In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. The subject matter is intensely dark, and the entire novel simply reads differently. What is it about his particular style that captured the attention and praise of so many? For one thing, Truman Capote is as good of an observer as he is a writer. In Cold Blood communicates because the dust in the Kansas wind is there blowing across the pages. The autumn color scheme is right. And the characters are real.
No really, they are. This book is non-fiction and written much like an over detailed press release about a real quadruple homicide that happened in Garden City, Kansas in 1959. This much is known without turning a page. In fact, four dark eyes don the inside cover of the hardback copy I was reading. They are the eyes of the two killers. Upon first seeing them I glanced over them and moved onto the material. When I completed the book, I wanted to see what year it had been published, I turned to the front page and again was forced to stare into these four eyes on the inside cover. But this time I needed to study them for a while. I had learned so much about these men, looked at them from all angles, felt all sorts of feelings regarding them, and yet all I could do was just stare at those four eyes and ask more questions.
The story is incredibly sad, I am warning you. But it’s redemption comes in the form of what all living beings must learn to deal with… super fucked up shit that is unbelievably, unbearably, and unimaginably fucked. It happens everyday. It’s sad, and I give credit to Capote for staring back at the dead dog on the side of the road everyone drives by. Yeah, there’s something beautiful there. It ain’t gonna kill you if you look at it. Truman wanted to know what it was like to be a man who murders. This of course, does not make you a murderer. But many would be too scared to stick their nose in a blood splattered bedroom, and ask why? What path led to this? Just how different are these killers than you and me?
And the world wanted to know.
Born Truman Streckfus Persons (Truman Capote)