Thursday, May 19, 2011

In Cold Blood

Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote
Publisher: Random House
This book has been on my must read list for many years. I bought it way back in high school because it dealt with crime. I’ve always been fascinated with crime books and movies. The funny thing is, when I first saw it I thought it was some contemporary piece that would be similar to any drug store paper back that you find in a convenience store. But once I looked at who wrote it; Truman Capote, I just had to buy it. Besides being known for his high-pitched voice, Capote is a brilliant writer who has written other amazing novels such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Although this is a novel based on a true event, (the murder of the Clutter family in Kansas) Capote decides to tell it from the perspective of the town’s people and the actual murderers. Capote demonstrates his talent of how the written language can express sentiment by writing sentences that seem genius when he puts them into words. His style of writing is easy to understand and concise, which allows for characters that are believable and important to exist. While he has been criticized for extending the truth about what really happened, his approach in how he wrote his novel is what I value the most.

Focusing on the murderers of the Clutter family, Dick and Perry, Capote takes an unbiased approach to telling their story. One would assume that a story like this would make Dick and Perry into monsters that cannot be related to or understood. Yet it is Capote’s honestly that makes these characters, despite their evil deeds worth reading about. I think its part of the human condition to assume that the existence of fairness in this world should be about what one deserves. For example, people that commit a crime should be punished. However what is harder to accept is what follows, that this same criminal deserves to be judged in a fair trail. And I think this is what Capote has done, for as chilling as the violent acts have been, he has given these same individuals a chance to tell their story in a world that preaches balance through fairness.


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