Audiobook Review – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Title: Breakfast at Tiffany’sAudiobook Review
Author: Truman Capote
Narrator: Michael C. Hall
ISBN: B00HX17M3M
Audiobook Length: 2 hours, 52 minutes
Genre: Fiction
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 1 November 1958
Bottom Line: Much darker than I expected, which I really liked

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteSynopsis:

“Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote’s provocative, naturalistic masterstroke about a young writer’s charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the “American geisha” Holly Golightly. Holly – a World War II-era society girl in her late teens – survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist, who eventually gets tossed away as her deepening character emerges.”

Thoughts:   For the most part, Breakfast at Tiffany’s the movie stays fairly true to the novella. Those areas in which the movie and the novella differ, however, change the entire flavor of the story. Readers who are only familiar with the movie may experience shock at how jaded and how very young Holly is. More importantly, they will not expect the darker feel of the story, the seediness of Holly’s relationships and the amount of manipulation she exhibits.

Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly is not the fresh-faced, harmless ingenue Audrey Hepburn created. Rather, his vision is a very clearly defined Marilyn Monroe lookalike who is all about sex and titillation. Of most importance is the fact that she is young, still several years shy of her 20s, but there is an air of hard experience that is disheartening to see. As she reveals her background to her unnamed neighbor, one realizes that the true tragedy of her life, the one that created the woman she is right now, lies in those unspoken memories she will never discuss. For all her lightness and ability to live in the moment, there is very much an aspect about her of a frightened deer, one who is always on the verge of running away to a safe spot.

Michael C. Hall does an excellent job narrating. As the unnamed neighbor, he comes across as a remote observer who is desperately trying to hide his fascination with Miss Golightly. Mr. Hall attempts to use different voices for the various characters but never lets them interfere with his main job as the unnamed neighbor/narrator. Rather, he ensures listeners understand that the neighbor’s studied indifference to Holly’s past is nothing but a front. His performance is dispassionate and collected, making the casualness with which he describes certain events that much more effective in showcasing just how much the neighbor admired and adored Holly.

The language is the true star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Mr. Capote’s phrasing is superb, and those readers who like to take notes or jot down powerful phrases and sentences will have plenty of note-taking fodder. Mr. Capote’s observations about life, as filtered through Holly, are simply outstanding. He astutely tells readers how it is but does so without being overly saccharine or bitter.

While the movie version is beloved and acclaimed for a reason, one cannot help but feel the movie does Mr. Capote’s original story a disservice. By removing Holly’s harsher edges and glamorizing her lifestyle, the movie misses the point. While Audrey Hepburn captured Holly’s yearning for a better life, the movie is too much like a fairy tale, whereas the novella is much harsher in its depiction of life’s consequences. Some readers will not like the original, deeming it too dark and depressing. Others will adore the realism of the story and Holly’s very fragile sense of happiness and contentment. All readers will understand why critics consider Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mr. Capote’s masterpiece because he packs a powerful punch into a very short work of fiction.

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Book Review – The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander

The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander

m4s0n501 Title: The Secrets of Life and Death Author: Rebecca Alexander ISBN: 978-0-8041-4068-3 No. of Pages: 384 Genre: Science Fiction Origins: Broadway Books Release Date: 7 October 2014 Bottom Line: Eh. Just okay. Synopsis: “In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young…

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Book Review – Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Title: Horrorstör Author: Grady Hendrix ISBN: 978-1-59474-526-3 No. of Pages: 256 Genre: Horror Origins: Quirk Books Release Date: 23 September 2014 Bottom Line: You’ll never think of big box shopping the same way again! Synopsis: “Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring…

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It’s Monday, November 17th! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Currently Reading: Currently Listening: Up Next:    What are you reading?

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The Sunday Salon – November 16th Edition

The Sunday Salon

Brrrrr….I go away to Mexico for a business trip and come home to freezing temperatures and snow. I was fine with the freezing temperatures. I am not so fine with the snow. It was beautiful watching it fall, but having to drive in it this morning was a very rude awakening. It doesn’t seem that…

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Book Review – Lives in Ruin by Marilyn Johnson

Lives in Ruin by Marilyn Johnson

Title: Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble Author: Marilyn Johnson ISBN: 9780062127181 No. of Pages: 288 Genre: Nonfiction Origins: Harper Books Release Date: 11 November 2014 Bottom Line: Truly excellent Synopsis: “Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenon—the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance…

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Book Review – Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy

Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy

Title: Citizens Creek Author: Lalita Tademy ISBN: 9781476753034 No. of Pages: 432 Genre: Historical Fiction Origins: Atria Publishing Release Date: 4 November 2014 Bottom Line: Fascinating piece of history Synopsis: “Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the…

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It’s Monday, November 10th! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Finished Last Week: Did Not Finish: I used to love the Jack Ryan series when I was younger. There was something about how…

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Book Review – Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Title: Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) Author: Gail Carriger ISBN: 9780316190275 No. of Pages: 304 Genre: Young Adult; Science Fiction Origins: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release Date: 4 November 2014 Bottom Line: I adore this series and think it keeps getting stronger. Synopsis: “Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in…

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Book Review – True Fire by Gary Meehan

True Fire by Gary Meehan

Title: True Fire Author: Gary Meehan ISBN: 9781623658311 No. of Pages: 400 Genre: Thriller Origins: Quercus Books Release Date: 4 November 2014 Bottom Line: Quirky, intense, and difficult to categorize Synopsis: “Her sister stolen. Her grandfather murdered. Her home burned to the ground. At just 16, her life destroyed. Now, Megan wants revenge. But the…

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