Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, The Classic Club

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote

Classic
4*s

The Classic Club Spin number 18 picked Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote for me which was one of the few novellas on my list – not exactly the chunkster the organisers had urged us to choose for the extra long time period allowed – but I was pleased since my last classic seemed to go on for an age!

Once it was picked I then decided to investigate a little more – you can read my full post here.

This is an intriguing novella that I can imagine packed quite a punch when it was first published in 1958.

Holly Golightly (what a fab name) is the object of our narrator’s fascination. He lives in an apartment above hers in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side where he writes. Holly is a country girl although her past is a bit of a mystery. She has no job she lives off others good favour including Sally Tomato, who she visits in prison, every week. For this service she gets paid $100. In between times she is treated well by the wealthy men and she assumes that sooner or later she will marry one of them.

Of course to the reader, Holly Golightly is not just a good time party girl. It is far more likely that she is an expensive sort of call-girl but one that I think that appeals to the female readers of the book as the fictional men who clearly like her.

In many ways the novel is a snapshot of a place and time. We have the bar owner who knows both Holly and our narrator, being conveniently situated as a bartender of nearby bar. But it is Holly who has the spotlight shone on her at all times. In many ways her background is a complete mystery, the only ‘fact’ seems to be is that her brother is called Fred, the name she ascribes to our narrator out of some sort of affection for him although she claims “I’m going to call you Fred. After my brother. He’s very stupid, too.”

The story told seems on the surface to be quite a simple one. It certainly isn’t long and yet there is something very captivating about it, both in terms of the characters and the writing style. Truman Capote is one of those writers whose work does not seem to have dated in so many ways. The style used is of the enquiring nature of the narrator that blends perfectly with not an urgent need but a more gentle yearning to understand this young woman more.

For me the key seemed to be in the past, I had the feeling if we could unwind far enough we would see the foundation to the creation that ‘our’ Holly clearly is. This meant almost back-to-front as usually we want to know where a character is going, but perhaps I knew ultimately where that would be and so I felt if we could go back first, maybe a slightly different path could be walked. Who knows? What I do know was that I was as charmed by this young woman in a way I simply did not expect to be. I felt sorry but wholly unsurprised as she was thoughtless and careless with others and equally sorry for our narrator and the barman who had this bright young thing in their orbit, and then they lost her.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is number 14 on The Classics Club list and the nineth of my fifty choices that I’ve read and reviewed. Yup, I’m a little bit behind!

First Published UK: 1958
Publisher: Random House
No of Pages: 160
Genre: Classic Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 16)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Story, one that has its roots in revenge! I say you can’t beat a cold hard revenge story to get the year off to a good start!

Blurb

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her. Amazon

The last book I finished was a memoir, I’ve read a few of these lately all with the thread of rubbish parents of various types running through them. I’m not just interested in the parents though, what I like to see is how the ‘children’ strike out and lead successful lives. Tell Me Who I Am by Alex & Marcus Lewis fits the brief perfectly.

Blurb

Imagine waking up one day to discover that you have forgotten everything about your life. Your only link with the past, your only hope for the future, is your identical twin.

Now imagine, years later, discovering that your twin had not told you the whole truth about your childhood, your family, and the forces that had shaped you. Why the secrets? Why the silences? You have no choice but to begin again.

This has been Alex’s reality: a world where memories are just the stories people tell you, where fact and fiction are impossible to distinguish. With dogged courage he has spent years hunting for the truth about his hidden past and his remarkable family. His quest to understand his true identity has revealed shocking betrayals and a secret tragedy, extraordinary triumph over crippling adversity and, above all, redemption founded on brotherly love.

Marcus his twin brother has sometimes been a reluctant companion on this journey, but for him too it has led to staggering revelations and ultimately the shedding of impossible burdens.

Their story spans continents and eras, from 1950s debutantes and high society in the Home Counties to a remote island in the Pacific and 90s raves. Disturbing, funny, heart-breaking and affirming, Alex and Marcus’s determination to rebuild their lives makes us look afresh at how we choose to tell our stories.
Amazon

Next up I need to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote as this was the winner of the Classic Club Spin #19 which took place at the end of November and needs to be read and reviewed by 31 January 2019. I am determined to read my allotted 12 classic club reads this year so best get off on the right foot!

Blurb

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 department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction. Amazon

So that’s my reading week – what does yours look like?

Posted in The Classic Club

The Classic Club Spin #19 – The Result!

The Classics Club has decided to spin its wheel for the 19th time, the 3rd for Cleopatra Loves books and so I hesitantly checked out the result. Not because I have any books on the list I created that I’m really dreading but I have included some heftier books and it must be read, and reviewed by 31 January 2019.

The result came through and it is number 1 which for me means that I am to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

I’m going to do a little Q&A about the book so first things first and most importantly:

How many pages long is Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Well I’ve done well since this was supposed to be a chunkster… Breakfast at Tiffany’s is only 160 pages long and technically a novella – whoops! 

Why did you choose to add this book to your The Classics Club list of 50 books?

Last year I finally got around to reading what is supposed to be the book that led the way in true crime writing; In Cold Blood and so I was already motivated to read something else by this author and let’s face it, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is iconic! 

Do you own a copy of the book?

Ah, that seems to be a no! I will do very soon though! 

What other books by this author have you read?

Just the one In Cold Blood which I suspect is an entirely different kind of read.

What is Breakfast at Tiffany’s  about?

Holly Golightly. Oh you want more? Well it’s about Holly Golightly who is a young woman who spends her days/nights being entertained by the wealthier inhabitants of  Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  She is hoping one of these men will marry her.

We hear her story through an unknown narrator who through the course of the book she reveals what is underneath her outspoken views that she’s not afraid to share and we learn more about  the girl, and her lifestyle.

When was Breakfast at Tiffany’s  first published?

It was first published in 1958 making it one of my newer classic reads for The Classics Club but before In True Blood which wasn’t published until 1966.

Tell me a bit about Truman Capote?

Truman Capote was an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter playwright, and actor. He was born in 1924, had divorced parents and apparently decided he was a writer at the tender age of 8. He is also probably the only one of my Classic Club authors who elongated his fame by appearing on television shows.

Truman Capote by Jack Mitchell

What did you get fellow Classic Club Spinners?

Looking forward to everyone’s views on whether I should be celebrating my success or perhaps this book missed the mark where you’re concerned?