Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Title: Breakfast at Tiffany's
Author: Truman Capote
Published: 1958
Published by: Vintage Books
Format Read: Kobo, eBook
Genre: Literature, Classics, Novella, Short Story
Date Read: May 11 2015
Rating: 2.5/5

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote was first published in 1958 and has since become one of the author’s best known stories. Set in World War II era New York City, a young writer befriends his neighbour, a woman by the name of Holly Golightly. He observes her as she lives the life of a star and socialite, but is she really who she says she is? Throughout the story readers learn tidbits about the woman’s life before she came to New York and the colourful cast of people she spent her time with.

Going into this book I felt daunted by the fact that it is a classic that has been loved for decades. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I don’t have a very good track record with classics and seem to find myself either strongly disliking it or being completely underwhelmed. Unfortunately in the case of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I was quite underwhelmed. I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, especially Holly. Perhaps I went in with expectations that were too high. I expected glamor and sparkle and well.. more Tiffany’s.

For a book that was published in 1958, I was surprised by how many sexual references were made, especially those about lesbians. There was also that nagging question of whether or not Holly was a prostitute. I don’t doubt that it ruffled many feathers for years to come. Setting aside my previously mentioned observances, I finished the book thinking that I had missed something. Was it simply about a man who was fascinated by his friend and her lifestyle? Am I reading too much into it instead of just enjoying it for what it was? Maybe it was the descriptions and imagery that made Capote’s story so well loved? I couldn’t say, but I am glad I took the chance to add it to my read list.

I have not yet seen the 1961 film starting Audrey Hepburn, nor did I know anything about the plot before I began reading. All I knew was that the brunette star was cast in the lead role, so Holly in my mind looked like Audrey, not the blonde young woman we meet in the story. After watching the trailer for the film, I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to watching it as it seems it will be more entertaining than the book.

 NOTE: I downloaded an eBook copy of this book for my Kobo. Aside from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it was supposed to have included other short stories by Truman Capote, but for some reason it only had the one. 

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