Truman Capote – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Author: Truman Capote

Title:  Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Published: 1958
Publisher: Random House
Length: 111 pages (plus three short stories)
Genre: Literature
Target age: Adult (suitable for teen and up)
Why I picked it up: On my TBR list
Rating: 3.5 stars
Challenges: 2011 TBR Pile | 100+
Buy: Chapters | Barnes and Noble | Check your local bookstore!

I am happy to report that this book exceeded my expectations! I must admit, I was expecting a duller read as I tend to do with books published before the sixties or so. I read older books generally for the prose and because I feel like it’s my duty to, so when I come across a book with a solidly good story or characters, such as this one, I always feel pleasantly surprised. 
The vibe I got from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is very similar to the one I get when reading a John Green novel. I feel like Holly Golightly is the Margo Roth Spiegelman of the fifties. I love that, I love the idea that there were people writing about girls like these ages ago, that they’ve ‘always existed’. In this way, the story felt very modern and relatable for me and that was something I wasn’t expecting. The plot also felt very fresh and intriguing. I was actually invested in the story, I wanted to know what happened next and was often surprised by what did. Essentially, this story has a solid character that appeals to me and a solid plot that kept me interested.
Similar again to John’s style, there were a few lines that instantly stood out to me. All were spoken by Holly, in that casual or not revelatory way characters like her speak occasionally. This made me laugh out loud, mainly because my thoughts immediately preceding this excerpt were ‘Is his story about lesbians?’:
 “Is that the end?” she asked, waking up. She floundered for something more to say. ‘Of course I like dykes themselves. They don’t scare me a bit. But stories about dykes bore the bejesus out of me. I just can’t put myself in their shoes. Well really, darling,” she said, because I was clearly puzzled, “if it’s not about a couple of old bull-dykes, what the hell is it about?”
And another quote (I’m paraphrasing and condensing it a bit here) that made me pause and think.
 “…If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky… Believe me, dearest Doc – it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.”
This next quote is from very near the end of the book and while it isn’t really a spoiler, it does sum up the ‘theme’ or purpose of the story you might want to skip reading it.
 “But what about me?” she said, whispered and shivered again. “I’m very scared, buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. 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.”
I love that quote, it seems very fitting for my life at the morning…I love it when a story comes along and it turns out to be just the sort of thing you need.
I may not be explaining why I like this book properly since I’m basically just comparing it to John Green. But John Green is what I love and know and so to make note of this story in that way makes sense to me. If you’re not a fan of books from this era, I’d recommend you give this a shot. After all, it’s technically a novella and not a too difficult read ;P