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Breakfast at Tiffany's [Paperback]

Truman Capote
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

27 April 2000

Immortalised by Audrey Hepburn's sparkling performance in the 1961 film of the same name, Breakfast at Tiffany's is Truman Capote's timeless portrait of tragicomic cultural icon Holly Golightly, published in Penguin Modern 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, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes sideways and once in a while - down. Pursued by to Salvatore 'Sally' Tomato, the Mafia sugar-daddy doing life in Sing Sing and 'Rusty' Trawler, the blue-chinned, cuff-shooting millionaire man about women about town, 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 deparment', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

This edition also contains three stories: 'House of Flowers', 'A Diamond Guitar' and 'A Christmas Memory'.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's, you might like Capote's In Cold Blood, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'One of the twentieth century's most gorgeously romantic fictions'

Daily Telegraph

'The most perfect writer of my generation ... I would not have changed two words of Breakfast at Tiffany's'

Norman Mailer

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Breakfast at Tiffany's + In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141182792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141182797
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Truman Capote is the most perfect writer of my generation. He writes the best sentences word for word, rhythm upon rhythm. --Norman Mailer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films. He died in California in 1984.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth missing breakfast, lunch AND dinner for 30 Dec 2003
Although it is the title tale this book is most frequently remembered for, the accompanying short stories should not be overlooked: With a dash of humour and a sprinkling of warmth, this magnificent compilation of four stories was truly a pleasure to read. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, following the mysterious aspiring young actress Holly Golightly, had me hooked from the first few pages not only due to the secrecy regarding her past, but also the way in which there is little or no information offered about the narrator. The reader, experiencing Miss Golightly’s company through the eyes of the storyteller, is unaware of even the simplest facts about the narrator’s own life (to such an extent that we never even learn his name). Such is his obsession with his new friend, that it is as if his own existence becomes unimportant. I believe it is this unusual method of storytelling that is largely responsible for the book’s success.
Another aspect of Truman Capote’s writing I greatly appreciated was his sensitivity and attention to detail: “We giggled, ran, sang along the paths toward the old wooden boathouse, now gone. Leaves floated on the lake; on the shore, a park-man was fanning a bonfire of them, and the smoke, rising like Indian signals, was the only smudge on the quivering air. I thought of the future, and spoke of the past.” It is the relationship between Holly and the narrator that stands out in my mind when remembering the story. Their friendship is touching, and the way in which the narrator longs for Holly is often heart-rending.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 9 April 2002
By A Customer
I was pleasantly surprised by this book - I vaguely remember seeing the film with Audrey Hepburn but could remember nothing about it at all. The book, however, made much more of an impression. It's an easy read and is entertaining and atmospheric. My guess is it'll stay with you longer than the film will. I thought it would be sugary sweet, a romantic comedy with a happy ending but the characters and relationships are more flawed and interesting than that. An interesting book. Worth a read.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Tales of Belonging 15 May 2004
The well-known short novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and three of Truman Capote's most famous short stories make for a continually fresh and exciting look at how human beings successfully connect with one another. No matter how many times you read these stories, you will be moved by Mr. Capote's marvelous sense of and appreciation for the specialness of each life and the ways we belong to each other. Having not read Breakfast at Tiffany's for about 30 years, I came away much more impressed with the novel than I was the last time I read it. Perhaps you will have the same reaction upon rereading it as well. If you are reading it for the first time, you have a very nice surprise ahead of you!
Breakfast at Tiffany's revolves around Holly Golightly, the former starlet and cafe society item, who floats lightly through life (like cotton fibers in the wind) looking for where she belongs. Ms. Golightly is and will remain one of the most original and intriguing characters in American fiction. Like a magician, she is both more and less than she seems. But she has an appreciation for people and animals that goes to the core of her soul that will touch you (if you are like me), especially in her desire that they and she be free.
The novel has a harder edge and is more revealing about human nature than the movie is. Of the two, I suggest you start with the novel and graduate to the movie. You will appreciate the portrayal by Audrey Hepburn of the inner Holly more that way. The same humor is in both the novel and the movie, as well as the innocent look at life for what it can be, believing in the potential of things to work out for the best.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frighteningly Good 11 Jun 2003
Four beautiful stories relating to innocents and the unfeeling worlds in which they find themselves engulfed, worlds playing to different rules and marching to very different beats. This truly is one of the best collections of short stories I have ever come across, better than anything I have read by Saki or Fitzgerald, both of whom I am fond. Never maudlin or contrived, Capote manages to generate a depth and breadth of emotion I have rarely ever felt, and often in fewer words than one might sensibly imagine possible. The highlights for me are The Diamond Guitar and A Christmas Memory, stories which leave you stunned by their brilliance and literally incapable of conscious thought, so much is there to absorb, for some long time after you've finished reading them. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Quark
Breakfast at Tiffany's takes its cue from Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Both are short, beautifully written New York novels in which semi-invisible narrators wrestle with more self-indulgent characters, who take centre stage - and with whom the narrators enjoy ambiguous, shifting relationships.

In fact, the narrator in Breakfast at Tiffany's is so invisible he doesn't even have a name - apart from those the central character, Holly Golightly, gives him. The novel is a hymn to Holly - the narrator desperately wants to understand her, just as Nick Carraway struggles to understand Gatsby. Ultimately, though, hero and narrator are too different, with the heroes in both novels behaving exactly as heroes do: bolder, more inventive and almost certainly less stable than their narrators. Also like Gatsby, Holly Golightly has a hell of a backstory, slowly revealed.

Capote's prose is not dissimilar to Scott Fitzgerald's: poetic, but perhaps a little simpler and with a lighter touch, including some wry humour. Attractively written, it's difficult not to be as spellbound as the narrator is by Holly - however maddening she is. A captivating character study with prose like champagne - classy, and with fizz.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting
Of course we all love the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's but it was fascinating to read the story since the character in the book is much more hard core than the sweet pure Holly... Read more
Published 3 months ago by 666albertastarr
5.0 out of 5 stars B.A.T Rocks!
Breakfast at Tiffiany's has to be the best story ever written it is just a pure classic from start to finish. The most quirkiest story every told - I love it!
Published 5 months ago by Ykhalifa82
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
One of very few books which I have found fall far short of their films. The book's characters are less realistic, less exciting and are far less effective at drawing you into the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by ron
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakfast at Heaven
Absolutely fabulous, Truman has done it again and produced one of the finest books of the 20th Century, quite possibly the perfect novel.
Published 16 months ago by jonathan cool
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief and happy interlude
I liked it. It's a short story, only about 100 pages long. Holly Golightly is a pretty, charming, very expensive prostitute. But she is no fool and she has her own code of ethics. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr. K. E. Varney
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky
Very quirky and enjoyable and easy to read, much better than the film in my opinion, a bit more edgy.
Published on 12 April 2012 by Ms. R. M. Apps
3.0 out of 5 stars What I thought of Breakfast at Tiffany's
I read this book over the half term, I feel It was well written but i dont think it is a book i would find myself reading again. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by Abi
3.0 out of 5 stars Great character, but where's the rest of the story?
I read this while waiting for another book to arrive, and although it filled a gap in my reading perfectly adequately, I wouldn't have wanted to read it with any higher... Read more
Published on 11 July 2011 by John Moseley
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't overlook the short stories
I bought this book for Breakfast at Tiffany's and was not disappointed. The film is great and so is the book - a decidedly rare occurrence. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by pr1
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, even if you've seen the film...
This is an excellent book and the short stories are also worth reading. I've seen the film but I think the book gives a deeper insight into what Capote was trying to represent in... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by SN
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