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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!


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