Friday, 15 May 2009


I've not posted in a while because I've been busy with my last masters essay and I hate writing posts about how I'm too busy to write a real post.

To distract from that I'm going to make this post actually about Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. The essay I'm doing is about historical fiction and a lot of the reading I'm doing is about the line dividing fiction and non-fiction. In Cold Blood is a book that sits right on that line, every detail in it is meticulously researched, right down to Capote having spent hours interviewing the killers. And yet the flow of it is nothing like non-ficiton. It seemed like an interesting idea so when I saw the book in mint condition in a wonderful little second hand store I couldn't resist.

I was already regretting reading it by page 11 - it was at that point I realised I'd fallen in love with the family, even though I knew they were going to die. The writing is just that good. It would be so easy to have made the book really dull and factual, but it reads exactly like a novel.

There are some stunning lines in it:
'It was ideal apple-eating weather' - that's such a clear and beautiful image
'The quietness of his tone italicised the malice of his reply'

The book is really powerful when read in big chunks, I read a little bit the other day while on the bus and it didn't have the same feeling as when I'd been able to give a whole evening to it. I'm looking forward to getting back down to it when I'm not so busy.

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