So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Monday, July 03, 2006

In Cold Blood. Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959 Perry Smith and Dick Hickock broke into a rural Kansas farmhouse where they bound and gagged the four people they found there: Herb and Bonnie Clutter, and their teenage children Kenyon and Nancy. They took about $40, a small radio and a pair of binoculars. When they left, the Clutters were all dead of shotgun blasts to their heads.

In Cold Blood tells the story of the events leading up to the murder and those following it in a straightforward chronological manner. The Clutters were highly respected members of the small town of Holcombe and their deaths came as a big shock. The murderer's thought they left no clues and had committed a perfect crime. The book treats murdered and murderers with a similar respect for their basic humanity. Although a terrible crime was committed the author is able to present all sides of the story.

Truman Capote truly immersed himself in the community and in the lives of the criminals to provide as much detail as could be found. This is a classic work that is well crafted and thought provoking. Sadly, it also was the last major work of the author.


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