New York 1940s. Playgirl Holly Golightly captures the heart of everybody that passes her path. Our narrator, Fred — as she calls him, is a shy wannabe writer. Neighbours at first, they start to develop a unique relationship.
Holly is all charm — the type that men want but can’t have, free as a bird. Along the story I could feel Fred, there’s a want and need to get closer to her, but never could. Breakfast at Tiffany’s IS Holly. We get a glimpse of her captivating life and adorable personality, but couldn’t get more. There’s a sense of loss when she’s distanced.
The thin ice that she and Fred play on was interesting — friendship though not without a doze of attraction and jealousy, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it romantic like the back cover states.
“Perhaps, like most of us in a foreign country, he was incapable of placing people, selecting a frame for their picture, as he would at home; therefore all Americans had to be judged in a pretty equal light, and on this basis his companions appeared to be tolerable examples of local colour and national character.” ~ Fred on a foreigner, p54
Truman Capote could be my next favorite author, though for me it’s mainly for the next three short stories that come with the book I was reading. For the first time in the longest time, I actually enjoyed short stories.
House of Flowers
Ottilie is the favorite girl of the bar she’s working at, until one day a young man captures her heart. They get married in two days and she moves to his house. Unfortunately he has an evil mother who bothers her to no end. I thought the story as a whole was a bit odd, because it’s 3/4 love story and 1/4 creepy story, complete with witchcraft. Pretty good short story for the RIP Challenge.
A Diamon Guitar
The theme is freakishly similar with the movie Shawshank Redemption which I just watched in the same week: story of two inmates. Mr Schaeffer is an old resident of the prison to where Tico Feo is sent to. They grow to become close friends. Some days Tico Feo starts to put some ideas to Mr Schaeffer that escaping to freedom is better than to merely accept their life in prison.
A Christmas Memory
This is my favorite short story of the lot! A Christmas Memory tells a gentle relationship between a 7 year-old boy and a 60ish woman. Bound by circumstances, they live together and take much joy in each other’s company, baking fruitcakes and gathering flowers and herbs.
Please, somebody make animated short out of this story! I could picture it in my head so much it’s not funny. If I didn’t read the book at a public bus stop, I would cry a few tears over this odd couple.
IT’S SO GOOD! SO GOOD! To add to my gush, this story is autobiographical. I never imagined I would ever find a 5 STARS SHORT STORY!
I read that A Christmas Memory has also been made into a short movie (non-cartoon), which I might check out later. But I’m worried that it might ruin my perfect experience of this cute little story. Anyhoo, let me disrupt this review a bit by showing you a short by Disney/Pixar of The Little Match Girl. I imagine something with this style would be a perfect medium to adapt the story.
Overall rating for the book:
1958, 157 pp
I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods.
African hut or whatever, I hope Holly has, too.
Also reviewed by
Reading and Ruminations | Shelf Love | Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker | Life is a Patchwork Quilt | In Spring it is the Dawn | book-a-rama | Reading Matters | The Bluestocking Society | Ready When You Are, C.B. | Ticket to Anywhere | Orpheus Sings the Guitar Electric | 5 Minutes for Books | Nonsuch Book | casual dread | Books for Breakfast | The Magic Lasso | katrina’s reads
Did I miss yours?
The Guardian Digested Classics of Breakfast at Tiffany’s (not recommended. Go read the book!)
The book and the movie is different in a good way. I’d say each has its own merits. But this is one of those rare cases where I think the movie adaption could actually surpass the book, even though the relationship between the main characters and the ending were changed! I loved Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Gorgeous, captivating, vulnerable. She was perfect. Unlike the book, yes, you can call the movie romantic.
Apart from the changes I mentioned above, “Fred” is portrayed as someone who accepts money for companionship (did I just say gigolo in a very nice way?), which I found oddly forced to balance Holly. Talking about accepting money for companionship, some people blatantly label Holly as prostitute. I refuse to label her that. She’s a much more complex character, both in personality and in ‘profession’, which is what makes her so iconic and memorable.
Below is the trailer to the movie. Beware that there are some spoilers in it. (Why people put spoilers in trailer I would never understand.)
I loved Audrey Hepburn! Did I say I loved her? I really want to watch her other movies now! Do you have any to recommend?
1961, 115 min
Have you read Capote before? What do you think of his works?
Have you watched the movie? Which one did you like more?