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Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
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Breakfast at Tiffany's (original 1958; edition 1961)

by Truman Capote

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4,5801051,047 (3.8)150
Member:crimson-tide
Title:Breakfast at Tiffany's
Authors:Truman Capote
Info:Penguin (1961), Paperback, 1969 reprint, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:fiction, 1001, new york, usa, short stories, collection, film

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1958)

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Holly Golightly is an American cultural icon, mainly thanks to Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of her in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany's. In Capote's novella, we meet the original Miss Golightly and Capote's portrayal of her, indeed of 1940s New York, is deserving of praise. With an excellent air for description, Capote allows the reader just a glimpse into the mysterious life of the girl-about-New York through the eyes of those obsessed with her.

A short but well-constructed novella, Norman Mailer was right to state that he "would not have changed two words in Breakfast at Tiffany's" since Capote is an excellent writer and this is surely one of his finest works.

This volume also contains three shorter stories: House of Flowers about a Haitian girl who leaves the big city, turning down a rich man to marry a poor mountain boy; A Diamond Guitar about two felons whose intimate yet platonic relationship is spoilt in an escape attempt; and A Christmas Memory, about a period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and best friend. Of these three stories, the last is the one that stands out the most in its simple descriptions of country life and friendship along with its autobiographical elements. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
It took me a while to read this delightfully written story. Not because it was hard-going, anything but. Not a plot heavy novel, more a beautiful character study of the enigmatic and lost Holly Golightly, who we all want to find the happiness she craves but will never because of the flaws in her character. Truman Capote's style reminded me somewhat of Raymond Chandler with its punchy pros and lively dialogue. Better than the film, in my opinion, with a completely different and poignant ending. ( )
  Stuart_Taylor | May 19, 2014 |
I had no idea that Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote was going to be so easy to read and enjoyable, but I guess I should have known! The movie is fantastic, so of course the book is better.

This novella follows Holly Golightly, a gorgeous, troubled, captivating, flighty woman who yearns for beauty, success, and to find herself. She throws parties, dates many men, and has a few secrets. For instance, Holly Golightly visits a mafia boss in jail on a weekly basis and passes on the “weather report.”

If you are in need of a short, light classic to read, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a great one to pick up. It’s witty, charming, and you might not be able to stop yourself from falling in love with Holly Golightly.

For the full review, visit Love at First Book ( )
  LoveAtFirstBook | Apr 2, 2014 |
I'm sure this was really risque back when it was first published. It might still be risque to some groups today. Though to many people now a flighty, promiscuous girl wouldn't be that big of a deal. Still it's very enjoyable. Of the 3 short stories the first seemed to end abruptly and the second was kind of blah. It was the third, A Christmas Memory, that really blew me away. The relationship between the young boy ("Buddy") and the child-like elderly woman who's his cousin is so well-done and heartbreaking.

That is all. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
There are lots of reviews of this novel, so I just wanted to pick out a few favourite passages:
When Holly talks about dealing with the 'mean reds' worse than the blues):
'What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.'
I took Capote to be saying that cat and Holly were the same; they both came from the alley and were looking for somewhere to call home. She abandoned cat but he found that safe place and I like to think Holly did too.
'I told you. We just met by the river one day: that's all. Independents, both of us. We never made each other any promises. We never -' When she can't find cat, she says 'I'm very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on for ever. Not knowing what's yours until you've thrown it away. The mean reds, they're nothing. The fat woman, she nothing. This though: my mouth's so dry, if my life depended on it I couldn't spit'.
There are so many pictures I will remember from this novel, for such a short novel he has packed in so much.
In terms of feminism, Holly is not a character that stands up for her sisters, she is independent in that, although she shows compassion, everything she does is for herself. Holly is flighty and has a travelling spirit, always searching for her identity. This gives her an endearing charm.
Although she lives alone, she is dependent on white upper class men and so cannot be classed as an independent woman, in the way we would mean that today. ( )
1 vote Tifi | Sep 15, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Truman Capoteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blixen, KarenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Folch i Camarasa, RamonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golüke, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammar, BirgittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo, EnriqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peterson, MarieForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jack Dunphy
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I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.
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Book description
The story follows a young writer and his memory of an eccentric, charming call girl named Holly Golightly in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067960085X, Hardcover)

Contains:

Breakfast at Tiffany's
House of Flowers
A Diamond Guitar
A Christmas Memory

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar, and A Christmas Memory are included with the tale of a fun-loving amoral playgirl in New York City.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182792, 0141037261, 0241951453

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