Friday, November 25, 2011

"In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote

There are two things that I absolutely savor about the holidays: the time to do morning workouts and the time to read.

So, today is the day after Thanksgiving, and I have enjoyed every moment of this day. I woke up early and talked to my momma on the phone, went to Barnes and Nobel, ran six miles, and spent the rest of the day reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. What Joy!

I must admit that this book left me feeling really crazy and in deep thought about life, death, the act of killing, the death penalty etc.

Truman Capote is quite dear to my heart, because we were both raised in Alabama. Capote and Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, were both raised in Monroeville, Alabama. (Great things DO come from Alabama.)

In Cold Blood is the TRUE story of two ex-convicts, Dick and Perry, who went to Kansas to kill a family whom they didn't know. The family was the well-respected Clutter family: Herbert, the father; Bonnie, the mother; Nancy, the daughter; and Kenyon, the son.

While in prison, another convict told Dick about the Clutter family. He told him that Mr. Clutter was rich and kept a safe with money in his house. Dick decided that once he was released, he and his friend Perry, would drive across the state of Kansas, to the Clutter's home, and rob them.

However, once they got to the house, Perry and Dick realized that there was no safe, and they were only able to retrieve between $40 and $50 from the family. Things took a BAD turn, and all four members of the Clutter family, who were in the house, were killed; Mr. Clutter 's throat was slashed, and the rest of the family was shot in the head. (The Clutter's had two older daughters who did not live with them.)

Capote spent years, alone with Nelle Harper Lee, interviewing the killers and the people in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas in order to give the reader snapshots into the Clutters' lives and the minds of the killers.

This novel really disturbed me. I live a carefree life, and I am cautious but fearless. I go out at anytime by myself and feel pretty safe. I refuse to live in fear, but I needed to be reminded of the fact that people like Dick and Perry do exist in this world.

Also, Dick and Perry both were sentenced to death, and this made me think a lot about the death penalty. I spent a summer at Amherst College studying Crime and Punishment. We discussed  the death penalty at great length, and I am not sure if it the death penalty should or should not be considered a cruel and unusual punishment if you believe that death starts at the moment that a person finds out that he has been sentenced to death. Can you imagine the agony that a person must go through when he knows the exact day and time that he is going to die?

Things that make you say hmmmmmmmm......

This book is captivating, easy to read, very revealing about the minds of two killers, and it will make a person think.

 "It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature."  Henry James

Truman Capote

1 comment:

Tracy Ricks said...

Another interesting Blog!!! Sad but true that these type of people do exist! You give me somethings to really think about!! Keep
Up the good work!!

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