In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
I decided to buy this book after seeing the film ‘Capote’ on an aeroplane. The film was intriguing and alerted me to the literary figure of Truman Capote, about whom I had only been vaguely aware, but largely ignorant.
He is evidently a skilled and eloquent writer, with a very organised, perceptive mind. The writing is unobtrusively efficient and of great clarity. The multiple murders and the characters behind them are explored with compelling curiosity.
This is ultimately a grisly story, and the characters profoundly sad. There is nothing to lighten the atmosphere. It is hardly a light read. It is not a pleasant experience. Despite admiring the literary merits of the book, it became a harder and harder task to pick up the book and go on. It depressed me, and I flitted off to other books (as I often do). However, after 6 months, I confess I still have not finished the book. I have not summoned up the courage to read the last 30 pages, covering the execution of the murderers. I don’t feel the need (yet) to make myself more melancholy and face the final horror in Capote’s unflinching prose.