Friday, 11 December 2015

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (4.5/5)

First published: 1966
Page count: 343
The back says: On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. 

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

I say: I bought this years ago as a part of my 100 Classics Challenge, but put it aside as I don’t really enjoy reading about real crime (at least I don’t think I do and therefore always avoid the genre). Picture me surprised when I actually enjoyed this so much I had to stop myself from reading all night when I had to go to work the following morning.

I should have called in sick.

I am not sure how to review this without discussing the murders, which I don’t want to do. They were horrible and I didn’t enjoy reading the detailed description of how they had been committed, but it had to be told.

Ugh.

Capote writes as if he was there and it reads more like a story being told than a report; the narrator being friendly and familiar with the surroundings and people.

The only reason this doesn’t get the full 5/5 is because I felt that Capote added a lot of unnecessary information, such as letting us know, in depth, what the people in the town were up to after the murders. Yes, I understand that they are a part of the story, I just had no interest in them.

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