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Goodreads Challenge 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Kendal has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.

Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Written by Truman Capote
Read by Michael C. Hall
Recorded by Audible Studios on February 11, 2014
Originally published in 1958


Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote’s provocative, naturalistic masterstroke about a young writer’s charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the “American geisha” Holly Golightly. Holly – a World War II-era society girl in her late teens – survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist, who eventually gets tossed away as her deepening character emerges.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote’s most beloved work of fiction, introduced an independent and complex character who challenged audiences, revived Audrey Hepburn’s flagging career in the 1961 film version, and whose name and style has remained in the national idiom since publication. Hall uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.

To date, my only exposure to Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been the film adaptation with the lovely Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. After reading this novella I have found that it did not due it justice at all. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a very provocative depiction of a young girl living a life that many people would deem corrupt. I can imagine when this story was published in 1958 and the uproar it caused. Holly talked of sex, homosexuality, drugs, organized crime and other taboo subjects like they were everyday ideas; not the “turn the blind eye” kind of topics of the 1950s.

I can’t decide if Holly was a truly unique, strong woman or an incredibly broken one who created this life just to survive. She definitely had spunk; but at the same time, she was so sad and lost. There were many times I found it hard it hard to like her at all. She treated people so flippantly. She really had no use for them until she needed them. Was she self-absorbed, selfish and short-sighted or mentally unstable (bipolar?) and abused. After reading this novella, I really can’t buy into the Audrey version. She was so incredibly complex but at the same time so incredibly simple.

In my mind, I think Truman Capote identified and wanted to be Holly Golightly. Holly was his ideal human, man or woman. I can see a lot of Capote in Holly (from what I have seen and read about him). Her flippancy, alcohol use, and her brutal treatment of others leads me to believe that Capote captured himself in Holly Golightly. She had no ties and wanted none – or so she thought. The most heartbreaking moment for me was when she let Cat go in Spanish Harlem. It wasn’t romantic like the movie. It was cold but at the same time so sad and depressing. Holly realized, at the last minute, that she had a connection with Cat but she still turned her back on him. I’m just so relieved that Capote gave Cat a happy ending even though he give us one for Holly. Who knows where she landed…presumably like a cat.

I’m really glad I spent the time listening to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Michael C. Hall did a great job reading it. I thought he captured the narrator, “Fred”, very well. It was just under three hours listening time and I highly recommend that you take the time and listen to this provocative novella. It won’t be a waste.


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