Thursday, February 21, 2008

Book Review: In Cold Blood

Okay so this book is famous, it is popular enough that several movies have been made about it including Capote starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in which he won the best actor award in 2006. I haven't seen this film because of it's rating but now that I have read this book it makes me want to see this movie, the toned down edited version.

Before I get into my opinion of this book I would like to say that over the past couple of days as we have discussed it in class several female classmates have voiced the opinion that this book is so dark they had to "Play the soundtrack to The Sound of Music" to get back their happy thoughts. Um, okay. Granted, this book's subject matter is dark, I didn't feel that the book was dark. This book traces the steps of Dick and Perry as they plan and execute the murders of a family of 4 living in Kansas. In the first section of the book there is a parallel story telling as the family and the murderers move towards the fateful moment. You know what is going to happen and who is going to do it, but not how they do it or why or if they get caught or how. Of course the WHY is the big question and I won't answer any of these questions for you here. There are inclusions of psychiatrists, town members, jailers, investigators, etc., all of which are so insightful and real.

This book was thought provoking for me. Well written, novel-like in its literary execution. I don't know a thing about Capote, though I have heard a few odd things about him, but he did a dang good job on this book. I highly recommend it, but apparently it is not for the faint of heart.


Julie J. said...

Dang! I just went to the library and had I checked you blog first I could have looked for this one. I'll add it to my list for next time! By the way, you are really good at writing reviews.

Daledogg said...

Jeanna, you are in luck because I loved the book so much that I bought the edited version of the movie "Capote". The two aren't one in the same, although they are definitely related and closely tied together. I can't wait to get together and discuss it with you. It has been a couple years since I've read it, but some of the feelings are still there. Next time I see you, I will bring the movie. In fact, I will be on campus all day tomorrow, so give me a call and maybe we can meet up.

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

This book was very difficult for me to read, as I’m sure it was for you. It is less about the particulars of that awful, horrific crime and more about the insidiousness of what childhood abuse and feeling disenfranchised can do to a person. It would be easy to focus on the horror and sadness of this massacre, but the brilliance of Capote is that the focus is placed on the murderers and trying to engender compassion from the reader for them. With Capote's vision in writing, he almost gets us there. After the capture and imprisonment of these two men, you can physically feel the fear in their hearts for their own condemnation. Perry's fear of execution is especially haunting. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to read and makes no difference that it was written 40 years ago. It transcends all genres, because even though the story is horrific, the writing is phenomenal, and you will NEVER forget it. I wish I had the talent to craft a story like this.