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Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (Modern Library) Hardcover – January 13, 1994

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Editorial Reviews


“Truman Capote is the most perfect writer of my generation. He writes the best sentences word for word, rhythm upon rhythm.”—Norman Mailer

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition (January 13, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067960085X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679600855
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925 and was raised in various parts of the south, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first - and last - regular job. Following his spell with the New Yorker, Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

274 of 288 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Tejuja on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and let out a long sigh right after with a smile on my face. The ending may not necessarily be your typical happy-ending, nonetheless it is delightful. It was a re-read for me, for about like the 4th time and every time I have read it, I have found something different in it. While reading it this time I couldn't separate the movie from the book. Audrey and Peppard kept flashing in front of me as I was reading the book and it felt nice. As I type this so-called review I am listening to "Moon River" [instrumental] and watching Audrey in the opening credits. I love the book. According to me, no one can ever write a novella of such force [besides Marquez and Murakami] than that of Capote. As Norman Mailer said about it, "I wouldn't want to change any word of it. Its just perfect", that's exactly how I feel about it.

Breakfast at Tiffany's - if you already do not know what its about, may be because you haven't read it - the plot is simple: It is about lost dreams, sometimes unrequited love and a whole lot of wit, profundity and the chance to go the whatever length in order to get what one wants. It is about Holiday Golightly [love the play of words] and her life or rather a fragment of her life, as seen through the eyes of the narrator Paul. Paul who loves Holly like all the other men in her life. Holly, who is also an escort/call girl. A girl who is all of twenty and possesses the wisdom of a thirty-year old without losing her naivety. Who believes that one mustn't betray friends, no matter what. Who jumps into a cab and visits "Tiffany & Co." when she gets the `mean reds'. Holly is everything and more. She is promiscuous. She is brazen. She does things like stealing masks and as Billy Joel would put it, "She's always a woman to me"...
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83 of 91 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on January 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I re-read this book and was pleased to find that I wasn't wrong about it the other million times I read it. Truman Capote is one of my favorite authors and Breakfast at Tiffany's is my all-time favorite American classic. I don't read about Holly Golightly, I absorb this unique, eccentric character. The message Mr. Capote conveys in this novel is one of poignancy and charm. Holly, like her nameless cat, is a free spirit, a young woman whose quirks and unconventional lifestyle endear everyone, including the ambiguous narrator. This book overwhelms me with sadness every time I read it. Ms. Golightly's elusiveness touches me every time. I also love the film version of this novel. But the story gets lost somewhere amid the chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Peppard plays the narrator, and his character loses the mystery and ambiguity that is evident in the book. And even though I love the film's ending, the novel's conclusion is unforgettable. There are various differences between the book and the film, but they're both classics in their unique way. If you've seen the movie but haven't read the book, I strongly suggest you pick it up. Truman Capote is a brilliant writer, and he outdid himself with this timeless gem.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I'm a grown man of thirty with a child on the way. But on reading 'A Christmas Memory', I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes. Especially when little Buddy is sent off to the military school and his friend is left alone to prepare the christmas cakes all by herself. No where in literature can you find the definition of nostalgic memories so beautifully crafted as in the last two pages of the story.
Like I said, I'm a grown man, really unaccustomed to shedding tears especially if induced by a book. But it happened.
As for Breakfast at Tiffany's - Holly Golightly is something else. In the end, you pity her because you know, that she will never find her Tiffany anywhere in the world. The curse of the wandering soul has left her alone and lonely.
Brilliant. I can't say enough to recommend this brilliant book. Read it first, and then watch the movie. Though Peppard and Hepburn proved worthy actors, the soul of the book, the innocence and the stark realization of real life is not as clearly depicted as in the book.
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