Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Right, so here's the deal: My blog's been on the long 2-month or so hiatus, I may have lost some followers and I failed to keep up with the giveaways I was hosting (this is being fixed). But now I'm back. Like, Mariah Carey back. My incredible humor aside, I am happy to be back at something that is so fulfilling. I knew this to be true after my last post - and all the lovely, heartfelt comments by my fellow bloggers. You guys are my friends, although I don't know you. I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

Now, on to the review. I finally read Breakfast at Tiffany's, a book that is as iconic as the movie that was based on it. It's a story about a young writer reminiscing of the year he moved to New York and met Holly Golightly, a girl who would change his life. This is in fact a novella - it could easily be read in one sitting (though I savored each and every word, so it took me a bit more) and it is incredibly easy to digest. However, the things that are kept under its witty exterior are far more interesting than the plot itself.

Holly Golightly, the object of our narrator's affection, can be easily described as a gold-digger. Yet, she is also innocent and naive and sweet. She is a mystery, we are not certain about her past and much less about her future. However, she is the ideal of change and of the American Dream. Making your dreams come true, no matter how much you have to suffer for them, is the driving force behind this character. And since her dreams are as far-fetched as having breakfast at Tiffany's, the plights are never-ending.

I actually preferred Breakfast in its paper form, as opposed to the movie. There is no romance in the book (in fact, the nameless character of the narrator is implicitly gay), yet the relationship between him and Miss Golightly is far more believable. Also, the plot is not burdened with the romantic context, therefore it's much more real and to the point.

I guess I'm not completely smitten with this book. While it was generally pleasant and inspiring, I thought it lacked a final punch, sort of like a firm conclusion to the story. Nevertheless, it's a contemporary classic that is a joy to experience.



Amanda said...

Hi! *waves* Welcome back!! :)

I'm terrified of this book. Actually, I'm terrified of Truman Capote. I think it's because he wrote In Cold Blood, which I will never, ever read.

Nikola said...

Hey Amanda, don't be! In all honesty, I'm not a big expert on Capote (I haven't even seen the Bennett Miller film), but I thought that "Breakfast" was pretty harmless, if interesting. I recommend it - I think you'll like it. :)

Jenny said...

I've never read the book or seen the movie! But I want to! Even though it's just okay, it's a classic!

Ladybug said...

Nice review, Nikola. I read this book last year and I quite liked it. I cannot say that I ever thought of the narrator as gay but perhaps I do not remember the book all that well? When I'm thinking of the book now I thought I had the impression that he was in love with miss Holly.

I've seen the Bennett Miller film and I quite liked it actaully, but I do not think that being afraid of Capote because of Cold Blood should stop a person from reading Breakfast at Tiffany's. One cannot put those two novels up against each other.

Great to have you back :)

Wall-to-wall books said...

You didn't loose me, babe!
Mariah Carey scares me! Isn't she preggers or is that J-Lo? I get them confused.

Welcome back! Missed you to pieces!
I have separated my blog into two blogs, one of them being a book blog. So you'll have to come check it out. I am having minor tech difficulties with the followers button though.

Oh, by the way, Fab review! I would love to read this book! Loved the movie and love Audrey Hepburn!

Nikola said...

@Jenny Exactly, that's what I thought. And it's not a boring classic! :)

@LadyBug Hey! Well, it is *implied*, since the narrator is the only man *not* to be in love with Holly (in my opinion, at least). Their love is strictly platonic. I think the attraction is that they are two extremes - she cannot be tamed and he cannot be stirred from his melancholy. So, in a way, they feed off of each other (and ultimately transfer a bit of their respective characteristics onto each other).

@Wendy Hey, I hate Mariah too! Congrats on doing that whole blog thing! I HATE doing techy stuff around my blog. :) Anyways, yeah, I love Audrey as well, though I thought the movie was lacking. Anyways, the book is short and a quick read, so it's a great choice for like a readathon or something. :)

Nina said...

Hi, glad to see that you are back. Still a follower, so you haven't lost me. :) Great review. I still need to read this book too. Planning to do it very soon, okay, maybe next year! ;)

Anonymous said...

I love the movie and finally read the novella last year, I was surprised at how different they were. I'm not surprised that Capote hated the Audrey casting. She said herself that she was miscast in it.
Very different, but I lovedthem both.

Nikola said...

@Nina Hey, thanks for being my follower :) You can't go wrong with this one - I'm sure everyone must enjoy it at some level! :D

@stacy Yup, I was surprised by the differences as well. And although I love Audrey, I do believe she's a bit too sweet for the role. :)

Thanks for reading everybody!

Trae said...

Welcome back!

Ryan G said...

It's nice to have you back :-)

I'm probably the odd gay guy that hasn't seen the movie and haven't really though of watching it. Same goes for the book.

Your review has at least made me curious to read it though.

Trisha said...

Welcome back! I must say that while I love the movie, it has never crossed my mind to read the book. Something which I will immediately rectify. :) Well, immediately as in whenever my 200+ TBR piles diminishes.

Anonymous said...

'Breakfast At Tiffany's' was one of those books that surprised me. The movie version was too light and humorous. Now I see that there is a darkness to the narrative, I feel torn between the two versions.

But like you I savoured ver word. Have you read 'Summer Crossing'? It was discovered quite recently and was published a couple of years ago. It's supposed to be Capote's first novel. I highly recommend it.

Jenny Girl said...

Welcome back Pumpkin!
Don't slap me but I also have never read this or seen the movie. always wanted to, just never got around to it. Capote is amazing too. I guess I'll put it on the list for next year.