarely weighed upon him, for he had many methods of passing it.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there.’ . . .The land is flat, the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“In school we only learn to recognize the words and to spell but the application of these words to real life is another thing that only life and living can give us.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“Sorrow and profound fatigue are at the heart of Dewey's silence. It had been his ambition to learn "exactly what happened in that house that night." Twice now he'd been told, and the two versions were very much alike, the only serious discrepancy being that Hickock attributed all four deaths to Smith, while Smith contended that Hickock had killed the two women. But the confessions, though they answered
questions of how and why, failed to satisfy his sense of meaningful design. The crime was a psychological accident, virtually an impersonal act; the victims might as well have been killed by lightning. Except for one thing: they had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered. And Dewey could not forget their sufferings. Nonetheless, he found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger - with, rather, a measure of sympathy - for Perry Smith's life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, an ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage and then another. Dewey's sympathy, however, was not deep enough to accommodate either forgiveness or mercy. He hoped to see Perry and his partner hanged - hanged back to back.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


“A sensible question, as Mrs. Clare, an admirer of logic, though a curious interpreter of it, was driven to admit.”
― Truman Capote, quote from In Cold Blood


About the author

Truman Capote
Born place: in New Orleans, Louisiana, The United States
Born date September 30, 1924
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Learn a language of another country and then you can go to that country: a place where the problems of your family will not follow. A language they do not speak.”
― Alice Sebold, quote from Lucky


“nothing can be more reasonable, than that slaves and flatterers should exact the same taxes on all below them, which they themselves pay to all above them”
― Henry Fielding, quote from The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling


“I thought ... that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. I feel as if I were living in that roofless world of [Earth] where men walk undefended beneath naked heaven. It is a delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands. How has He made me so separate from Himself? How did it enter His mind to conceive such a thing? The world is so much larger than I thought. I thought we went along paths--but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Perelandra


“He fitted the Vedic definition of a man of God: “Softer than the flower, where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake.”
― Paramahansa Yogananda, quote from Autobiography of a Yogi


“What is love? No one knows what love is, exactly. No one can define it. No one can prove it.”
― Sophie Kinsella, quote from I've Got Your Number


Interesting books

Sinner
(15.5K)
Sinner
by Maggie Stiefvater
Holding Up the Universe
(34.3K)
Holding Up the Unive...
by Jennifer Niven
Shugo Chara!, Vol. 1: Who Do You Want to Be?
(17.8K)
Shugo Chara!, Vol. 1...
by Peach-Pit
Bloody Valentine
(21.3K)
Bloody Valentine
by Melissa de la Cruz
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
(47.4K)
An Unquiet Mind: A M...
by Kay Redfield Jamison
Touch & Geaux
(8.2K)
Touch & Geaux
by Abigail Roux

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.