Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Cover - Breakfast at Tiffany's

 

The way his plump hand clutched at her hip seemed somehow improper; not morally, aesthetically.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote the narrator recalls his story of Holly Golightly after hearing news that she has been sighted in a tiny village in Africa after vanishing to Brazil two years ago.

The narrator is a writer who moved into Holly’s building just before her 18th birthday. Holly had run away at 14, first to California and then landing in New York. She’s flighty, detached and 98% facade. She sees people merely as opportunities waiting to be exploited, only rarely committing acts of an unselfish nature. At times a broken, fragile, naive Holly appears, although these small glimpses of vulnerability may be carefully calculated artifice as well. At least for the most part. But none of this seems to matter as she winds up leaving every guy she meets completely intrigued and enthralled, even the ones who openly out her as being a phony and a fake.

In one sense I identified with Holly, always searching for that place that makes her feel like she’s at Tiffany’s. On the other hand Holly is a person I’d never want to hang out with. I could tolerate the fakeness, but I wouldn’t want to have to worry that she’d spread rumors that I had the clap when I left to go to the bathroom or have to worry about her stealing my boyfriend! She’s not a very nice person, and she has no genuine friends. Even the author who had such a nice time with her seems to have totally forgotten her after only two years.

Escorts, prostitutes, STDs, and openly talking about gays and ‘dykes’? This must have been a bit of a shocking story for the time! Having seen the movie version, my jaw dropped when I heard that Holly Golightly was supposedly a prostitute. Now, I did see it when I was fairly young and they glossed over that part in the movie, so I have my excuses for not realizing. But what really astounded me is when I found out it was written by Truman Capote. I had previously read In Cold Blood, which I thought was the only thing he was famous for. What a drastic difference between the two stories! I liked Breakfast at Tiffany’s much better! It was a quick read, it was fun and it’s always nice to read something validating my choice to leave New York and that city of phonies behind!

 He was a middle-aged child that had never shed its baby fat, though some gifted tailor had almost succeeded in camouflaging his plump and spankable bottom.

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