In Cold Blood

Book: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Method: Read my used hardcover book

What I got from the book:

  • In the introduction, Capote quotes a very old French poem which is intended to remind readers that Christians are called to forgive, if they expect to receive forgiveness.  A real buzz killer in a story which will feature two hangings.
  • The last thing Mrs Clutter read before going to bed on her last night was her Bible.  A bookmark in the Bible was embroidered with a King James passage — Mk 13:33 — “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye not know not when the time is.”  The fact that an essentially good and tranquil woman’s life would be ended in such a violent and unexpected way, reinforces a belief that I don’t doubt, but never feel: The end could be right around the next corner.
  • While not knowing why Capote is considered such a good writer from a technical point of view, I can admire his ability to hold our attention telling a story which we know what the essential facts are.
  • My thinking went back and forth during the whole book as to whether the mind numbing stupidity of the killers made their crime more or less tragic.  My last thoughts were more tragic.  Greed would have made their crime more logical, if not any less evil.  After all, killings and murders are depressingly routine.  But that they occur due to randomness, or for just $40, makes for a chilling realization.  Then no one is safe.  Not even the Clutters.
  • Capote did find a way to make the killing of the Clutter family less tragic.  He described the crimes of another member of Kansas’ death row,  inmate Lowell Lee Andrews.  To paraphrase Richard Pryor, thanks goodness for executions of the guilty.  Please recall that the Commandment is thou shall not murder.

About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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