I’ve been reading a lot lately, well really the last year. A very large amount of that has been work reading–learning about solar power, climate change, decarbonization of the planet andelectrification of our power systems. But about two months ago, I hit a wall. I was tired of reading for an hour every night about work.
So I picked up three novels. The first was Ham on Rye by Bukowski, which came recommended from a friend. Very good. The next was In Cold Blood by Capote. This is nonfiction writing, which is not really my forte, but trying new things with books is always good.
In Cold Blood is the story of a small town Kansas family who is brutally murdered with essentially no clues left behind. It’s the story of a detective and his team trying to puzzle together who could do such a heinous thing and, just as importantly, why they would.
The book is told as a semi mystery, however it becomes obvious who actually dunnit within the first half of the book. At that point the story turns more mysterious, trying to understand the reason why the murders happened is likely as curious as the actual act. Capote is excellent at his craft, creating visible, human characters with stories to tell. Seemingly no matter how small the person presented, they are effortlessly painted in human tones.
Chapters are normally short and poignant. Words are similar. Capote was capable, he was caring.
He showcased the murders for what they were. He didn’t blanche at their brutality but he didn’t turn it to pornography either. He simply told the story through those who knew it best.
The story does have an ending. Perhaps as interesting as anything written here is the psychoanalysis of the captives, along with their cell mates. Holding cells and time to view that slow train coming. Acceptance, consideration and attempts at self preservation. Any day now, any day now.