literature

Read: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Thursday, June 16, 2011

During the winter I was the very lucky winner of Miss Emmi's post-Christmas give away. My prizes? Two wonderful books that I had never read. Finally, after few months of hectic house moving, I finally have made time to read again. Here's a brief discussion of the first of my prizes: Breakfast at Tiffany's


First off, yes, I've seen the film. After years of people telling me I needed to watch it, I finally got around to seeing it on a flight to England and to be honest I didn't feel it lived up to the hype. Sure it entertained me for a small portion of the flight but it's not something I'd watch again.

The novella on the other hand? I'd gladly give it a second go.

Written by Truman Capote and published in 1958, Breakfast at Tiffany's tells the story of Holly Golightly, a mysterious socialite who shares the same apartment building as the narrator.

I am going to assume that you have seen the movie, know the gist of the story, or may want to read the book so let's not rehash the story. Let us instead discuss the prose: Incredible.

There are so many wonderful passages in this little book, clusters of images that just made my mind bloom.
My favorite was this, describing the poor slob of a cat that lives with Holly:



Capote pays particular attention to this feline for reasons that become clear in the final lines of the novella. These lines, when I read them, provided this wonderful moment of epiphany, a second of clarity where the entire story fit together in such a lovely way. 

Capote's characters, like the cat, are bright and well described and his story is extraordinary yet relatable. While we all do not have the luxury of asking for fifty dollars for the ladies room, we all are in someway, like Holly, simply traveling.

If you haven't read Breakfast at Tiffany's, please do. At a whopping 100 pages, it's a light read and if your edition has them, and it likely will, the additional short stories are well worth the read. I look forward to reading more by Capote, but next on the list is the second novel sent to me by the lovely Miss Emmi: The Big Sleep

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