Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
This was a pleasant surprise. Even though I know this book is highly rated, as a classic true crime, I expected to find it dated and no longer relevant. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Each person is very well drawn, with the possible exception of the post mistress. However, it sounds as though she was quite the character, and perhaps she really was a real life caricature, too. He treats the killers with as much sympathy as the victims and townspeople but doesn't attempt to make excuses or justify their actions, which gives them more depth and makes them more interesting to the reader. What surprised me was the portrayal of most Kansans' attitudes to the death penalty. They are described as being strongly religious and conservative, but many had ethical reservations, based on their Christian sensibilities, about capital punishment. Very different than you seem to hear today from a similar demographic. I wonder why that has changed over time.