Book Reviews

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 160 Pages.

Published: 27 April 2000 by Penguin Classics

Edition: New Ed

ISBN: 9780141182797

EAN: 9780141182797

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'.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

Four stories - sad and bitter sweet

I've not seen the famous film so I came to this book without knowing anything about it. It is, in fact, a collection of four short stories, all of which are worth a read. All of the stories are told about people at the lower and vulnerable end of American society - crime, poverty and low level cruelty feature heavily. Few of the people in these stories are happy and none of them is really successful. The author tells each story with a certain detachment but they are all emotional in their own way.

The title story tells of Holly Golightly, a woman who wants adventure and nice things and who gets it by effectively selling herself to rich men. The author is clear about the risks of such a lifestyle and the lies and pretence which are necessary for Holly to get what she wants. It is a sad story with moments of hope about the resilience of the human spirit. This is the longest story in the book by far.

"House of Flowers" is about a prostitute who finds another way to live and by giving up possessions and status manages to find a situation in which she is accepted and may find a life - it is better than the alternative. "A Diamond Guitar" is about the friendship between two prisoners and its unhappy conclusion. The final story "A Christmas Memory" is a bittersweet tale about the relationship between a small boy and his distant cousin who has learning difficulties.

I enjoyed reading these stories. I understood why the author wanted to represent life as it is for most people - no happy endings here but occasional moments of hope among lives of sadness and despair. The people and situations are believable and the stories elegantly told.

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