I'm not doing bad at not posting here during the day, except for the fact that I've been making comments all day at Catallaxy instead. (It's a strange blog at the moment, that one, about which I am tempted to post here one day. But not yet.) Tomorrow, I have to stop even that.
Anyhow, tonight's little post is about the fact that I finally finished Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood". What a fine book it turned out to be. I'm not one for crime fiction or true life crime accounts generally speaking, but Capote's book is so intelligent and well written I couldn't help but be impressed.
In many respects (apart from the complete lack of swearing) I felt that the book does not feel dated at all, even in its succinct but (I believe) accurate discussion about psychiatry and criminal responsibility. It was also interesting to note how capital punishment was a controversial topic in the heartland of America even 50 years ago. I don't particularly care if some scenes are not accurate; there appears to be enough "first hand" content in the book (such as letters and other material) to feel pretty confident that the psychological account of the life of the murderers is more or less correct.
For a somewhat flamboyant, eccentric, gay socialite, Capote certainly seems to show a surprising degree of empathy with conservative middle America, and perhaps in that respect it does feel a little dated. (It's easy to imagine that any modern writer from New York on a similar project today would be more condescending towards the religious townfolk.) But the main point about Capote is his fine writing style, and it's a pity that his literary output was so limited.
I see that the Wikipedia article on the book has a link to site containing photos which are of interest if you know the story.
Now it's time for me to read the last Michael Crichton novel, about pirates. A bit of a change of pace.