I love the movie, love the style, love the actress, love love love everything about Breakfast at Tiffany’s – but still I had never read the original namesake novel. I knew the story of Holly Golightly, or at least I thought I did, but after reading this novel I realized there was so much more to the story.
‘… the mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is.’
Everyone knows a girl like Holly. A girl who walks into a room and lights it up with her mere presence. A girl who has no real reason or validation to be so confident and assured, yet is the strongest woman in any group. She is coarse, she is uneducated, she curses like a sailor, her profession is not one most women chose for themselves – yet she is insanely likeable and enviable. And this is due entirely to how Capote portrays his heroine.
Capote’s writing reads like a poem and flows over and through you. He is honest, open, unyielding, and unpretentious. Capote allows dear Holly to exclaim:
‘… the army of wrongness rampant in the world might as well march over me.’
And you feel for her. You feel sorry for this lost and unconventional girl. Then at the next moment Holly will spurt out:
‘… my yardstick is how somebody treats me … and to be honest, that isn’t all. Certain shades of limelight wreck a girl’s complexion.’
And you realize that Holly isn’t always helpless but at times extremely street smart, innately intelligent and just plain lovable.
Critics and biographers believe that Holly was modeled after a person Capote was acquainted with, and that the male character was a portrait of himself. After reading this short novelette I wholeheartedly agree. The author loves Holly’s character. He speaks of her as he would a soulmate. He loved her through her faults and saw straight through to the loveliness of her soul.
I could honestly sit here and retype most of the book into quote form. It looks like my yellow highlighter exploded all over, but instead I will leave you with this one last sentiment …
‘I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and my things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like. It’s like Tiffany’s …’
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is a eautiful, satisfying, emotional and heartfully written – B@T is a Wonderpug must read. And I have a feeling any story a la Truman may be the same.