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August 21, 2008

Rohit Reviews: In Cold Blood

Capote, In Cold Blood

Considering that my taste in books in recent years has tended towards dense and depressing, I thought I would take a break this summer for some lighter reading. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was probably not the best way to accomplish my goal.

The novel, which incidentally was the subject of the 2005 film Capote, is often described as a masterpiece. I would not necessarily go as far, but I do not know that I can articulate why. Certainly, it was good, and after a slow start, I got so into it that I finished it in one marathon sitting this past Sunday. And as all reviews are want to do, I too can (and briefly will) gush on how it paints a vivid portrait of the men who perpetrated a senseless crime that ended the lives of four very sympathetic people. The manner in which Capote portrays the killers—without condemnation, almost sympathetically—is truly a masterful accomplishment.

So why the hesitation at describing it as a masterpiece? I think, in the end, it is not a reflection on this novel, but only that I have read others which I found to be better. That said, I would still recommend it to all but the most squeamish. It is well-written, quickly read, and if nothing else, brings to life a horrific true story from forty years past. Four stars of five.


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