An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
It is done! It's taken me a while but I have finally finished Truman Capote's true crime novel.
I wanted to read this one after watching Capote a few years ago. I also learned that it's considered one of the first true crime novels/the grandfather of the genre, so it felt only right to give it a go. Overall, I'm really glad. I was surprised by the depth of exploration into both Smith and Hickock's lives the book went into and just how much Capote was able to discover. I was also surprised by the explorations of criminal psychology the book presented. Considering when this book was written, I didn't think people would be considering that sort of topic. Having read the book, though, it makes sense that it was explored and that so much was dug up on the killers since the shocking element of the crime is no one understood why it had happened at all. The randomness of it was something new and kudos to Capote for really exploring the nature of the randomness. He also gave lovely exploration of the Clutter family and I feel appropriate coverage to the lives that were lost.
Part of why it took me so long to finish the book is related to having seen Capote. I think I expected the book to be like that movie and it wasn't. I'm actually surprised with how sympathetic the movie portrays Perry Smith, since the book really portrays him as a cold and remorseless person, even with all the exploration they gave into his backstory. You feel for what he went through, but the Perry in Capote is very different than the Perry of In Cold Blood. The book also dragged a bit, especially in the beginning. Every detail makes sense and is well written, it just is sort of didn't have a quick flow to it, if that makes sense.
Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A little slow but a great read for those who enjoy true crime.