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Breakfast at Tiffany's Audiobook

Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, February 2014 - Although very familiar with the iconic film, I’d never actually read the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. When I heard that actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) was narrating it for Audible, I jumped at the chance to listen. Capote’s classic is simultaneously darker and more wistful than the film, and the famed Holly Golightly a little more calculating than charming. Michael C. Hall delivers a mesmerizing performance, giving each character their own unique voice. Hall’s cadence perfectly matches Capote’s words, and he forced me into my own whirlwind friendship with Holly. I’d never before experienced a narrator who seemed to so completely understand an author’s intentions – the effect was magical. —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's provocative, naturalistic masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist, who eventually gets tossed away as her deepening character emerges.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote's most beloved work of fiction, introduced an independent and complex character who challenged audiences, revived Audrey Hepburn's flagging career in the 1961 film version, and whose name and style has remained in the national idiom since publication. Hall uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.

©1950, 1951, 1956, 1958, 1978, 1979, 1984 Truman Capote. Copyright renewed 1986 by Alan U. Schwartz (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[Michael C. Hall] uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.... I felt content and comfortable in Hall’s hands as the tale unfolded. He did a wonderful job giving each character voice, especially that of Holly." (Caffeinated Book Reviewer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    W Perry Hall 02-12-14

    One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope

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    ""Better to look at the sky than live there""

    First, Michael C. Hall did an excellent job on the narration, lending a personality and voice to each character. You always know when the narrator does a great job when you lose track of him in the characters; that is, you forget that this guy speaking is the guy on that Dexter TV show. You don't remember the narrator until the audio is near finished. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. This narration job is up there with Will Patton's best work and at times is even better.

    As for the Book,

    I'd always seen the commercial highlights/trailer for the movie version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and the phrase is even iconic of that era and place. Yet, I'd never seen the movie or read the book--until now. I didn't know what to expect besides basically the description on the audible version of the book - the basic storyline. So I know if I say too much here in the review of the couple of twists and the ending, I'll be spoiling the enjoyment of this audio for another listener.

    With that in mind, Truman Capote's masterful short novel displays this young lady's complexities of character underlying the shallow facade. Some can rise above the admixture of nature and nurture and dream so much they will follow it to the ends of the earth. Holly Golightly was a dreamer extraordinaire or as Capote put it, a "lopsided romantic" whose trait of personality would never change.

    A poignant line which I think captures a major theme of the novel is Holly's observation that:
    "it's better to look at the sky than live there; such an empty place, so vague, just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear."

    I've read somewhere that Capote ran in the same circles as Marilyn Monroe and parts of Holly Golightly are loosely based on Norma Jean's personality and her early years. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds right, based on what I know.

    I must add my thoughts that an outcast sissy-boy from Monroeville, Alabama at the time (and even today) was likely extremely sensitive and keenly observant of his environment in the Big Apple and the fact that he was also a gay man from down South up in the big city probably served to further enhance his remarkable attention to details in that society at that time. The difficulties he endured in those years likely integrated into his makeup as an artist who could and would so vividly paint the outsider trying to fit in with the clouds, "an empty place," as it turns out, "where the thunder goes and things disappear."

    46 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-20-14
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-20-14 Member Since 2016

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "Subtle yet Extravagant"

    Of course I have seen the movie and loved the subtle story and Audrey Hepburn and Moon River, but I never noticed the story was written by Truman Capote. An Audible banner ad pointed this out and got me to order this short novel. It was great. Narrated wonderfully by Michael C Hall (Dexter and Six Feet Under) this novel is more enjoyable than the movie. But this is a rare case where you should see the movie first. Having Audrey Hepburn in your head while reading this is definitely not a bad thing. The writing is beautiful, with full and interesting characters and a story that is subtle yet extravagant. I have always appreciated Capote’s writing, and appreciate it even more now. This is a book I will likely come back to, and share with others.

    39 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Urbana, IL, United States 02-12-14
    Jessica Urbana, IL, United States 02-12-14 Member Since 2013

    songbird

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    "Fantastic!"
    Would you listen to Breakfast at Tiffany's again? Why?

    Absolutely would listen to this again. The story never gets old and Michael C. Hall's narration was perfect.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    Too many to count...I liked the scene where Holly and "Fred" spend a Sunday drinking at the bar. I love the simplicity of the metaphor of masks used in many ways, overtly and obliquely. The stolen masks at the store, a nice metaphor for Holly's stolen identity and "Fred's" assumed identity given to him by Holly. I enjoyed the hospital scene where Holly puts on her makeup as a sort of fortification or armor to help her read the letter of dismissal from her fiance. Makeup as armor or mask of another sort.


    What about Michael C. Hall’s performance did you like?

