43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Worth missing breakfast, lunch AND dinner for,
This review is from: Breakfast at Tiffany's (Paperback)
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.
Of the other stories, ‘House of Flowers,’ (about a changing relationship) ‘A Diamond Guitar’ (following a group of prisoners) and ‘A Christmas Memory,’ it is the latter which stood out for me. The tale revolves around a seven-year old child and his elderly (distant) cousin. The innocence with which the story is narrated is particularly emotive, as although the two are years apart in terms of age, mentally they appear on a par: “We eat our supper (cold biscuits, bacon, blackberry jam) and discuss tomorrow. Tomorrow the kind of work I like best begins: buying. Cherries and citron, ginger and vanilla and canned Hawaiian pineapple… why, we’ll need a pony to pull the buggy home.” The two friends occupy themselves with the baking of a number of fruitcakes, a tradition of theirs.
On the outset, this is not the kind of book I would usually pick up, but am immensely glad I did. It was the warmth and compassion employed by the author throughout the book that appealed to me the most. The wealth of kindred, and often-eccentric characters was most agreeable, and I intend to locate a copy of Capote’s murder-mystery ‘In Cold Blood’ as soon as possible. I whole-heartedly recommend the magnificent Breakfast at Tiffany’s – it is the literary equivalent of an ice-cream sundae. Great fun.