Summer Book Club: Steve’s Part 3 Comments: Long Overdue…

Turns out all a girl needs to do to get some writing out of her co-blogger is to post something herself. Less than an hour after last night’s post, I received this from Steve: 


I’m the worst. I know. I haven’t even started Part 4 BUT I finished Part 3 like a month ago. I blazed through so many books in the first half of the summer but then totally crashed and burned in a glorious ball of laziness in the second half. Just. Terrible.

I’ll do my best to recall Part 3, using Emily’s writing to jog my memory.

The major thing I remember from Part 3 is being ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED by what happened to the Clutters. Emily says “Way to go, Floyd”. However, Floyd is a life ruiner. The Clutters’ murders were a result of his (inaccurate) recounting of his short time on the clutter farm. It had me thinking, “oh god. What if there is someone out there who only knew me for a few weeks but said something about me to another person and now that person is coming to kill me?” Is that so crazy? Because that is exactly what happened to the Clutters.  It’s like how I couldn’t sleep with the windows open once Elizabeth Smart was found and all the details of her kidnapping came out again.  Not even the 2nd floor of the house was safe.

It also made me think back to Part 2, right after word of the murders got out, and the town went into full blown lockdown mode. Every one was paranoid. Capote tells us how people were just sit up all night with their lights for fear of what happened to the Clutters could happen to them.  At the time, I thought they were crazy. Over dramatic. But know that we know how the Clutter murders came about, maybe they weren’t being that ridiculous. I was surprised that Capote didn’t emphasis the randomness of the murders. (Maybe they weren’t random. What is the right word here? Unlucky? Star-crossed? ) Dewey and the other detectives didn’t seem to dwell on it too much. So maybe it was that past description of the citizens of the town (whose name I don’t even remember any more. Pathetic. Garden City?) that is supposed to bring that reality to the forefront of the reader’s mind.

As for the young boy and his grandfather, I wondered about that story’s inclusion as well. I drew a comparison between the boy and Perry, who has always seemed more childlike than Dick. Maybe it’s the obsession with root beer that Capote highlights.  But here we have an actual child. And we like him. He’s a good kid. And next to him, Perry seems downright evil.  In Part 3, Perry really morphed in my opinion.  I used to think he was a better person that Dick but now I question his humanity entirely.  Dick now comes off as a desperate, nervous man, hiding behind a whole lot of bravado.  Perry, on the other hand, comes off as a simpleton but that is just masking a very detached, mirthless, cold core.  Sorry, I’m talking like a Catholic school English teacher now. I was always a little suspicious of Perry but always saw a bit of hope with him. And now I’m realizing I didn’t connect Perry and this little can-collecting boy very well.

As for Part 4, I think the title might give away the ending. At least Perry and Dick’s ending. I’m pretty sure some one referred to The Corner as the place where people get executed at some prison.  Soooooooo . . . end of the line, boys. I do want to know what happens in this town (pretty sure it’s not City Garden). I want to know what happens with all the people in the diner and if they still talk about it. And Nancy’s friend and boyfriend (I bet they get married). And the other two sisters who I JUST remember existed.

It’s Holcomb, Steve. 


One thought on “Summer Book Club: Steve’s Part 3 Comments: Long Overdue…

  1. Actually I finished part 3 a month ago and have just been obsessively checking this website, waiting for you to make the first move, seeing as I went first on parts 1 and 2.

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