    Everything. I love that he used different voices for each character, but didn't have to force it. Switching from voice to voice was smooth and not jarring in any way. His nuanced reading of the point of view character was even better than expected.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Well...there is already a pretty famous movie isn't there?


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read this story already, it is worth it just to hear Michael C. Hall narrate. Enjoy.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 07-05-14
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 07-05-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A Poignant Novella"

    Capote's novella of Holly Golightly captures the superficial atmosphere surrounding Holly and her entourage. The narrator, probably a stand-in for Capote himself who came to New York from the Deep South, admires Holly at times, but also becomes exasperated with her. The author brings out the complexity of her character and her ability to design her own life, at least for a time, the way she would want others to view her. As the story unfolds, the readers / listeners get to know a bit of the real Holly, but by the end of the book, can only wonder what will happen to her eventually. She seems to be only able to face life by ignoring parts of herself. This thin novella has quite a different tone than the 1961 movie with Audrey Hepburn. The movie made Holly a much more sympathetic character. I really prefer the novel's character - she seems more human.

    Michael C. Hall's narration was excellent. He brought out the vulnerability and hesitancy of the narrator in the story, called "Fred" by Holly and his voicing of all the characters was very good.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FanB14 03-04-14
    FanB14 03-04-14

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

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    "Michael C. Hall in Your Ear + Capote = Bliss"

    Holly was flighty, fake, fun, and completely redeeming. Superbly written story narrated by the enigmatic Michael C. Hall, at the low, low price of $4.95 made for a fantastic listen. Thank-you to Audible for courting the likes of Hall!

    52 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 06-22-15
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 06-22-15 Member Since 2009

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

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    "Iconic Freebird"

    Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a short novel that provides a lifetime of memories. Its scenes and homilies on life will forever echo in your memory. They will be there to help guide you in your life.

    Breakfast's allegories and guiding proverbs come from our protagonist Hollie (Holliday) Golightly; a philanderer. She is a women who suffered many harms and wrongs as a child. When we meet her now she is running from those past horrors by seeking some alleged form of “elegance” through association with pseudo sophisticates. On one hand we all admire her catch as catch can attitude but also remorse at her loneliness and abandonment. She is one of the most iconic free bird characters in all of literature.

    A book one can read again and again and never lose interest in or fail to receive value from.

    And: Thank you Audrey Hepburn for bringing Hollie to life in the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Do see the movie and read the novel. The Hollies are a bit distinct but each provides the same immortal experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-27-14
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2015

    I love books!

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    "interesting short story"

    I would have never guessed that the Truman Capote book that was turned into a hit movie, now a classic, was based on a short story. The book being made into a movie must have given Capote's career a real jump start. That the book was narrated by Michael C Hall was an added bonus as I'm a fan of his as well. Based on the character of free-spirited Holiday Golightly, the author describes her life through the eyes of a would be writer. You might think he experienced this himself when he first moved to New York City although it's possible the character of Holly could have been based on several people he met. It's hard to think of Holly as anyone else than Audrey Hepburn. But it was a good short story and Hall's narration was great, I especially like the way he did Holly.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 02-17-16
    Ruth Bain 02-17-16

    RueRue

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    "Better than the movie !"

    What a wonderful story ! Much more nuanced than the movie, although the movie has its assets. Excellent narration by Michael C. Hall.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reading Date 02-22-14

    I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.

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    "Compelling & Nostalgic Classic"

    ’ve never read Breakfast at Tiffany’s before this, though I saw the movie years ago. I was surprised to learn that the book is so different than the movie, and I feel like I need to watch it again now to compare. If you’ve only seen the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s you may be interested to read the source material behind the classic film. The tone is totally different, and there are some major plot changes.

    The story centers on Holly Golightly, a flawed and flighty girl of nineteen living in New York City. She wakes up her neighbors late at night, and asks them to let her into her apartment since she always forgets her key. That’s how she meets her neighbor, the unnamed narrator of the story. Holly dubs the narrator Fred after her brother, and the two become friendly. “Fred” is a writer, and the free-spirited, dark and damaged Holly is his muse. Fred gets caught in the web of Holly’s crazy life.

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s was originally published in 1958 and the slim novella packs a lot of story into its 150 or so pages. Truman Capote’s writing makes you feel like you’re the narrator getting to know Holly, and leaves you just as captivated/confused/appalled as he is. It is a complex character portrait that kept me guessing to the end.I can imagine this book was quite controversial for its day, especially in regards to the frank discussion of sexual identity, and even gay marriage.

