Books Magazine

Book Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories

By Storycarnivores @storycarnivores

capote-truman-breakfast-at-tiffany_s-new-yorkTitle: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Short Stories
Author: Truman Capote
Series: N/A
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: 1958
Genre: Adult Literary
Pages: 161
Source: Brian: Library
Buy the Book: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Short Stories

Synopsis: In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

This volume also includes three of Capote’s best-known stories, “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory,” which theSaturday Review called “one of the most moving stories in our language.” It is a tale of two innocents—a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend—whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth. (Via Goodreads)

Brian’s Review: I was only aware of the 1961 movie. I saw it once in sixth grade, once again in college at a friend’s place in Phoenix. I enjoyed it but it never had a profound effect on me. I borrowed the film at the local library and now, after reading and enjoying Truman Capote’s short novel, I’m going to look at it again. I was aware that the film had been based on a novel by Capote, but I hadn’t planned on reading it until Shaunta told me it was her favorite book. Not her favorite as a teenager, or one of her favorite books. No, just her favorite book, period. The local library had a copy near the front, where it boasted on a small shelf: “Read the Book, Watch the Movie!” I picked it up without a thought and looked forward to the read. It only took me two sittings. And Shaunta’s right: this book is a joy.

I loved Holly Golightly, who is much more fleshed out on the page. The book overall is much more complex than the film, and goes to some very dark places. It was difficult to read the book and not think of Audrey Hepburn, but I’m sure a lot of people have that problem. It’s super short, at 103 pages, and can be read in one or two sittings. What I took away most from this book is how much of a talented writer Truman Capote was. I read In Cold Blood in college, after seeing the 2005 film Capaote, and loved it. His prose are startling; they take your breath away. While reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I just kept thinking, I don’t know if I can ever write this well, this beautifully. He was a tremendous writer, and I look forward to seeking out more of his work.

Almost like a three-course dessert after a hearty meal, the book comes to a close with three 20-page short stories. House of Flowers and A Diamond Guitar are great reads, but it’s A Christmas Memory that truly had an impact on me. A Christmas Memory is one of the best short stories I ever read, the kind that is so obviously personal that it’s hard not to choke up at the end of it. I also love any story that revolves around food, and this one made me want to bake a pie. It’s so moving, so beautifully written, that when I put the book down, I had to just shake my head in amazement. Capote was a genius, and someone who I will be constantly be looking to for inspiration.

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