Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Recent Reading...

So I’ve picked up a few more books to read. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bordain.

Midnight’s children I got because of a recommendation from a friend, and I kinda like Anthony Boudain’s books. I receive boundain’s cookbook last year for Christmas, and it’s the only cookbook that has threatened me with being a “fucking douchebag” if I failed at one of the recepies. Good times.

I’ve been getting through In cold Blood (check out the snappy book cover picture I put in!). I downloaded this as an audiobook right after I saw the movie “capote” thinking that it might be a good listen. Normally I really HATE books of the True Crime or just crime, mystery, etc… Mainly because they appear to be just depressing and I really just don’t like reading the gory details of some ridiculous death.

But In Cold Blood is a good read, certainly compelling, scary, freakish like some A&E crime-files story, but the thing that makes it so interesting is the tone of the writing, and the length’s at which Capote went into writing it. That was one of the theme’s of the movie “Capote” – he invented this new form of writing, ½ journalism, and ½ novel. None of this is News to anyone, since this book is pretty old, and Capote’s history is well-known enough for most people, shit most people have probably read this book already.

I’m not even gonna attempt to synthesize some interpretation or consider all the implicit nuances of the book, mainly because I’m a pretty shallow reader, and rarely pick up on shit like that. I usually end up thinking about trivial things, or just getting caught up in the story. In fact if I'm really interested in a book that I just completed reading, or if it was a book that I finished that I didn't understand at all (Like The Magus - a book that went way over my head), I usually troll the user reviews on to see what I missed.

But back to the book... I think one of the points of the book is “why in the hell did they do it?” Truly the murders were done in cold blood – there was no reason at all for them to kill the Clutter family. They went in thinking they were gonna just rob the family, they had several opportunities to just walk away from the whole situation – a course of action that Perry admitted to considering throughout the whole horrific scene.

Perry’s confession seems to imply that there was some bravado and resentment towards Dick, which is not an entirely alien concept to most dudes I think. There’s some implicit competition between all male-friends. The only difference is that most guys don’t fucking shoot people.

Capote illustrates the two killers fairly well, Dick just seemed like a psychopath – unable to consider the consequences of his actions a rouge who just didn’t give-a-fuck. And Perry just seemed like a pathetic dope, a moron. His fragmented personal life, and his growing up neglected by both his family and having no friends was motivation in his loyalty and desire to kiss the ass of convicts he encountered in his adult life . Like his devotion to Willie J, and to Dick. He seemed like the cliché sidekick, as Grover Dill is to Scott Farkus.

But I don’t know, I’m not sure if that was how Capote was trying to illustrate Perry. In the movie, it seemed that Capote was sympathetic to a lot of circumstances in Perry’s attitude and life. Like maybe Perry couldn’t be truly held responsible entirely for his actions. In the book he seemed to reinforce this…mentioning how Al Dewey “knew that one of the killers must not be completely devoid of charity” and describing the physical traits of Perry like “the sad, expressive eyes” etc…

The other thing that I really thought interesting about the book is the depth that Capote went into to write it. From the descriptions of what the Clutter’s were wearing (Nancy’s dress, and how she picked out the fabric and made it herself) to inner monologues with every person introduced in the book. In the Capote Movie, which is pretty much all I know about capote’s personal history, he was massively engrossed in the book.. He was so engrossed, so emotionally involved, that the movie implied that it destroyed his career, and changed him personally. He never wrote another book again as I understand.

It was a good read, something that I’ll probably think about for awhile. Of course, right now, I’m also almost finished with Kitchen Confidential…in a few days my shallow interest in this book will probably fade.


jay said...

I read In Cold Blood when I was about 13 or 14 and I didn't sleep for about 4 months. I kept thinking someone was going to come in our house and kill me.

Joe said...

sounds like every day of my life!