After a considerable amount of time spent “psyching myself up” I have just finished reading the classic “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. Despite my reluctance to read such a detailed book, I knew it was about time I tackled it! I was especially interested in the book since the fabulous Harper Lee (a childhood friend of Capote, who she based Dill from “To Kill a Mockingbird” on) helped provide the extensive 8000 page research it’s based on. Sadly, I detested the book!
As for the books characters, it feels strange to comment on real people- after all “In Cold Blood” is classed as non-fiction. I found myself wanting to feel sympathy for the murder victims, but I never quite managed to, since so few pages were devoted to them and their story. I did, however, have very strong opinions on the murderers and the way one of them was portrayed. Whilst Hichkok could be dismissed as a vile individual, the way Smith was represented was morally wrong. I am well aware of the rumours about Capote and Smiths supposed relationship, and feel this is reflected in the novel. Smith was disgustingly glorified, as though he could do no wrong! I found this unnerving; after all he was a convicted murderer! The biased writing by Capote angered me whenever he spoke of Smith.
Despite my dislike for the book, I must concede it was reasonably well written. I found few errors and the style was “fluent” and easy to read. That said, I can’t say I have a favourite quote from over 300 dull pages!
Overall, I thought the book was very boring! While I must praise Capote for making such detailed notes, I had little interest in the murderer’s life stories! The actual killings researched in the book were fairly mundane, with a flawed motive. I had high expectations for this book and have sadly come to the conclusion that it is extremely overrated.
(I am currently about to start reading a new book, which I will definitely review! In the meantime, follow my twitter @101rupert)