I’ve known for some time that the beloved story Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was written by the eccentric, genius Truman Capote. This random kernel of knowledge has come in handy here and there during a competitive round of Jeopardy or the odd trivia night, but the only book of Capote’s I had actually read was his famed In Cold Blood. I hated the nonfiction novel and after wasting a good many hours, I gave up halfway. Since then, I felt discouraged to take the time to read another of his novels and considered he may be all hype – or that his work just didn’t translate well to today. But after reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I recognize that I was – to put it simply – very wrong!
I lugged a hard copy of the book along with me on our recent vacation to the Côte d’Azur, hoping that the extra weight in my luggage was not in vain. As I lazed around the pool, I told myself to put down my romance novel and just give it a shot. It had a skinny spine, and I liked the movie well enough, so I was sure the book would hold me over at least until my next swim.
I ended up picking it up and not putting it down until I read through each delicious page – ignoring the hot and clammy feel of a few hours in the Riviera heat.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a quick read, a novella actually, and so detailed that I am sure Capote knew his “Holly Golightly” personally. (Much like the plot of the story, I did find an article where he claimed to have lived above a woman who inspired the character). I’ve seen the movie a few times, and though I was never a Hepburn-poster-on-my-dorm-room-wall kind of gal, I could see the romantic appeal of this quirky, country girl turned “American geisha” (as Truman called Golightly in interviews).
What’s so interesting is that the film became an iconic love story, while the book ends exactly the opposite of the film – romantic only for its longing and unrequited love. I wont go into further detail than that, for those who have not read it, but I would not shy away from calling Breakfast at Tiffany’s a masterpiece: beautifully written, with enchanting characters, and, I think, true to human nature. Golightly was a fiercely determined and dynamic woman, which makes her being authored by a man in the 1950’s all the more fascinating and unexpected. Perhaps that’s why it makes such a perfect trivia question!
And I’ll leave you with a bit of advice from Holly, in case you need it: “Never love a wild thing…If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”
Have you read Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Are you currently reading any great books? Share with me in the comments below! And if you want to see something funny, check out this YouTuber’s hilarious video: Breakfast at Tiffany’s Explained For Millennials!