Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Narrator: Michael C. Hall
Length: 2 hours 52 minutes
I read this story for the first time just after I saw the movie for the first time. I haven’t watched the movie since. It was a good movie but my teenage brain was let down by it once I read the story. I still feel that way. If you’ve only ever seen the movie you should take the time to at least listen to the audiobook. They are not the same.
This story follows an unnamed narrator as he observes and befriends fellow tenant Holly Golightly. He, of course, is instantly in love. Holly however knows better than to fall in love with him. She is still searching for who she is and where she belongs in the world.
Truman Capote’s words are flawless. People may not all agree about his subject matter or story construction but no one can find fault in the words he used to get there. His words are perfect. They create the characters. His ability to chisel into existence a character that you would believe is walking around somewhere is unmatched. After two hours of listening to our unnamed narrator recount his time as someone who cared deeply for Holly, I felt his pain, his loss, his helplessness. I don’t think it was just Michael C. Hall’s brilliant narration. I think it has to do with Truman Capote’s genius. I realized that I missed some of that the first time around. I knew it was good but I didn’t know how good.
I understand this story more now than when I was a teenager. Things make sense now. I understand how profoundly sad these characters are. I feel for Holly in a way that I didn’t before. Holly was an obnoxious socialite to me as a teen. Now I see her for what she was; lost. She was completely and totally lost and terrified, drifting with no land in sight. She is a survivor and I can respect that now. I felt sympathy for our narrator where before I just thought he was a chump who got what he deserved. I do however still feel bad for the cat because he spent a week in an ally.
I recently watched Capote on Netflix. It’s an excellent movie and you get to spend two hours (which feels like three minutes) watching the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman be amazing. I promise that it’s not a dry period piece. It was very entertaining. I have no idea how accurate it was but I was captivated.
So the next time you’re looking for a novella remember Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s one of those stories that is so big you will find something new in it every time you read it.
Background image: Swirl 2 by Jkehn from freeimages.com