Saturday, January 4, 2014

In Cold Blood: 3 Stars

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

I never had much interest in Truman Capote’s book, mostly because I never knew anything about it. After reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (for the sixth time), I did some reading on the book. It turns out that Lee and Capote were very good friends growing up. In fact, Dill is based entirely on Capote. It is for this reason that I decided to read In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood is a true crime novel about the murder of a small town family, the Clutters, in 1959. My first question was why this was considered a classic. This book is a classic because it was the first real true crime novel. Capote invented a brand new genre with this novel. For that reason alone, I agree it’s a classic. I love true crime novels.

This book starts out by telling you what happened, who did it, why they did it, and the end result. Because of this, there was no mystery to the story. Instead, the story was more about the stories around the murders; the town’s reactions, the murders' perspectives, the trial, and the KBI agent out to find the truth.

I did enjoy the book and the way the story was told, but I feel like Capote was long winded at times and often went off on tangents that had little to do with the case and bored me. But I would recommend this book.

There is some recent controversy in the case. Capote always said that his book was entirely factual. Recent documents reveal that that might not be entirely true. The two biggest issues come with the KBI’s date of arrival at the crime scene and the KBI’s time of actions after finding out who the real killers were. While some contend that Capote flat out lied, the two men who supplied the information to Capote swore what Capote wrote was the truth, even on their death beds. If they are not true, I do not believe the fault is with Capote. The other controversy is much of the conversations. Capote wrote as if there, but clearly he recreated them based on interviews with various people. Capote can only write as well as people remember. As far as him exaggerating some details, this was common practice for newspaper reporters for the time. They did not have the fact checkers and risk of being sued we do now. For this as well, I do not fault Capote.

So I say, give it a go! Try In Cold Blood for yourself.  

Rating: PG-13

No comments:

Post a Comment