In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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Rating: 4/5

I can see why this book is considered one to the greatest books in the nonfiction genre. I quite honestly did not understand, before reading this book, how a murder story from a small town in Kansas could get at much attention as this one did, but I figured I should read and see.

The first thing that made me really like this book was just how much research Capote did to write this. It was amazing how much these people, especially the murderers, opened up to him and told him everything. There was no stone un-turned in this book.

I can also see just what the appeal of this case was. The fact that the perpetrators didn’t even know the family makes this rare, since the majority of murders are committed by someone the victim knows. It was also fascinating to read into the psychology of the these two men and how they reacted to their crime. There was  a lot of insight into what their thought process was during the whole ordeal, and while I didn’t sympathize with them necessarily, it actually humanized them a little bit. We get see where they came from, what their childhood was like, etc.

I also feel that Capote did a great job of capturing just what kind of affect this horrible incident had on the town of Holcomb. Everyone who knew the Clutter family and even those who were not closely associated with them were affected in some way. It was also interesting to see just how the suspicion that the killer was among them almost ruined the closeness of the neighbors in this small town. We not only got a look at the lives and thoughts of the men who committed the crime but insight into how this kind of tragedy can cause strife in an entire community.

This was a compelling read and was actually hard to put down sometimes. Even though you know how everything ends, you are still engrossed in the lives of those involved which keeps you reading. It was very well done and I highly recommend it.

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