In the 1960’s, writers of news and fiction grew frustrated with the means through which they could communicate reality. Therefore, they began to experiment with a more unique genre that began to blur the lines between fact and fiction. As a result, journalism met the novel, giving birth to narrative journalism and the nonfiction novel. Truman Capote’s novel, In Cold Blood, marks the beginning of this genre as he claims to have coined the term ‘nonfiction novel’ himself. Through this style of reporting, Capote and other writers often inserted their own biases and personas in a way that allowed them to manipulate the experience for their audience, generating a new level of suspense.
One author that took this liberty to the extreme was Hunter S. Thompson in his novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Throughout his novel, Raoul Duke, who is often considered to be a self-caricature of Thompson himself, proves that all news is biased. Though Thompson’s novel is more experiential than conventional journalism, Thompson takes several of Capote’s writing strategies and further expounds on them. While Capote never directly references himself, readers are introduced to Thompson almost immediately when reading his book. In doing so, Thompson’s craft, known as gonzo journalism, can be considered as an extension of Capote’s narrative journalism techniques within the nonfiction novel.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Writing in Suspense: A Critique on American Culture Through Objective and Subjective Reportage,"
Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism: Vol. 10:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/criterion/vol10/iss1/11