Jun 20, 2014

In Cold Blood, third & fourth chapters

Life got busy and I have been postponing too long the wrap up post of our last book together. That, despite the fact that I had finished it some time ago. Not as soon as Mr. J, but long before the suggested schedule times. Once I started, I found it difficult to put it down. 

So, without further ado (and excuses), how did you like the book? 

By now I guess you have already read the interesting, exhaustive, and thought-provoking analysis of Jorge, to which I have very few (or nothing) to add in terms of wrapping up the story. 

I have liked very much the book despite the uncomfortable feeling it left in me every time I closed it and thought about the story, the characters, the fatal coincidences… The third chapter was so far the hardest to read. The confession of Perry with the details of the crimes, the description of the Clutter's fear, their suffering, the absurdity of it all...

In brief, there are two things I kept thinking about while reading and after reading the book:

First, when considering Perry's life and how bad it had treated him, his personality issues and instabilities were somehow "understandable". The bad feelings, resentments, hates.. At times, I felt deeply sorry for him. Having said that, her only alive sister is there to show how you can choose a different way of facing very harsh circumstances. 
However, with Dick is different. He had a normal, nice family, who loved him and took care of him. Does that mean he is intrinsically bad? Was he born with a mean, cruel nature that would show in any case? It seems Perry and Dick are two perfect examples to illustrate the Nature or Nurture? eternal question.

Second, and despite what I said above regarding my own suffering when reading about the Clutter's suffering, and the disgust about the crime and murderers, I still can't believe in the death penalty… That is a too complex and long debate to start here and now, but it is certainly an issue the book brings up. 

What a wonderful book. 
Maybe in the future we can explore more of Capote with Breakfast at Tiffany's?  


1 comment:

  1. Sorry I have been missing for so long! But I am alive and reading.

    What can I add to what has been said? Little.

    I almost proposed this book, because I was reading it when we had to send our suggestions. I guess Monica and I had a similar link to the book: the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and his portrayal of the writer in the film Capote. At least, that was mine.

    I really liked the book. It is beautifully written and Capote is a master on the non-fiction novel or the true crime genre, as this book has been classified.

    Capote’s descriptions of all the characters are amazing: the Clutter family, Perry and Dick, the police or the Holcomb neighbors, I feel like I met them all. I find particularly interesting how the natural order of a remote area is disturbed, how the neighbors start to distrust one another and came to suspect not only strangers, but also themselves. I can also feel the weight on the shoulders of the inspector... What a responsibility!

    The description of the atmosphere at the death row waiting for the fatal outcome was impressive. We know they did something horrible, but they are presented as human beings, with their fears and concerns. How Hickock fights to the very end in his defense is somehow heartbreaking. It is unbelievable that I could feel that knowing what he did.

    This book made me think about the death penalty in general and the role and blame of society and education in particular. First of all, like Macarena said, I cannot agree with death penalty: it is probably the most prejudiced and unfair of all the solutions. Of course there are cases of mental illness, but it is worth noting Perry’s harsh childhood. We will never know if he would have been different growing up in a loving family, but I can’t help thinking that in many cases, parents and society may be partly responsible for mentally unbalanced adults.

    I am curious to read Breakfast at Tyffany's, but also less known titles of this writer :-)

    Have a great summer!!


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