|In Cold Blood|
Welcome to Day SIX of the Book Journey Celebration of Banned Books Week, 2011 Edition!
Reason for Ban: According to the ALA, In Cold Blood has been challenged because it contains sex, violence, and profanity. Um, yeah. I really don’t want to read a book that doesn’t contain at least one of those things.
In high school, I had a friend who grew up not far from Holcomb, Kansas, where the infamous events of In Cold Blood took place. In fact, shortly after we met, I picked up a copy of this book, read the first chapter or so, and then promptly lost the book. I never did find it, but I always wanted to finish reading it. When I spotted a copy at the Borders liquidation sale, I bought it.
For those unfamiliar with the general story, four members of the prominent and well-liked Clutter family, were murdered in their home. The two killers were drifters who spent time in and out of prison throughout the country.
This is never a real “whodunit,” since the reader is privy to the murderers’ identities from the very beginning, before there’s even a murder. Capote manages to keep the reader interested by juggling two simultaneous storylines, one following the events in Holcomb, and one following the killers. The first fifty pages or so have you waiting, ever more anxiously, for the showdown that you know is coming. You’re kept waiting until the very end before the murders are described from the viewpoint of the killers.
“[T]here were spongy displays of liver-colored carpet intermittently abolishing the glare of the varnished, resounding floors; an immense modernistic living-room couch covered in nubby fabric interwoven with glittery strands of silver metal; a breakfast alcove featuring a banquette upholstered in blue-and-white plastic. This sort of furnishing was what Mr. and Mrs. Clutter liked, as did the majority of their acquaintances, whose homes, by and large, were similarly furnished.”
[She] remembered that once the family had lived for days on nothing but rotten bananas, and that, as a result, Perry had got colic; he had screamed all night, while Bobo, as Barbara was called, wept for fear he was dying.
Want to read this? Enter to WIN my copy of In Cold Blood by leaving a comment telling me (along with something else) that you’re interested. I’ll pick a winner next Monday, October 3rd.