Title: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Truman Capote
On the Shelves: Fiction> Classics
It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction. (Goodreads 2014)
Why is it, whenever something is rated “one of the greatest treasures in American literature” that I seem to automatically dislike it somehow? It happened with Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, and now this.
I picked up this book for two reasons. Number one: I am a fan of Audrey Hepburn, but never liked Breakfast at Tiffanys. I never understood why everybody seemed to be so obsessed with this film, out of all of her other movies, when her character was basically a selfish, immature child playing dress up as an adult. I also picked this up because I’d never read any of Capote’s work previously, so I figured this would be a good way to see if the book was any improvement over the film, and if I like Capote’s writing.
Unfortunately, this did not happen. The book, while it did have one or two turns of phrase I enjoyed, was just as frustrating as the movie, or rather the movie was just as frustrating as the book if you want to go chronologically. Holly Golightly, I have gathered, is basically the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I truly don’t understand how all these men are supposed charmed and in love with her constantly, because she just comes across as a selfish, immature, vain cow who doesn’t care for anyone but herself. As I read this book, my frustration in regards to her and her treatment of other people around her, grew and grew, which made me want to put down the book, despite it only being 100 pages long. This is more a novella than an actual “novel” and it still wasn’t short enough, in my opinion. By about 10 pages in, I was already sick of the amount of ridiculously obvious metaphors Capote used about birds and cages, in which we are supposed to subtly realise that, gasp, Holly Golightly is a strong independent woman who can’t be tamed and doesn’t give a flying f*** about anything at all.
I feel the Chandler Bing picture is appropriate here once again.
The amount of times Golightly sighed “never put a wild thing in a cage” or “he doesn’t belong to me. He doesn’t belong to anyone”, and “never love a wild thing” etc etc, I was rolling my eyes. It’s pretty bad when you use your character’s pet as a metaphor for the actual character’s situation, my god.
I do intend to read more of Capote’s work to see whether it’s just this one story of his I dislike…but yeah, not very impressed on this one.
**Quick Side Note, I have set up a new TUMBLR for this book blog to act as a companion for it! Links, pretty pictures of books, it will all be here at thebookheap.tumblr.com!