Assigned Reading #3: In Cold Blood

The third book for my class this semester was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.  I don’t have an essay to upload exploring aspects of this book: instead I opted to write an original fictional piece.*  But I will say that this book…man, this book.  It was incredible.  Just for sheer entertainment, it’s like a proto-Serial or proto-Making A Murderer.  I think it really speaks to (or, hell, sparked) the American obsession with true crime stories.

As a work of art, I learned a lot about time dilation (the first three sections take place over just a couple of months, the last over four/five years) and dramatic tension (the introduction of the Clutter family, and the focus switching between the killers and the investigators).  And, it’s a true piece of Americana: the brutal murder of the Clutter family represents some sort of symbolic expulsion for (white) American culture from the (retrospectively) innocent 50s into the turmoil of the 60s.

This book is fifty years old, but it’s as immediate and visceral as if it were written yesterday.  An incredible read that you should read.

* Which I get back from the instructor tomorrow.

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