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Relive The Past

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Synopsis This book was written about a true and grossly tragic event in 1959. Holcomb, Kansas is the place where four members of the Clutter family were murdered. Rumored to have a hidden safe where he kept $10,000, Herbert Clutter's farm house was the intended destination for two ex-cons. As far as details of the awful night go, Capote's 'story' is hailed as the only full length account. The book is written in a novel format, speculating characters thoughts and motives as opposed to laying out the facts as most non-fiction, true crime writers tend to do. So as you might expect, the book creates interest for the reader by having a jumping timeline, carefully worded descriptions and characters (read NOT people) who we get to know at a personal level. Not until the middle of the book do we find out what actually happened to the Clutters, but we hold on and read on because we know it's coming. The Clutter family is described as a respected farm family who's members are involved in 4-H, church and community events. The two remaining children at home attending high school are Nancy and Kenyon. Your typical 1950's bubble gum and carefree teenagers. Enter two ex con's who, going on a tip, eventually arrive on the Holcomb's farm late one night in November, 1959. The robbery goes bad. The Holcomb's ending is bad. The killers, who(m) I choose to remain nameless in my review, have been eased into the story from the beginning of the book and we are aware of their less than perfect childhood events by which we are supposed to give some consideration before placing judgments. The author makes us an invisible witness to the murders and their activities preceding their arrest. We are in the cells with the killers as they wait first for a trial, then appeals, and then the final minutes before their just reward. My Thoughts I have to stop my self from writing about how Truman Capote 'endeared' himself to the community of Holcomb and weaseled his way into the minds of the killers because this is not what this book was about. It is, however, in the forefront of my mind while I review his work. Aside from a slight irritation that the book was a bit sensitive to the killers, I liked the book. As I eluded earlier, because of the novel format, it is 'entertaining' in the way that it held my attention and I wanted to keep reading. In Cold Blood created an interest for me to find out more about the event from other sources. This is the first Capote work I've read and I will most likely read another. Recommendations Read it if you are OK with the nature of true crime books. I'm not going to justify or explain why I am, but I am. After I have read a book, I like to find movies based on them. I know a lot of you don't waste your time with this, but I find it interesting to watch the movie while I know the inter workings of a scene. I found two, Infamous and In Cold Blood. The language is clean (how's that for a surprise!) remember it is the '50s so if people swore, it wasn't written about. There are no sexual content except where one of the killer's stops the other from attempting an act that was not consensual. The only drug use was one of the killers was addicted to aspirin - ah the good old days! Next: The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel Previous: The Bell Witch, An American Haunting by Brent Monahan


LydaBabes Going Ons!!!! said...

I loved this book. I remember when it happened and when the book and movie came was horrible.....but a good read....

Anonymous said...

I will have a look at this book, i do like true life storys, and read a lot of who done it`s, and crime books ,
Read many other style books too