Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote

“Never love a wild thing…If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”

This is the first book I have read by Capote, so where better to start than with Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

I saw the film  of this last summer and really enjoyed it, so I was hoping that the book would be the same. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find that this book also includes three other short stories, written by Capote.

As Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a novella this meant that it was nice and quick to read. Yet, even so, I still found this a very quick-paced story – aided because there are no chapters, so it flows all the way through. I found this was very effective in capturing the energy and whirlwind lifestyle of ‘Holly Golightly’, the main character.

This novella is the story of Holiday (Holly) Golightly, a glamorous adventurous young woman who has come to live in New York. It is told by a young, and unnamed, male narrator, who befriends Holly and becomes caught up in her quirky, naive lifestyle. I really liked the use of the narrator to present the story, especially how it is told through flashbacks and small interjections from his older self. It made it far more engaging, and helped present Holly’s personal qualities far more obviously. However, by being told using flashbacks it meant that I didn’t always understand what was going on; it skips from one moment to another so quickly. But I don’t know whether I was more confused because I had seen the movie before reading the book…?

What I particularly liked though was the ending. It doesn’t bring about an absolute conclusion, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The novella is just a glance at both Holly and the narrator’s life, so a massive conclusion doesn’t seem so important. The simplicity of the ending – and how contrasting it is to the rest of the energy of the novella – made me like it even more.

The other short stories in my copy were House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar and Christmas Memory. These were all very different stories with different writing styles, plot and characters but I found them all very enjoyable.

This book was a welcome read, but I know my views on it will be controversial… Because I prefer the movie. ( I didn’t think I would EVER say that about ANY book!) I think this may be because I saw the movie first, and I really like Audrey Hepburn – she’s a beautiful positive female role model. That being said, I still did really like this book.

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