Shannon Brennan's Reviews > In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
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May 23, 07

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Read in May, 2007

We've all heard quite a lot about (from?) Truman Capote these past 12 months. Between Philip Seymour Hoffman's Capote and what's-his-name's (Toby Jones') performance in Infamous, it's rather difficult to even crack the spine of this over-explicated text without hearing the faint cackle of new-york-high-society-types, or picturing Mr. Capote himself, before a crowd, holding the book (a tome, in my mental image) above his head, in that fantastic anecdote about the primacy of the text. So, perhaps, we don't want to read it. Or to re-read it. Because of the cackling. And the hype.

But I must tell you, dear reader: I just read it. Just now. Just yesterday. And I must be honest, too: it's rather good. It's rather good, yes, even (perhaps especially) in the context of all of this Hollywood hype: reading Perry Smith, for instance, as the novel's Perry Smith, and then as each director's Perry Smith, is an absolutely delightful project.

And, no, In Cold Blood doesn't feel groundbreaking, journalistically, or novelistically--which makes sense, because time has, of course, passed since then, and The Laramie Project is fresh-ish in our (my) minds, but it feels...different. There is a precision to every word, every character, every scene, that I've seldom slapped eyes on. Mr. Capote's novel is what Winesburg, Ohio would be, if God skipped town and something cold, like fact, took His place. Which is pretty awful, and pretty great.
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