Monday, September 7, 2009

"I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat"

Howdy all,

Well this month is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, one of the first & in my opinion one of the best true crime novels.

The book investigates the 1959 murders of four members of the Clutter family in rural Kansas. I found it particularly interesting the way it covers all aspects of the crime - looks at the family, the members of the community & the affects it had on them, the law officals trying to solve the case & of course the 2 men convicted of the crime.

I love Capote's writing style - even though you know the outcome from the beginning he still manages to create a sense of tension, you find yourself wishing that this family will somehow survive the terrible event that is about to happen.

I have a copy of the book if anyone would like to borrow it. Also the library has a copy of DVD Capote - which looks at the research he and Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird)did into the crime & the relationship he built up with the killers.

I also found this fantastic website that looks at the crime & has some great images. I found that the 2 killers were exactly as I imagined them!!


FunkyMunky said...
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FunkyMunky said...

Why did Capote build a relationship with the killers?

爱书 said...

I would think he built such a relationship with them in an effort to get the details of the crime for his book. I don't think he wanted to help them escape conviction/execution or justify their crcime. Maybe the movie will explain

I agree with Kathryn, I loved Capote's writing style. As a uni student I read a bit of 'true crime' and so often it's senstaionalised with the aim of sickening or titilising its audience. You are placed in the position of willing voyer and the darker, more graphic the tale the better you like it. CSI, Law & Order etc does the same.

This book seemes more 'honest' than others I have read, more of a blunt exploration of events than that.

So saying it did have a narrative quality that I found a bit disconcerting at times. At times I found myself reading it as fiction rather than deeply researched fact and had to remind myself of the reality. I guess that's a testament to the research by Capote and Lee

爱书 said...


Oh, and I wanted a BETTER MOTIVE for the killing. The murders seemed so intimate, so personal I thought surely there would have been a deep, underlying reason for what they did