Extra Books – April 1 to 7

  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by  Sam Wasson
    • Published: 2010
    • Genre: Non-fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Interested in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • I read the book Breakfast at Tiffany’s almost a year ago and enjoyed it (click here for my thoughts) but astonishingly I have yet to see the movie. Some day soon, I hope! I’ve never really been interested in older films, but that Audrey Hepburn…I want to see some of her movies, haha.
      • The tone of this book was interesting – I was expecting more of a journalist’s POV, reporting on the movie, but it was more like a novelized article, if that makes any sense. I think the tone is maybe part of the reason why the book felt so quick-paced and how I was able to read it in a day.
      • Obviously, a major part of the tone stemmed from the point of view. I thought it was really neat how he wrote from the ‘characters’ (i.e. the actors, designers, Capote, director, etc.) POV. He provides an awesome list of sources (awesome to me at least, a fan of all things meta :P) that explains how he chose the views he wrote from. An example:
        •  “Audrey was worried. They all said she could do it, that playing Holly would be a challenge, but that like everything else, it would come naturally to her. Naturally, they said naturally. In Roman Holiday, they said she was so lovely and natural, and then gave her the Academy Award. But that wasn’t acting, not like the Patricia Neal kind that made you really think and really feel. Now there, she believed, was a real actress. Pat could play anything, but Audrey, sitting in a yellow cab, waiting for Blake Edwards to call action, just had intuition. Intuition and luck.” 
        • Sourced from interviews conducted with Patricia Neal, other journalists who documented Audrey’s worry, etc.
      • The prose was really easy to read. It was elegant and engaging, I particularly liked how Wasson incorporated this quote from Capote: “If each of his swans, as Truman would write, was an artist ‘whose sole creation was her perishable self,’ then surely babe was a masterpiece.” 
      • This passage also gives you an example of what the writing style is like:
        •  “So what happens when the tables are turned and the woman wears black? In the nineteenth century, when women would often stay in all black for years after their husbands’ deaths, it was a surefire sign of widowhood. To the men passing by, it signified the wearer’s knowledge of sex. it meant experience. No wonder the flappers of the 1920s were so drawn to it.” (pg 127-128)
      • Recommended for fans of the book or the movie, or both, and of course fans of Hepburn 🙂