Tom Meade's Reviews > In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
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Feb 23, 10

bookshelves: crime, historical, non-fiction
Read in January, 2010

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message 1: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Meade Capote's tone gets a little trite in the opening pages - as though he weren't quite taking the murders seriously. He also plays to a lot of the assumptions one has about sympathetic portrayals of mass murderers (which is odd, given that this was one of the first books of its kind). What makes the book really amazing is that this is all just a set-up for a brilliant emotional sucker punch that comes two thirds of the way through the book - Capote completely inverts the readers' sympathies, even as he never loses sight of the fact that the killers are, not monsters, but simply deeply disturbed human beings.

This is an easy book to read - it grabs you and doesn't let go. This ease of consumption is counterbalanced by a difficulty of digestion. Despite its lightness of form, it raises a vast number of extremely difficult questions. No matter how you look at it, this is a (more or less) accurate depiction of the murder of four fairly nice people, by two very strange but very relatable young men. It may be a cliche, but this book really does bring you face to face with a murderer, in a way that's fairly unsensational and all the more chilling for it. An excellent book.


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