Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Short Stories by Truman Capote
Publisher: The Modern Library
Publication Date: This edition 1994 (originally published 1958)
The Short Version:
The novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and three short stories are combined in this volume and showcase some of the variety of Capote’s work
Why I Read It:
When I read Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society the first book for the book group was Breakfast at Tiffany’s which reminded me that I had never seen the movie nor read the book.
In Breakfast at Tiffany’s the narrator looks back and tells of meeting and getting to know his neighbor in a New York Brownstone in the mid 1940’s. Holly Golightly is young, carefree and attractive. She doesn’t have a job and seems to live off the wealthy men she meets. He gradually gets to know her and at the same time realize just how much he doesn’t know her,
House of Flowers takes place in Haiti and tells the story of a prostitute named Ottilie who falls in love and turns down a wealthy client to run away and marry her local boy. Her life with him is complicated by his grandmother who lives with them and hates Ottilie.
A Diamond Guitar takes place in a prison. An older man serving a life sentence befriends a new inmate. Their relationship is tested when the younger man proposes an escape plan.
A Christmas Memory is a look back at the last Christmas that a young boy and an elderly woman who is a distant relative. They make fruitcakes to send to people and give each other Christmas gifts. The memory is one that remains a significant one for the young boy for all of his life.
I have never seen the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The only thing I know about it is photos of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. I found that as I read this I both pictured Audrey Hepburn as Holly and had a hard time picturing Holly as Audrey Hepburn.
Holly is part naïve sex kitten and part conniving liar. I really didn’t like her much at all. While I appreciated Capote’s excellent writing I had a hard time with the novella because I didn’t like the character who was the focal point of the story. Nevertheless I liked the way that the story told how this girl deeply affected the people who lived on the periphery of her existence and social gallivanting.
The short stories were varied. I didn’t like House of Flowers all that much. I thought The Diamond Guitar was quite good. A Christmas Memory was actually quite touching.
It was nice to read more of Capote’s work but I need to re-read In Cold Blood to decide which style of Capote’s writing that I like best.