Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, 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.
"[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)
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
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.
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."
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
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!
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
Incredibly easy to listen straight through with no break
Absolutely would listen to this again. The story never gets old and Michael C. Hall's narration was perfect.
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.
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.
Well...there is already a pretty famous movie isn't there?
If you've read this story already, it is worth it just to hear Michael C. Hall narrate. Enjoy.
I love books!
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.
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
’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.
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.
The book is far ahead of the movie with Audrey Hepburn...Great character Holy Golightly...Great easy read...
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
When a book has been made into an iconically famous film, and when that film is playing through your head as you listen to the book, your reactions to the book can be a bit confusing. On the one hand, the film got the story all Hollywooded up, fleshing out the narrator character to give him more to do, and adding some artificial sweetener to Holly to make her more palatable the audience. The callousness of the real Holly was a bit disconcerting with dear Audrey in my mind’s eye.
In spite of movie scenes floating through my head, I was able to appreciate the sharpness of Capote’s writing, and the enigma that is Holly Golightly who so carefully hides who she is, possibly even from herself. She expects to be taken care of but also to have things her own way, envisioning herself as a 'wild thing'. Without the Hollywood dressing Holly’s behavior is more consistent with her character, infusing the story with cynicism, poignancy and a sense of lonely inevitability. The outcome is a story much more organic than the film.
"I have no idea why this is a classic..."
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...
Probably, as I think I read something by him many years ago and found it good enough.
I guess he did his best, the material he had was sort of lifeless...
Disappointment. Since the movie is famous, I had expected better.
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.
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.
Michael Hall performs excellently. His accents are wonderful. I especially enjoyed his portrayal of Holly's "husband" ,Doc.
This book made me happy. It reminds us that life is an adventure and we should never "settle".
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