Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Classics Club: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Truman Capote

I first read "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in high school, after I saw and fell in love with the movie.  I found the novella a sad disappointment, as it wasn't like the movie, so promptly pushed it out of my mind.

As an adult, I wasn't so impressed with the movie--the horrible portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi in particular and pretty much everything else in general--so I began to think maybe I needed to reread the novella and see what Capote really intended.

I'll confess, I'm just as unimpressed as I was some twenty years ago, though not for the same reasons.

Louise Brooks

Frankly, very little.

I did think that Holly looked (not at all like Audrey Hepburn, but) like a blonde Louise Brooks, with even fuller lips.  The description of her resembled Hepburn in no way whatsoever; I can't imagine why she was cast.  Having set it in the present day when they filmed it, the clothing and manners were all wrong in the movie as well; I was glad that I had the knowledge to be able to imagine the right clothing, hair styles and props that were suitable for the story.

I also thought what an unappealing character Holly was.  I had no sympathy for or connection with her at all, nor did I find the plot particularly interesting.

Capote's prose was fine, but not stellar, certainly not captivating enough to make this (to my mind) a classic.

With the exception of the final line, which generated a small bit of emotion due to Capote's obvious attempts to twang the heartstrings, I was unmoved.  Again, I'll say that neither plot nor characters interested me enough to have any feelings for them.

I'm sure Capote had a message or an impression he wanted left with the reader, but I was unable to find it.  I was not a good match for this book.  

To show just how unmemorable "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was to me, I will mention that I forgot it even existed in my literary world.  It was on my list for the Classics Club Spin, and it's number was the one that was spun.  I read it in mid-to-late September, but was so unmoved by it that I didn't add it to my list of books read and didn't think of writing up the notes until now.

My explanation of the Classics Club can be found here
and the Classics Club itself can be found here.

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