Breakfast at Tiffany’s By Truman Capote – Don’t think about Audrey Hepburn, don’t think about Audrey Hepburn

August 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm 3 comments

The short of it is -I love Capote. This is a collection of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and three other short stories- “House of Flower,”  “Diamond Guitar,”  and “A Christmas Memory.”  If you haven’t read anything else by Capote then this is a good place to start BUT if you like it, I highly, strongly recommend “Other Voices, Other Rooms.”  It is Capote’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” for lack of a better, more suitable description and should dispel any thoughts anyone had that he may have written Harper Lee’s book because his style is so different.

I have always had a strange relationship with the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” since the time my grandmother told me I was too young to watch it because it was about a “call girl.”  At seven years old, I assumed a call girl was someone who made a lot of telephone calls.   Apparently, my grandmother found the phone scandalous. Finally seeing the film years later, I didn’t like it.  Even during my watch-every-Audrey-Hepburn-film period this was not one of my favorites.  While reading the short story it was hard not to picture Hepburn or Andy Rooney’s amazingly inappropriate “Chinaman” impression.  The movie does have an interesting Hollywood polish that the novella does not.

All that said, this is a wonderful novella and really worth reading, even with all of the scandalous telephone use.   Holly Golightly is a phony but a true phony – meaning she buys her own game. She  is not a liar in the true sense of the word.  The narrator gets swept up in her life and then gets discarded and set-aside just as quickly.

I read somewhere that this is a book about the changing role of women in the late 40s and 50s. I don’t buy it. I think this was Capote’s story about the New York version of everyone who moves there from somewhere else. I think this was Capote examining how we morph and change to try to match our surroundings or what we want our surroundings to be.  Ultimately, though we are still that small town piece of ourselves, even if adorned in minks, smoking french cigarettes, and taking money to go to the powder room with a gentleman. Capote is the narrator but I think he is examining himself through Holly as well. Capote’s real life reinvention of himself from small town Louisiana boy to New York socialite is just as amazing as Miss Holightly’s transformation.

I don’t want to ignore the other stories in this collection. I liked them all.  But “A Christmas Memory” is such a sweet story about a little boy and his mentally disabled much older cousin who spend all year saving money to make fruitcakes at Christmas.  I loved this story – it had no agenda but was just a really beautiful story about two misfits who have this beautiful relationship of yearly traditions. And you won’t picture Audrey Hepburn or Andy Rooney doing a bad impression of the mentally disabled while you read it.

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Entry filed under: August 2011 reads.

Calling it “A Reliable Wife” means a reliable story…I guess. “One day I will write about this place” and Emily will be cool enough to like it but not today.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Exploring The Movie Capote  |  October 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    […] works of literature to ever come out of the American landscape. Mouse here for Related LinksBreakfast at Tiffany’s By Truman Capote – Don’t think about Audrey Hepburn, don&#8… Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: best actor oscar, capote, exploring the movie capote, General, […]

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  • 2. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – 1961 | jdc-witherton  |  November 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    […] Breakfast at Tiffany’s By Truman Capote – Don’t think about Audrey Hepburn, don&#8… (readingthroughthebs.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply
  • […] wonderful restaurants, fabulous clothes and fun parties.  In parts this reminded me of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with everything lavish and spectacularly overdone while the characters suffer their own lonely […]

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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