Saturday, October 31, 2009

Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a collection of short stories by Truman Capote, and the title story is widely regarded as a literary classic. The story is about the narrator's relationship with his neighbor Holly Golightly, initially beginning from fleeting glimpses on the stairs of their apartment building, to an acquaintance, to a volatile friendship, and finally to unreciprocated love and loss.

However, the real subject of the book is Holly's character, and how her past unfolds. She believes that she is a free spirit, and everyone around her is charmed by her unconventional lifestyle and outspoken personality. Holly is spontaneous and all about just having fun. She lives her life swindling older men of their money.

Her acquaintance with certain shady people lands her in trouble when she is falsely accused of helping a drug lord communicate instructions from jail, and with nothing going for her, she leaves for Brazil in search of a new life instead of staying and proving her innocence.

Holly believes that she cannot find a place where she is at complete peace, and can find contentment only at a store called Tiffany's, where she believes that nothing bad can happen to you there, which explains why the story is named such. Tiffany's makes her feel good; it is her safe haven when the world around her is going crazy.

The novella also contains three of Capote's other short stories:

House of Flowers: The story is about a young girl named Ottilie who is born into a brothel and turns into a respectable married woman by chance. She becomes a wife that never has the approval of her mother-in-law.

A Diamond Guitar: This is about a man named Mr. Schaeffer serving a lifetime sentence whose life changes with the arrival of a guitar-playing young inmate named Tico Feo. It is a tale of prison friendship.

A Christmas Memory: This is about the special bond between a young boy and an elderly distant female cousin, and the fun memories he has of the Christmas season. It symbolizes a friendship that ends far too premature for the characters.

The stories are vibrant and real, but I felt ‘In Cold Blood’, Capote’s other famous novel is a better book.


ZB said...

I havent read any of Capote but thanks for sharing....I tried for breakfast at Tifanny's but it wasnt available....the short summery of the story is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Rahul Anand said...

Thanks ZB, try 'In Cold Blood' if you haven't read Capote. I think that was his best work; I somehow could not relate to 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. The other stories in the book were good though.

Smita said...

Skipping the review as the book waits for me in my shelf ;-)

Rahul Anand said...

@Smita: lol, let me know how you find it after you are done reading.