Skip to main content

June 2014 Read of the Month Review

I easily completed my June 2014 Read of the Month; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  I can easily see why the work is considered a classic.  In Cold Blood is not the normal "true crime" book.  Capote would often refer to it as the "non fiction novel."

Capote traveled to Kansas with his childhood friend Harper Lee to write an article on the Clutter family murders for The New Yorker.  Six years and eight thousand pages of notes later led to Capote's famous book.

The book is loaded with details and Capote's use of the English language is amazing.  He was truly a gifted writer.  The book is divided into four main sections


  1. Background information on The Clutter family and the criminals Richard "Dick" Hickcock and Perry Edward Smith.  This section of the book takes the reader right up to the point of Hickcock and Smith parking their car along the Clutter family farm.
  2. Discovery of the crime scene and Hickock and Smith's escape across the country (and into Mexico and back) leading right up to their capture.
  3. The trial and conviction of Hickock and Smith
  4. Hickock and Smith's time in prison right up to their execution by hanging.

While the first section can be a little slow (with all of the details provided) once the criminals are introduced the book is a very fast read.  I was surprised the Capote does not go into detail with the crime between the first and second section of the book.  Instead, later in the book the confession of Perry Edward Smith is used to inform readers of what took place in the Clutter farm house that terrible evening.

After posting that I was reading this book, a friend informed me that the movie Capote staring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman focuses on Truman Capote and his work on In Cold Blood.  I am about half finished with the movie (lack of time with the kids not around) and so far it is really good.  It is cool to see a movie that is not based on a book, but based on how a book was developed.  

A Movie, Based Upon an Author Writing a Book

What a great way to kick off my summer with an amazing read.  I wish I did not wait to so long to read Capote's work.  Now it is time to find a title for July.  The summer will fly by so I better get reading!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Your Own Personal Library Catalog

So, how many of you have remember using an old style, card catalog?  You know, you want to find a book in your local library, so you pull out the long drawers flipping through cards.  Well those days are long gone of course (thankfully) and nearly all libraries use an electronic catalog system to keep track of their collections.  Many of the school districts in Wayne County are using a system developed by Follett .  It is a great system for school age children and prepares them for many of the advanced catalogs available in public and university libraries. Catalog software is quite expensive and really impractical for home libraries.  Some book lovers may create their own spreadsheet or database to keep track of their books, however there is a great (free) tool online to not only catalog your books, but also meet and communicate with other book lovers online.  The site  librarything.com is a wonderful site that lets you catalog your own home library.  Think of it as a "Facebook

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

Back in November I wrote about what I believe to be the best part of my job; running into Carlson High School graduates that are success stories and hearing about how well they are doing in the "real world."  Carlson High School graduate Nathan Matatall is clearly one of these success stories.  After graduating from Carlson High School and Michigan State University Nathan has gone on to very successful career at Dell Computers.  The News Herald even published a feature piece on Nathan a few years ago.  This past week, Nathan provided my family with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.   Nathan, my former public speaking student, contacted me via email a few weeks ago and inquired about taking my kids on a tour of Marine One (one of the helicopters used to transport The President of the United States and other dignitaries) and to possibly attend the landing of Air Force One when President Obama was scheduled to arrive in Detroit.  I was very excited a

A Little R & R

I decided to take a little R & R before things get crazy with back to school.  I wanted to spend some time with my family for these final weeks of summer, so I decided a break from writing was in order.  A trip to Kalahari and fun times with friends and family made August fly by.  So, what does school year 2014 bring for me?  Quite a bit, as always: Back to teaching two courses at Wayne County Community College.  Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings I head to Northline Road to teach college level English.  I really love this second job! Tuesday, I start my 17th year at O.A. Carlson High School.  While public education continues to face challenges, there is no other job for me at this time.  I love my co-workers and students.  Gibraltar is a great place to work. I will be running my kids all over as usual.  Gymnastics, religious education, flag football (which I coach as well), and others events "to be determined."  I would not have it any other way.  I love watch