    This is his Michael C. Hall's first audiobook performance, and he really commits to the story. I think the audiobook is the perfect way to experience the book for the first time. Hall’s tone has a richness to it, and he makes each character sound distinct. Hall uses different accents and voices in his performance that help to paint a vivid picture. I preferred his male voices in the audiobook overall, but Halls’ Holly captures her quirky and complicated essence. At just under 3 hours long, this audiobook delivers a compelling, nostalgic story.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JD 02-17-14
    JD 02-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Michael C Hall makes it even greater!"
    Which character – as performed by Michael C. Hall – was your favorite?

    Michael C Hall's adaptation of the narrator was outstanding, but Holly is a close second. He really makes you feel like you know them


    Any additional comments?

    Incredibly easy to listen straight through with no break

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • Susan Henderson
    Scotland
    2/24/14
    Overall
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    "Excellent listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I actually walked the long way home on a couple of days because I didn't want this to end. I have read the book before but really enjoyed having it read to me. I really felt transported to the moment of the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are a lot of interesting characters in this book but of course Holly is the star. She isn't the nicest person in the world and you know you shouldn't like her yet its difficult not to feel a little jealous of her life and admire her spirit.


    Which character – as performed by Michael C. Hall – was your favourite?

    Michael Hall performs excellently. His accents are wonderful. I especially enjoyed his portrayal of Holly's "husband" ,Doc.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me happy. It reminds us that life is an adventure and we should never "settle".


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ysera
    Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    3/7/14
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    "I have no idea why this is a classic..."
    What disappointed you about Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    Boring story. Sordid lives. I have not seen the movie, but I don't know why anyone would bother making this into a movie. I guess I only made an effort to finish because it was short. I even left the last 40 minutes pending for a week before I managed to get back to it and finish...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Truman Capote again?

    Probably, as I think I read something by him many years ago and found it good enough.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I guess he did his best, the material he had was sort of lifeless...


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Since the movie is famous, I had expected better.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • jackie
    Cyprus
    7/20/16
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    "Surprisingly modern tale"

    Beautifully understated narration. Wonderful writing by Capote. Great way to spend a couple of hours!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoska
    France
    4/6/16
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    "This is one of my favourite storis"

    Much as I liked Audrey Hepburn, I didn't really appreciate the film " Breakfast at Tiffany's". Audrey simply wasn't Holly and the film had an artificial happy end. I have always loved the story, though, for me this -and not "In cold blood" - is the masterpiece of Capote. Michael C. Hall (aka Dexter!) reads it with a very appropriate nostalgic twist. Lovely. And kind of sad, but with hope underneath.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • TriciaN
    Carmarthen, UK
    11/18/15
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    Performance
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    "The beautiful voice of Michael C Hall"
    What made the experience of listening to Breakfast at Tiffany's the most enjoyable?

    I give this 5 stars if only for the beautiful voice of Michael C Hall. Unlike many readers, Michael C Hall changes his voice and style of speaking subtly for each character, so that you always know who's speaking and you are drawn into the dialogue without being conscious of being read to. I suppose I should add some appreciation of the writing of Truman Capote here, but I am just dazzled by this recording.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • darren
    London, United Kingdom
    11/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Short but oh so sweet!"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book, it is absolutely perfect! I can not recommend it highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I taylor
    10/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Timeless"
    What does Michael C. Hall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His voice was perfect for the role; it was made for him.


    Any additional comments?

    The story differs greatly from the film and is set in a completely different era. It is beautifully crafted and portrays the difficult life of Hollie Golightly via her neighbour and best friend’s eyes. His love for her is shown through both of their heartaches and Hollie’s tragic and destructive behaviour. I love this story and I love the characters; it is truly timeless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • gunnel
    7/27/15
    Overall
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    "Not as good as I expected"
    Any additional comments?

    The book is very famous (as is the film) and I had expected something memorable. It was OK, but not more than that. When I listened, I was reminded of Sally Bowles in Goodbye to Berlin. Holly Golightly is the same kind of charming and seemingly irresponsible person with a hidden background, living in a "swinging" big city among glamorous and/or amoral peope, You even see her through the eyes of an admiring male friend. (The Great Gatsby is another book you come to think of). Compared to these two books, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a light-weight novella and there isn't much depth in the characterization. Personally, I liked Holly's abandonned husband best. The story was very well narrated which made it a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lynda
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ok ish"
    Any additional comments?

    Having seen the film I found that the book was very different especially in the character of Holly so for me I prefer the film.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • nicole
    United Kingdom
    2/15/15
    Overall
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    "Even Michael C Hall can't save this book."

    I don't often write negative reviews but honestly what a load of twaddle. Michael C Hall is brilliant but honestly nothing but another writer could have made this better. I can live with unlikable characters but the whole story is so shallow it comes to nothing. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal has a similar premise but, with the exception of a great narrator, has everything this book lacks. I'd really recommend you spend your money on that instead.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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