April's Reviews > In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
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's review
May 03, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, classics, 1001-books-list
Read in May, 2009

This book leaves me unsatisfied. I don't know why.

edit: but I will try to think myself through it.

I've never read true crime. I KNOW. When I think about the number of books I've read, this seems impossible.

Maybe part of my disconnect stems from my reading of fictional mysteries, where the amateur detective discovers who the murderer is, there's a concise--almost precious--motive for the killing, and the detective and the chief of police fall in love.

This, though ... I don't know. Of course, knowing that the events of In Cold Blood are part of history adds a grisly element to the reading, and then the murderers themselves are so complex, and then it seems like the resolution is sort of anticlimactic.

But how can that be, when Capote was just reporting the facts?

It certainly didn't help that I couldn't keep the murderers straight. On one page I'd think, "Oh, THAT'S the worst one," and then on the next page, I'd be like, "... wait, what?" Of course, they were both awful, and their ruthlessness manifested itself differently, only their characteristics seemed interchangeable and I couldn't remember who was who.

In addition--oh, geez, how pretentious am I going to get here, criticizing this thing--I think a little editing was in order. (This may just be a personal preference.)

There were times when I felt like Capote lost the plot a little. There were definitely some tangents throughout the story that pulled focus from the main event. I guess I have this idea that true crime shouldn't try to be Great Literature, running off into metaphors and long descriptive passages.

It's possible that Truman Capote is too much in this. Like, as I was reading, I kept thinking about his involvement, and how he supposedly fell in love with one of the murderers, and whether he was trying to be sympathetic. I doubted; I didn't trust that his account was objective.

And that may have been the biggest problem of all.


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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by K.K. (new)

K.K. WHAT!!!? WHAT!?!?!?

No comprendo.

April I'm still thinking.

message 3: by K.K. (new)

K.K. Ah. Comprendo mas.

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