rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let me start off by saying that I listened to the audio version narrated by Scott Brick. I found him to be an amazing narrator. He gave each of the main characters their own voice without being overly dramatic or cheesy. There was a subtle uniqueness to each voice that only added to my enjoyment of the book. He is the first narrator that I can picture myself listening to based on his presence and not necessarily based on the book.
Should we invest in literature based on true stories that focus mainly on the perpetrators? Is it wrong that Perry Smith and Dick Hickock are as memorable to me than the Clutters--probably even more so? That may be true for a lesser book than In Cold Blood, but reading this book is completely worth while. It's a book that I've always been curious about but never read. I am, overall, a fan of the "murder mystery" genre, but I tend towards fiction rather than stories based in truth partly because I hate the fact that the victims might be exploited and the criminals glorified. But the sheer genius of the writing style in this book place it in a unique genre of its own.
I don't think that I have fully digested this book. It may take me a while. As a result of reading it I had a wide range of feelings. Some include: sorrow for the family and friends of the Clutters; a desire to understand why it happened; anguish for Dick's parents and, to a lesser degree, Perry's family; amazement at the evil there is in the world; and a deeper realization that there is very little in the world that is black and white.
And after reading this on the heels of Camus' The Stranger, I feel an essay coming on. How interesting to read two very different accounts of two similar characters. And by similar I am speaking of Perry Smith and Meursault, who both commit senseless murders without remorse. The similarities, to me, are astounding!
This was a fascinating read. I don't know that it is ever possible to document an event and the people involved in it in a completely unbiased way. But realizing that, this book is a very well-written and worthy attempt.
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