Monday, January 15, 2007

In Cold Blood

I have just realised that I read another book from the list without even trying! I recently watched the film Capote, and as a consequence borrowed In Cold Blood from the library.

The book is the non-fiction novel that Capote wrote following the murder of a family in Kansas. Two young men broke into the house, supposedly thinking there was a large quantity of cash being kept there. When they found nothing they killed the entire family and stole a few dollars from the victims' wallets and purses. By all accounts Truman Capote became a little obsessed with one of the murderers Perry Smith. He visited both men whilst they were in gaol, researching his book, and was even present at their execution.

The book recounts the lead up to the murderers and follows the two men whilst on the run and in prison following their capitivity. The journalist style of the narrative is compelling and is you have any interest in crime novel or true crime, this is about as good and as gruesome as it gets. Whilst the reader is never led to condone the awful crime, you are given a sense of the boys humanity. Their vulnerability in society and perhaps the potential that was lost when they turned to crime and were forced to pay the ultimate price.