I finally read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote in the last two days. It’s been vaguely in the back of my mind for some time. It’s frequently referenced as amazing and the thing to read if you like true crime. I just hadn’t done it. I’m very much an organic reader. I read what I feel like reading when I feel like reading it. It just doesn’t work for me any other way. So I had been reading Wodehouse, all week, for review. The problem with Wodehouse is, he’s funny. And Friday I got some bad news. The last thing I wanted was funny. I wanted dark. Enter Capote.
I have to agree with practically everything I have ever read about In Cold Blood. It is beautifully written. The prose is outstanding, especially considering the topic. Capote weaves in source material which stands in sharp contrast the gorgeous crafted style Capote uses. His story flow is excellent. His pacing well executed.
He gives an even perspective of all concerned. Victims, perpetrators, detectives, and witnesses. He shows their positive attributes and their negative. He paints a fairly realistic picture. How dead to the truth it is one can little know, but I believe he conducted the interviews he says he did. If he spins it ever so slightly to make the story more readable, I’m comfortable with that, because I believe the substance.
In Cold Blood, is the story of four family members murdered in a small town. The entire town is sure it is one of them, the warmth and trust is gone. The criminals are also gone, off on a rampage of criminal “fun”. Capote tracks the tale from beginning, getting to know the victims, into the murders, through the investigation, the run, and finally the gallows swinging end. It is oddly not all that brutal, the way he writes it. Despite what I know must have been heinous. It flows by easily. Which is necessary for Capote to paint the bad guys with any positive qualities.
Would I recommend this book? No. Because I think if you like true crime, you’ve probably already read it. (Considering the number of holds on the book and how long it took for my number to come up, it’s still hopping popular some 50 years after publication.) And if you don’t like true crime, you won’t like it no matter how beautiful his prose.
℘℘℘℘ + I give 4 and 1/2 pages. I finished it in two sittings. But I doubt I will read anything else by Capote despite how much I liked this one.
2 thoughts on “Monday Book Review: In Cold Blood”
Great review. A friend finally received a copy of it via holds and I had hoped to borrow it from them before the due date. Alas, learned they returned it this morning, finishing the book in less than two days.
I still have my copy from the library….